Austin, Texas-based Blackbeard Data, a data service provider, produced its 2014 Texas Petro-Wealth Ownership Report in March. The findings revealed that statewide ownership of oil and gas assets is not evenly spread between corporations, individuals, institutions and the government. Corporations have the lion’s share—$110 billion—while the next-highest amount—$22 billion—belongs to individuals, Blackbeard Data said.
Corporations may hold vast sums of industry asset wealth, but when working interest is removed the results break down differently. Blackbeard Data examined royalty wealth after removing working interest.
Without working interest in the picture, individuals, not corporations, are at the top. Individuals held about $17.1 billion, while corporations held about 14.4 billion. Trusts and educational institutions took the next-highest amounts—about $4.5 million and about $1.2 million, respectively, according to the data.
Under royalty wealth, operators pay royalty interests to mineral rights owners, and typically royalty owners receive 10% to 25% of the value of the oil produced, the company said.
Compared to 20 years ago, modern leases follow an 80/20 split, the company said. Today, oil companies, owning all the working interest, receive 80% of the value of the oil produced, while mineral owners receive 20% instead of 12.5%. The higher royalty for the mineral owners is due to lower risk from modern operating methods, the company said.
With overriding royalty interest, owners do not own the minerals, and if the lease expires the royalties disappear, the company said, noting that these are usually 1% to 5% of the value of the oil produced.
Regarding how Texas stacks up to the rest of the country, Texas owns about 80% of national petro wealth, or $40.2 million. Other major oil producers—California, Colorado and Oklahoma—own 1.3%, 1.5% and 3.7%, respectively, Blackbeard Data said.
Of the top 20 Texas cities holding petro wealth, Houston holds the highest amount—about $47.7 million—while Midland holds about $14.7 million, the second-largest amount, Blackbeard Data said. But Dallas was surpassed by Oklahoma City. Its roughly $9 million outstripped Dallas’ $7.4 million, the company added.
When working interest is removed, Houston still comes out on top with royalty wealth, with $4.7 million in petro wealth, the company said, adding that Dallas follows behind with $2.7 million, and Midland and Austin trail it with $2.5 million and $2.2 million, respectively.
The state holds $140 billion worth of proved producing reserves, based on calculations made when oil cost $94.89 per barrel, Blackbeard Data said.