For a landowner, securing an oil and gas lease with royalty payment may seem like a great victory. Developing an oil well from exploration to production is an expensive proposition, something few individuals could afford, but once it reaches production, it can seem like free money.
Most landowners have little experience with oil, gas and other mineral extraction leases. You or your family may have owned land for years or decades. You may not even understand the distinction between surface ownership and mineral ownership, as your property may not have been suspected of having oil or gas present, or if it was known, it may have been uneconomic to extract it.