What to be careful of when selling or leasing your mineral rights

By Brittany Pieper – email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) –Steve Coleman received a letter in the mail offering him a lump sum for the mineral and royalty deed on his land. He says at first his wife mistakenly thought it was a royalty check from the land they've already leased.

"It could be misunderstood as a royalty check, and it's not a royalty check. It's a buyout where they want to buy your royalties," said Coleman.

KSLA News 12 spoke with the Fort Worth Company, Cobra Petroleum, on the phone. They told us if you try to deposit the bank draft, they will not transfer the money into your account until they receive a signed deed, which makes this legal. They are also registered with the Better Business Bureau.

However, Shreveport BBB President, Andy Fisher, says land owners should still make sure to read the document very carefully.

"Don't just scan through it, and be sure that you know what you're signing," said Fisher.

Most land owners in Northwest Louisiana are used to leasing their land, and then receiving a royalty check for any minerals found. If you sign the agreement from Cobra Petroleum, you are giving up those royalty rights. You will no longer get a royalty check each month. Cobra Petroleum will.

Coleman doesn't think it's a good deal. "If they weren't trying to make more money off the royalties, they wouldn't have sent the letter," he said.

It's a decision every landowner has to make for themselves, but make sure you read all the fine print.  Fisher also recommends seeking legal counsel if you aren't sure about any letter, check, of bank draft you get in the mail regarding your land.

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