First, property owners in the Barnett Shale had to decide when to lease their mineral rights and for how much. Now, with the recession pushing back drilling projects, some are being asked to sell their royalty payments. The offer: Wait for royalty checks to come in month by month -- or just to start in the first place -- or accept a one-time, lump-sum payment in exchange for the right to all those future payments. It’s not necessarily a simple decision at a time when natural gas prices have plunged, depressing royalties and putting their future value in doubt. "Now’s the time to buy," said Jerry Simmons, executive director of the National Association of Royalty Owners in Tulsa. Compared with the peaks paid last year, he said, investors face a much more favorable market to accumulate properties.
But is it time to sell? "I would be very cautious," said Bob West, a Fort Worth oil and gas attorney who has advised a number of neighborhood organizations. "This is a business we haven’t heard a lot of in Tarrant County, but I imagine we’ll be hearing more of," West said.
For the complete story in Sunday's Star-Telegram, click here.