Do you own the mineral rights to your land?
Many landowners may be unaware of gas and oil companies bidding for mineral rights beneath their property. That’s because of the The Stock Raising Homestead Act of 1916 which allows many states to sell real property as a split estate. A split estate essentially splits real property into two entities; one for the surface, the other being minerals. Often times many homeowners are unaware of this situation until the areas mineral rights owner knocks on their door requesting access for mineral extraction, in which case the surface owner has no right to deny.
One way around this would, of course, be to own both the mineral and surface rights to your property. However, gas and oil companies still can access your minerals by a process of forced pooling. The federal government groups mineral rights within 1-square mile zones. To access the minerals companies need only to obtain a certain percentage of minerals owners who would be willing to either sell or lease their mineral rights; some states require only 20% to gain access. Once given access those who aren’t willing are still forced to either lease or sell their rights to oil and gas companies.
Once again I ask, do you own the mineral rights to your land?