• Kyle D. Venema

Mineral Management Companies - What Do They Do and Are They Right For You?



Who are Mineral Managers and Mineral Management Companies?


Mineral Management Companies (MMC) are typically made up of oil and gas professionals such as Landmen, Attorneys, Accountants, Estate Planners, and possibly Geologists and Reservoir Engineers.


Although it is not required, Mineral Managers (MM) may have an additional mineral management certification called a CMM. Having this certificate does give more credibility and make one better suited to be a Mineral Manager.


You could still find a good Mineral Manager that does not have a mineral management certification, but still has a degree, industry related degree, law degree, or simply no degree, but has a vast amount of experience working as a Field Landman or as an In-House Landman.


There are tons of good Landmen/Mineral Managers out there who don’t have a degree or any certifications.


It’s always good practice if looking for a good Landman or Mineral Manager to ask lots of questions about their experience and if possible, a resume of sorts. Also, make sure to ask for referrals of people they’ve worked with in the past or from those they are working with currently.



What Services Does a MM or MMC Provide?


A MMC will usually be able to provide more services because they have more oil and gas professionals working under one roof, but know they are also going to be much more expensive to work with should you opt to use them and all the services they provide.


If your mineral and/or royalty assets are making a considerable amount of revenue per month, it just might be worth it to work with an MMC and use all the services they might be able to provide.


The following is a list of typical MM services:

  • Comprehensive review of mineral and royalty ownership

  • Review and analysis of previous or current oil and gas leases and surface use agreements

  • GIS mapping of mineral and/or royalty assets

  • Negotiate new lease agreements and surface use agreements with operators on your behalf

  • Existing lease monitoring and lessee compliance to the lease and enforcement of breaches

  • Review of division orders and decimal interest verification

  • Uncover payment errors if any and expedited reimbursement

  • Monitor accuracy of production volumes and pricing

  • Generate personalized monthly production and accounting reports

  • Year-end summary reporting and 1099 reconciliation

  • Provide litigation support

  • Either manage internally or assist current trustee with estate managerial responsibilities

  • Royalty and working interest accounting

  • Clearing title and recovery of any potentially suspended funds

  • Revenue distribution on behalf of operators and trustees

  • Estate administration

  • Online filing and payment to local or state regulatory agencies

  • Marketing and selling of minerals and/or royalties

  • Pipeline and right-of-way negotiations



Mineral Management Companies Buy Mineral Rights


Most MMCs only manage one’s minerals and/or royalties, but there are some MMCs that actually buy minerals and royalties.


Some MMC’s that buy minerals and royalties like to make the pitch that if you let them buy a portion of your minerals and/or royalties, they’ll help with managing the remaining portion still owned by the seller for a greatly reduced price (or even free) because they’re now going to be a mineral and/or royalty owner under your same acreage.


And who better to help you manage (or watchdog) your remaining minerals and/or royalties than a professional under the same acreage?


This type of arrangement can be beneficial in that they can go to bat for you against the Operator while managing their newly purchased minerals and/or royalties at the same time.


Now, this is all well and good so long as the MMC offers a fair price for those minerals and/or royalties AND acquires other bids from several other potential mineral and royalty buyers/investors for you to review.


I cover more on this and my top negotiation tips here.


You should ALWAYS, no matter what you’re selling, get as many offers or quotes as possible from various buyers/investors. This will give you a good feel for what the market will actually bear as well as to ensure you receive a top or fair offer for your minerals and/or royalties.


If you don’t test the market and just go with the first and/or only offer, you may never know, or it may be too late before you find out if you received a fair offer from the MMC.



Are They For Everyone?


There are several factors to take into account when considering hiring a MM or MMC to manage your mineral and/or royalty estate. These could include, but are not limited to:

  • The amount of acreage (minerals and/or royalties) you own (is it enough or too little?)

  • Whether your acreage is producing revenue (or not)

  • If producing, is the revenue received enough so that it would be worth paying someone to manage?

  • If not producing, is there leasing activity going on in your area?

  • How much time is being spent managing the assets and would it be beneficial to let someone else handle that responsibility?

  • If someone other than a professional is currently managing the assets, are they equipped and knowledgeable enough to handle this task?

  • Did you inherit minerals and/or royalties and do you know exactly what you own and where?

  • If someone has contacted you because they say you own some minerals and/or royalty and you didn’t even know it?

If we’re just taking into consideration the amount of acreage (minerals and/or royalties) one owns, then generally anywhere from 20-25-acre tracts up to 100+ acres would be a good range in which to consider looking into hiring a MM or MMC.


Depending on how much acreage you own, let’s take into account whether or not your acreage is producing. Whether your acreage is producing or not could be the deciding factor to hire a MM or MMC.


If you own a minimal amount of acreage and it is producing, depending on how much revenue is being received from that production, it may or may not be justification enough to hire a MM or MMC.


If the acreage and the revenue being received is minimal, it may not be worth hiring an MM or MMC on a regular or full-time basis. It may only be worth it to hire a MM or MMC for a one-time service only to ensure you’re being paid correctly. If need be, you could then have them show you how to calculate it and manage it going forward.

If you own a minimal amount or a lot of acreage and the revenue being received from the production is substantial, then it may be worth hiring an MM or MMC to help manage that revenue. They will keep track of all your records as well as ensure you’re being paid correctly every month, essentially playing “watch dog” over the Operator making sure they’re paying you correctly for your interest within the producing unit and based on your lease terms.


