As Energy Booms, Thousands Fail to Claim Their Share of Wealth

By: CHASE COOK | February 19, 2013

The amount of money owed to Oklahoma mineral-rights owners who can’t be located has exploded in recent years as oil and gas production increased sharply across the state.

An Oklahoma Corporation Commission account that holds unclaimed royalty payments for five years has ballooned from less than $5 million a decade ago to a record $53 million last year.

In fiscal 2012, the account had more than 262,000 missing mineral-rights owners, with a highest individual amount owed of $329,270.

Another account in the Office of the State Treasurer owes about $52 million to mineral owners whom oil and gas companies report they couldn’t locate.

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