Royalty Owners Can Still Recover Payments in Wake of SemGroup Meltdown

Many Oklahoma royalty owners to file liens against Tulsa-based SemGroup LP today to ensure payments are made to them for their royalty interests. An Oklahoma statute provides such security of interest and lien on oil or gas sold from wells.

In the wake of the economically disastrous SemGroup meltdown, there is hope for owners of Oklahoma royalty interests – if they act within 90 days of a missed royalty payment from a SemGroup first-purchaser affiliate.
Oklahoma statute 52-548.4 provides for an automatic security interest and lien against oil or gas sold from a well, for unpaid royalty interest owners.
The catch is, they must file a verified notice of lien within 90 days from the time the payment was due, in the courthouse of the county where the well is located. Otherwise, the security interest isn’t perfected and the interest owner does not have priority over any perfected interest in the same proceeds.
Because of the multi-million-dollar economic impact of the SemGroup bankruptcy on the state’s more than 200,000 royalty owners – many of whom are living on a fixed retirement income and highly dependent upon royalty income for survival – information about this little-known legal lifeline needs to reach as wide an audience as possible.
“It is paramount that our members know of this statute and proactively work to protect their interests. This supersedes other creditors and will ensure that royalty owners are first in line to recoup any payments in the SemGroup bankruptcy filing.” Stated Jerry Simmons, Executive Director of NARO (the National Organization of Royalty Owners) “Royalty owners also need to understand that this proactive step does not ensure they will recoup payment but if they don’t take action they will surely loose out.”

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