Why sell your oil and gas royalty or mineral rights interest?


If you sell your oil and gas royalty interest or mineral rights, you exchange your ownership in the property for immediate cash. A lump sum payment could be used to invest in low risk investments such as a money market account or a Certificate of Deposit (CD). While most oil and gas properties produce less volume over time, hopefully the investment you pick will appreciate in the future, whether it be the stock market, real estate, or other opportunity.


Frequently, sellers cite as their motivation a desire to organize their estate prior to death, so that the cost of settling the estate is lower for the heirs than if the royalty interest(s) were included. The preparation of transfer documents and the marketing of the interest can be expensive. Any such costs leave less in the estate for the heirs and increases the burden on the executor. Royalty interests are usually a minute percentage of the total ownership of the well or lease. Continuing to divide what may already be a small asset multiplies the paperwork and accounting costs to heirs and assigns.


Keeping track of royalty interests and income can be a burden, even for small owners. Often, tax consultants who are not in the oil and gas business are not aware of the rules regarding accounting for such income, and may not be calculating your tax burden correctly, or may not be taking advantage of such things as cost or percentage depletion.