What is the Difference Between Surface Rights vs. Mineral Rights Ownership

Momentum Minerals purchases both producing and non-producing mineral rights, receiving royalties and overriding royalties for oil & gas. We work with mineral rights owners, and it is important to understand the difference between owning the surface and owning the minerals.

Surface Rights Owner

If you own the surface rights to an area of land, it does not necessarily mean you own the minerals below that land. In areas of the country where drilling or mining occurs, the ownership between the surface of the land and the minerals beneath it are often severed. As solely a surface rights owner, this means you have no royalty rights to the minerals that are extracted from beneath your land. However, depending on the state, there are laws to help protect surface owners and make them feel more comfortable with oil companies drilling on their land.

Mineral Rights Owner

If you are solely a mineral rights owner, you earn the royalties that come from extracting the minerals from the land in question. You do not have control over what occurs on the surface. As the mineral rights owner, you can sell, mine or produce the gas or oil below the surface. When it comes time to drill, you also have a right to as much of the land surface as is reasonably necessary to access the minerals, but there are some states with laws that protect surface owners’ rights.

Negotiating with surface rights owners can be confusing and stressful. By selling your mineral rights to Momentum, you can benefit from immediate returns on your land. As experts in our field, we are eager to take on the risks and difficulties that can come with extracting minerals and negotiating with surface owners. 

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