Friday, June 7, 2013

What Is A Non-Participating Royalty Interest (NPRI)?

The oil and gas business is certainly a challenge! It's a very complex business. For mineral owners, it's quite daunting to understand mineral rights, especially, since many mineral rights owners inherited their rights and really do not know what they have. Daddy or Grandpa might have bought something 50 years ago, then passed and didn't really keep ideal records. This is quite common! So, say you found some papers and you know it has something to do with mineral rights. What, exactly, do you have?

Do you find a reference to a non-participating royalty interest? For short, it may be called NPRI. A non-participating royalty interest is the right to receive oil royalties or gas royalties, pure and simple. It does not include some rights that a mineral rights owner enjoys. Such as, the right to explore for oil and gas. (This is moot unless you are Bill Gates, as oil and gas wells cost a small fortune to drill.) More apropos, a mineral rights owner has the right to lease the lands to an oil and gas company (grant an oil & gas lease) and let the oil company (who has big bucks) drill and explore. And, if a mineral rights owner did, in fact, own the royalty rights, the oil or gas company will pay him royalty if a well hits. Lastly, a mineral owner enjoys the rights to a lease bonus (lease signing bonus) and annual rentals (rentals are uncommon these days). So, a non-participating royalty interest is just basically the right to receive oil checks or gas checks (royalties). Almost all sales of mineral rights these days are just that but in decades past, sometimes an NPRI was carved out of the mineral rights.

Perhaps you have discovered that you inherited an NPRI. Maybe some day you will be contacted by an oil company saying that they have drilled a well and they wish for you to ratify an oil & gas lease that the mineral rights owner has signed. The document is called just that -- ratification. This is quite common. Once you ratify and are put in "pay" status, you can then enjoy royalty checks when oil/gas production occurs. Hopefully, the oil or gas company will hit something good and you'll get regular checks. If for any reason you wish to sell these rights, it is possible to do so. Here is more info about the non-participating royalty interest (NPRI), or just contact me for help.

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