This was a transformative year for our mineral management service company as we bid adieu to long valued employee, Gaylan Pinkerton, who returned to her calling in the human resources industry. We will forever be grateful for her help in growing R. King & Co. these past 11-years.
It also proved to be one of our busiest years serving twelve new family clients, managing and developing their oil and gas minerals in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Louisiana. But most importantly, two of the most experienced petroleum landmen in the country joined R. King & Co.—David Nolen and Steve Cranford.
As you may have read in About Us, David Nolen is recognized as one of the top oil & gas landmen by two of the most renowned organizations in our industry: The American Association of Professional Landmen and The Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association. Over his 40-year career, David has negotiated oil and gas leases covering over 250,000 acres in thousands of transactions across a dozen states. He is an invaluable resource for our clients, “seen it all”, and fun to work with.
Steve Cranford is the quintessential Texas oil man. He grew up roughnecking, acquired his degree in Petroleum Land Management at the University of Texas, and managed extensive leasing and drilling projects across five states for 25-years. For 12-years he led JPMorgan Chase Private Bank Oil & Gas Group through several boom-bust cycles where he supervised their oil and gas operations in New York, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. Responsible for acquisition and divestiture of oil and gas properties worldwide, Steve brings a depth of leasing, banking, and A&D experience to R. King & Co. clients.
Our twelve new clients this year all proved to have challenging projects to solve. Nearly every one involved clearing title on mineral tracts to establish their legal standings in a current lease, watchdog royalty payments, or help them develop new income from their unleased oil & gas minerals.
Like all clients, each has an interesting origin story to their family’s mineral assets. One client’s grandfather was a professional gambler in North Dakota in the 1950s and ‘60s who took his winnings in mineral and royalty interests from farmers riding the train from Minot, North Dakota, to vacation winters in Seattle, Washington. Fast forward 50-years, his grandchildren now own producing minerals in all 12-counties of the Bakken Basin.
Another client is a publicly traded company in New York whose founder / grandfather acquired hundreds of mineral and royalty interests in four states beginning in the 1920s, eventually founding Republic Pictures in the 1930s where he invented the western film genre in Hollywood. Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and John Wayne were Republic’s first cowboy stars. In nearly 100-years, these assets have undergone a lot of transactions leaving many gaps in their chain of title. R. King & Co. is methodically creating updated runsheets of their ownership and leasing histories to define each mineral tract going forward.
In this way, we’re able to discover which tracts are leased, producing, and unleased. The leased and producing tracts we watchdog to protect our clients from incorrect royalty payments. And watch for any violations of lease terms related to our client’s surface and mineral rights. The unleased tracts we proactively market to competing oil companies to negotiate new leases with favorable terms. In this flow of service, we transform our client’s dormant minerals by maximizing their assets with new bonus and royalty income.
We also enjoy serving many small clients which we take particular care to meet their budgetary constraints with the highest quality results. One client was a single mom working at McDonald’s who inherited a section of land from her grandmother in Ohio. When she received an offer to lease her minerals, she googled for a minerals management consultant to help her. She found R. King & Co. and asked if we could negotiate on her behalf, but she couldn’t afford to pay us. So we agreed to be paid from part of the bonus we negotiated for her. As a result, we increased her royalty by 25%, tripled her bonus payment, and secured a more favorable and protective lease. All our clients are treasured, but clients we make big positive impacts make us feel the best.
2017 was also the year OPEC implemented production cuts to raise the price of oil. Combined with a growing world economy, strengthening demand for oil and gas worldwide, and the U.S.A.’s ingenuity to lower costs and “drill, bay, drill”—we expect the rest of this year to see more of the boom-bust cycles inherent to the oil & gas industry.