If you haven’t anticipated or experienced it yet, managing minerals and royalties can include a vast amount of information and paperwork requiring attention to detail, experience, know-how, competence, and time! This is especially true if your acreage is producing, you’re receiving revenue every month and that revenue is substantial. If you think to yourself you don’t possess or have the desire to engage in any of these requirements, then it would definitely be a good idea to start looking for an MM or MMC to help.


A few additional instances that would lead you to consulting or hiring an MM or MMC:

  1. If you received minerals and/or royalties as an inheritance, or

  2. Out of the blue someone calls you and offers to buy a mineral and/or royalty interest you never even knew you owned.

In these two cases, it would definitely behoove you to consult an MM or MMC before agreeing to sell because there could be more at stake than just what’s being offered to you at the time. There could be money sitting in an account, called a suspense account, from years ago that has your name on it.


After contemplating the factors that appeal to you and that might lead you to consider hiring an MM or MMC, you would then need to evaluate the services provided by the MM or MMC that you actually need or might be beneficial to you because some services offered may not be necessary or even applicable.


From there, you should be able to determine if it’s a cost-effective service. Also, bear in mind that if you have the ability to have your real property (surface, minerals, and royalties) evaluated and appraised, then you can also have that done by a MM or MMC.



Is it Worth Hiring a MM or MMC for Non-Producing Properties?


For non-producing properties, it’s probably not worth hiring a MM or MMC as there may not be much to manage unless at some point you’re approached by a landman, broker, or an oil company to buy your lease.


Then and only then, would I say it’s worth looking into hiring a MM or MMC. Depending on how much acreage you own and how much money you stand to receive from any lease bonus received, it may or may not be worth hiring one.


For example, if you own 5 acres and they only stand to make $1,000.00/ac for a total of $5,000.00, it might not be worth it unless the cost associated with consulting or hiring an MM or MMC was minimal.


However, if you own 5 acres and stand to make $10,000.00/ac for a total of $50,000.00, it would definitely be worth it to consult or hire an MM or MMC. With the larger payout, it could be beneficial for you to hire a MM or MMC that is ready to go with the necessary resources to manage your interest reliably and effectively so you don’t have to, even if it’s just for a short period of time.


If you are approached to lease your minerals, it would definitely be a good idea to have an MM or MMC assist you in negotiating and getting the best lease terms possible.


It is possible this may only take place once so doing it right and getting the best deal you could get will definitely be important, potentially for years to come.


It's beset to find out how much a MM or MMC would cost you and weigh that against how much you stand to receive and if you feel it is worth it.


In the latter example with the $50K payout, you may only need to hire them briefly to assist in negotiating a good lease form. Once you receive a division order from an Operator, or some other notification that your acreage is going to be drilled, that could be another point in which I would hire a MM or MMC and keep them around for a while after you start receiving royalty checks to ensure you are being paid fairly and correctly based on the terms and conditions of your lease agreement.



Is There a Minimum to How Much My Property Needs to be Producing for it to be Worth hiring a MM or MMC?


Hard to say exactly - there may be a minimum where it is not worth it to hire a MM or MMC. You must weigh the cost vs. the benefit to know if it would be worth it.



How Much, How Do They Charge and What Do I Get For My Money?


The short answer to this question is, several different ways and it varies depending on the company. The majority of mineral management companies out there seem to initially charge by the hour and that hourly rate depends on the level of the mineral management professional you’re working with.


Initially, you might work with a general admin land or mineral professional and the hourly rate for them could be anywhere from $55-75/hr.


If after working with the general admin land professional the charges per hour could then increase up to around $225-$250/hr. for a certified land, accounting, or legal professional.


It then depends on what services one might require and how long one might contract a mineral management individual or company for.


Services that are usually included and built into the hourly rate method of billing usually include monthly revenue summaries, Operator activity, surrounding leasing and permitting activity, and other monthly, quarterly, and annual reports.


Services that may be a once a year or every other yearly service, such as new geologic or reserve report that takes into account all recent wells and completions in the area where your asset is located, could be contracted out to a third party and would typically be billed separately and would be more of a “a-la carte” service and charge.


Some MMC’s charge a percentage-based fee for certain infrequent or one-time services. Those services could include, but are not be limited to:

  • Negotiate new lease agreements and surface use agreements with operators on your behalf

  • Recovery of any potentially suspended funds and/or disputed royalties

  • Litigation support

  • Marketing and selling of minerals and/or royalties

  • Pipeline and right-of-way negotiations

In conclusion, the way a MM or MMC might charge is dependent on several factors so the general consensus is an hourly charge is usually a good start while the MM or MMC gets familiar with your asset.


It can then transition into an a-la carte type billing method should other services be necessary, or desired, and be in the best interest and benefit of the owner. For those cases whereby individuals don’t need a monthly MM or MMC to manage their assets and might only need certain services every so often, the a-la carte method and percentage-based model seems to be the preferred method of management.


That's all for today folks!


I hope this information helps. Should you have any further questions on your mineral and royalty assets or just want to chat, schedule a time we can speak today or fill out the form below and we will be in touch.


For more information on the MMC certification, please visit NARO - CMM-Program.


Thanks for reading the VOG Blog!


Texas Landman and Mineral and Royalty Manager