Is a gas company offering to pay you royalties for your mineral rights? Better question: Do you own the mineral rights below your land? Westmoreland County residents can now find out online.
County property records from 1850 to 1943 can be accessed online at the Westmoreland County Recorder of Deeds office at www.wcdeeds.us.
About 135 Marcellus Shale gas wells have been drilled in Westmoreland County in the last few years—a trend that is expected to continue. The deep wells are first drilled vertically, and then horizontally, so the drilling often includes several property owners.
Online searches are free. For those who need help, the office is now open evening hours until 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. The office closes at 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Once you find out if you own the mineral rights, you will be able to lease or sell them. The next likely question is: How much are they worth?
According to MineralHub.com, “The best way to determine the true market value of your mineral rights for either leasing or selling purposes is to have knowledge of what’s going on in your specific area, and to get offers from several or more unaffiliated buyers who are also familiar with what’s going on.”
The website stated, “Prices can vary depending on many factors. Mineral owners with producing minerals who decide to sell their mineral rights can usually expect to get between 36 and 72 times the average of their monthly income over the past six months. This is only a rule-of-thumb however, and the price received will vary within this range and beyond depending on such things as the production history, the number of wells and their age, the proximity to other production, future drilling prospects, the operator, concentration risk, current governmental policy and taxation laws, and oil and gas prices.”