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The Big Question: Never Sell Mineral Rights? Or… Sell?

Never sell mineral rights.

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“Never sell mineral rights!” This is a common refrain that echoes through the industry. It’s an old saying that’s been passed down through generations, and many still abide by it. However, in the ever-changing landscape of the energy industry, this steadfast rule might need some reconsideration.

Like many aspects of life, the decision to sell or hold onto your mineral rights is deeply personal and depends largely on individual circumstances. In this article, we’ll explore various facets of this complex issue, armed with insights gleaned from industry experts and veteran mineral rights owners.

An Age-Old Maxim Under Scrutiny

The conventional wisdom of never selling mineral rights primarily stemmed from the concept of generational wealth. The idea was simple: mineral rights were seen as a golden goose that would yield wealth over time, growing in value with each passing year.

However, recent industry dynamics, such as advances in extraction technologies and the influx of investment capital into mineral rights acquisition funds, have significantly altered the mineral rights landscape. As a result, mineral owners are now frequently faced with unsolicited, often highly lucrative, purchase offers. Therefore, contrary to the old maxim, selling mineral rights might sometimes represent a prudent and even compelling opportunity.

An arial picture of a farm with mineral rights that is maintained by Trull Service Company.

When Does Selling Make Sense?

While the reasons for keeping your mineral rights can be compelling, there are many personal and financial circumstances where selling could be the more sensible option. Let’s explore some of these situations:

Pursuing Other Investment Opportunities

If your property is nonproducing, you might have to wait years for something to happen – if anything happens at all. Even if production occurs, the expected rewards could be less than anticipated. It may be more rewarding to sell the rights and invest the proceeds elsewhere.

Reducing Administrative Burden

Tracking paperwork, especially for rights spread across different geographical areas and tax jurisdictions, can be daunting. Selling your rights can ease this burden.

Simplifying Estate Planning

Dividing numerous small interests among beneficiaries can create administrative difficulties. Selling the rights and distributing cash proceeds can make estate planning easier.

Easing Divorce Proceedings

Estimating the value of mineral rights during a divorce can be tricky. Cash from a sale can be divided more easily.

Stabilizing Income

Mineral rights can provide inconsistent royalty income. A fixed cash payment from a sale can offer more financial stability.

Diversifying Assets and Reducing Risk

The volatile nature of the oil and gas industry makes the value of mineral rights unpredictable. Selling part or all of your rights can help diversify your investment portfolio and reduce risk.

Resolving Family Disputes

Sometimes, selling mineral rights can be the best way to resolve family disputes over the ownership and management of these assets.

A pristinely clean fireguard on a land with mineral rights in Texas.

Financial Reasons to Sell

In today’s market, there are also compelling financial reasons to consider selling your mineral rights. These include:

Increased Productivity

The downturn in oil prices in 2014 forced producers to maximize efficiency. The surviving companies are now getting more bang for their buck, increasing the value of associated mineral rights.

Innovations in Drilling

The potential for horizontal drilling into shale deposits has increased the value of many mineral rights, especially in areas with conventional production.

Reduced Risks

Technological advancements have reduced the risks associated with acquiring mineral rights. Returns on wells can now be predicted more accurately, making investments more attractive.

Optimism for Future Prices

Companies are willing to bet on their own predictions of future oil and gas prices, often offering more than the conservative estimates provided by consulting engineers.

Weighing Up the Pros and Cons

If you receive a purchase offer, it’s essential to seek expert advice before making a decision. A professional team can provide you with a detailed appraisal of your assets, taking into account factors such as leasing activity in the area, new wells being drilled, potential royalty streams, and lease bonuses.

Remember, the decision to sell your mineral rights is a personal one, and it’s important to consider all factors, including your financial situation, tax implications, and estate planning needs. With all the facts in hand, you can make an informed decision that’s right for you.

If you have any questions or would like more information about your options and the pros and cons of selling your mineral rights, please reach out to Trull Service Company. They are seasoned industry professionals who can guide you through the process and help you manage your assets.

A gate at the front of a ranch in Texas.

Selling Mineral Rights

The selling process for mineral owners can be broken down into several key steps, each of which plays a role in ensuring a successful transaction with mineral buyers.

Determining the Value of Your Mineral Rights

Before you can sell your mineral rights, you need to know their worth. This requires a thorough assessment of several factors, including the location of the property, the geological context, the productivity of any existing wells, and current oil prices or gas prices.

