What is a royalty?

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It is a form of compensation to the lessor (or others) under a mineral lease. It is a share in the production. Royalties are typically expressed in fractions (e.g., one-eighth of production). However, they can be stipulated in other ways. Royalties can be sold separately from other mineral interests. The owner of a royalty retains the right to receive the royalty under an oil and gas lease; but the royalty owner may not necessarily be the mineral owner. Many times mineral owners will sell rights to royalties or they may retain rights to royalties when selling their interest. There are various types of royalty interests (e.g., overriding royalty, non-participating royalty, or a term royalty). The common elements of a royalty are: (1) the royalty owner does not have the right to use the surface; (2) it is contingent only on production (not on the profit or cost of the operator); (3) it does not carry the right to lease the minerals; and (4) it does not participate in other lease benefits (for example, bonuses or delay rentals).

Source: TAR

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