California residents know that the state in which they live is rich with many natural resources. Among these resources are oil and gas. While necessary for most people's everyday lives to run as they do, the collection and use of oil and natural gas can be a source of contention among politicians, business people and citizens. In California, this has led to a halting of leasing federal land to oil and gas companies for several years with the last lease sale on record taking place in 2013. This, however, may be set to change in the near future.
The term "mineral right" implies that one's claim to ownership extends only to the minerals found from beneath the ground of a property in California. This distinction is made due to the fact that a separate ownership category exists defining surface rights. In many agreements, the owner of a property retains the surface rights and simply sells or leases the rights to the minerals found therein to different extraction companies. Yet there are scenarios where the two terms can be blurred, thus allowing mineral rights owners to have certain surface rights, as well.