I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season and that your new year is off to a great start. I always view the new year with a renewed sense of purpose and opportunity. A fresh start so to say. This is a time when we can plan for the coming year not only for our personal but also our professional growth.
So, what’s in store for the new year for mineral owners? No question about it, mineral owners will continue to face a number of challenges in the coming year. The price of oil and gas has been depressed for quite some time now and it appears, depending on the economic analyst you listen to, it could remain that way for some time to come.
The claims of $70 oil by the fall of 2015 are long forgotten. New reports indicate that the $30 dollar oil we are experiencing may not be the bottom of the slide. However, as one oil and gas analyst put it the other day, “no one really knows”. We’re on a roller coaster ride that we can’t control. We’ve topped that first big hill and we’re holding on tight as we peer over the edge. Many are pondering why they ever got on this roller coaster; while others are anxiously awaiting the next big thrill that comes with this business.
Still, the good news is that based on oil and gas revolution from horizontal drilling we now know that that the once thought of fact that we were facing the possibility of running out of fossil fuels in our lifetimes has been put to rest. We now know that the United States has substantial reserves of oil and gas that we can now count on to supply our energy needs for many years to come.
In Oklahoma, we are still challenged with the earthquake issue. Most experts in seismicity are pointing to salt water disposal wells as being the problem. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is working diligently to address the issue. I feel confident that the efforts of the Commission will be successful in remedying these matters. I also feel confident that just as new technology brought us horizontal drilling, the issue of the disposal of salt water can and will be addressed by new technology and techniques.
This brings me to your opportunity as a mineral owners. I still have people tell me that they are unsure of how many mineral acres that they own. As we all know, that is the first rule of Mineral Management 101, know what you own. Just recently, I found myself guilty of breaking this rule. One of my cousins asked me how many mineral acres in a certain section we owned as a family. I told him “I think we own….”, “I think”, is totally the wrong answer. I should know and so should he know the exact amount of acres we own. We have some work to do. Time to go to the courthouse and run the records or hire a CMM or landman to check the records.
While we have this temporary lull in activity, this is a great time to increase our knowledge as mineral owners. It is also a great time to become actively involved in NARO. We have wonderful assets in our mineral rights and we should work diligently to protect and preserve those assets.
It truly is an interesting time. It is through challenges and problem solving that great advancements are made. I look forward to watching the year unfold. I hope that you will look at 2016 as an opportunity to become more knowledgeable and active within NARO. It will benefit not only you, but your children and grandchildren.
I will close with a quote from Mark Twain that I feel is appropriate for the starting of a new year. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Let’s get started.