Finding Mineral Buyers

Once you’ve determined the value of your mineral rights, the next step is to find a mineral buyer. This could be an individual, a company, or a mineral rights broker.

Negotiating the Sale

The negotiation process involves discussing the terms of the sale with the buyer. This includes the sale price, payment method, and any other relevant conditions.

Completing the Sale

After the terms of the sale have been agreed upon, the final step is to complete the transaction. This typically involves signing a purchase and sale agreement and receiving the agreed-upon payment.

So, Should You Never Sell Your Mineral Rights?

The answer to that question is not as straightforward as the old wisdom would have you believe. The decision to sell or keep your mineral rights should be based on a careful analysis of your personal circumstances and potential financial benefits.

Remember, it’s your asset, and you have the right to make the decision that best suits your needs. Whether that involves holding onto your mineral rights for future generations or selling them to pursue other opportunities, ensure you make an informed choice with the help of trusted professionals.

In the ever-changing world of mineral rights ownership, the only constant is change. So, don’t be afraid to question conventional wisdom and make the choice that’s right for you.

Have Questions About Mineral Rights?

For any questions regarding your rights on your land, we’re here to help from the management of it all the way down to the physical labor it takes to maintain it. Let us know how we can help you.

Or Call Us At (361) 972-2537

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Linda P. Curtner

Linda P. Curtner

Senior Administrative Assistant

Linda has been with the Trull Service team for 37 years since starting in 1986.  Linda prepares farming, hunting, and pasture leases as well as doing bookkeeping. She also prepares labor and equipment for billing for the Trull Service entities and outside entities. She appreciates the flexibility of hours here at TSC, as well as the friendships that have grown over the years.

Irvin H. Welch


Irvin has worked at Trull Service Company since March 2020. He was hired as Chief Operating Officer with a succession plan to take over as President which he did a year later in 2021. As President, Irvin oversees all operations of Trull Service Company including implementation of board directives, budgeting and financial planning, land improvement projects, land sales/purchases, mineral rights, and oil/gas. He loves managing land in Texas and has managed and consulted on large and small ranches in Texas for over 20 years. 

His position at Trull Services allows him to use his knowledge in natural resource management to manage farms and ranches for the benefit of not only our clients, but for the betterment of Texas soil, air, and water. In his free time, Irvin and his wife, Karla, enjoy spending time outdoors hunting, fishing, and attending sporting activities for their son, Ryan.

Roy A. “Bubba” Glaze

Supervisor of Field Operations

Roy has been with Trull Service Company for more than 20 years, and has worked his way up from the bottom. He started out flying the canals with his father from a very young age, learning the properties. Now, as Field Supervisor he oversees all land improvements and specializes in developing relationships with our clients and tenants. He’s passionate about working at Trull and helping our clients in any way possible.

When he is not at work, Roy enjoys spending time outdoors, working on DIY projects, and home improvements. He loves the Hill Country and relaxing in the beautiful Texas Streams. He also enjoys listening to and playing music with his two sons, Nathan and Caiden.

Janet S. Tedder

Janet S. Tedder

Senior Administrative Assistant

Janet has worked with the Trull Service Company for 35 Years, starting in 1988. She is the receptionist; which entails answering the phone and greeting people when they come in. Her work also includes mail, bookkeeping, and payroll. She is always there to lend a helping hand whenever needed. Janet enjoys the friendly work environment and treasures the friendships made over the years.

Charlette S. Hunt

Charlette S. Hunt

Senior Administrative Assistant

Charlette has worked with our Trull Service Team for 39 years and started in 1984 and assists with all Farm Service Agency (FSA) paperwork. She does bookkeeping, processes the statements, division orders, and the title work on the land and minerals we manage — which gives her valuable knowledge of our business. She also enjoys working with her co-workers and the relationships they have developed.

Cathy G. Hunter

Executive Vice-President

Cathy joined our team in 1975 and has assisted our clients with attention and care for 48 years. She started working for the Trull family in 1975 as a bookkeeper and was promoted to Office Supervisor in 1985. Now, Cathy manages all aspects of the accounting and tax preparation for Trull Service Company and the many entities it manages as the standing Executive Vice President.

Cathy enjoys working at the Trull office because of the family atmosphere and has always felt blessed to work for a company that cared about her and her family.