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Capturing rents from natural resource abundance: private royalties from U.S. onshore oil and gas production

Author

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  • Brown, Jason

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City)

  • Fitzgerald, Timothy
  • Weber, Jeremy G.

Abstract

Innovation-spurred growth in oil and gas production from shale formations led the U.S. to become the global leader in producing oil and natural gas. Because most shale is on private lands, drilling companies must access the resource through private lease contracts that provide a share of the value of production – a royalty – to mineral owners. We investigate the competitiveness of leasing markets by estimating how much mineral owners capture geologically-driven advantages in well productivity through a higher royalty rate. We estimate that the six major shale plays generated $39 billion in private royalties in 2014, however, there is limited pass-through of resource abundance into royalty rates. A doubling of the ultimate recovery of the average well in a county increases the average royalty rate by 2 percentage points (an 11 percent increase). The low pass-through is consistent with firms exercising market power in private leasing markets, and with uncertainty over the value of resource endowments. The finding suggests that policies affecting the cost of extraction likely have little effect on the share of the value of production captured by mineral owners.

Suggested Citation

  • Brown, Jason & Fitzgerald, Timothy & Weber, Jeremy G., 2015. "Capturing rents from natural resource abundance: private royalties from U.S. onshore oil and gas production," Research Working Paper RWP 15-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp15-04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Brown, Jason, 2017. "Response of Consumer Debt to Income Shocks: The Case of Energy Booms and Busts," Research Working Paper RWP 17-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    2. Jeremy G. Weber & J. Wesley Burnett & Irene M. Xiarchos, 2016. "Broadening Benefits from Natural Resource Extraction: Housing Values and Taxation of Natural Gas Wells as Property," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 35(3), pages 587-614, June.
    3. Brown, Jason & Fitzgerald, Timothy & Weber, Jeremy G., 2016. "Asset Ownership, Windfalls, and Income: Evidence from Oil and Gas Royalties," Research Working Paper RWP 16-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    4. Aurélien Saussay, 2018. "Can the US shale revolution be duplicated in continental Europe? An economic analysis of European shale gas resources," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/3vsrea3gla9, Sciences Po.
    5. Joseph Marchand & Jeremy Weber, 2018. "Local Labor Markets And Natural Resources: A Synthesis Of The Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 469-490, April.
    6. Maguire, Karen & Winters, John V., 2016. "Energy Boom and Gloom? Local Effects of Oil and Natural Gas Drilling on Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 9811, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Marchand, Joseph & Weber, Jeremy, 2017. "The Local Effects of the Texas Shale Boom on Schools, Students, and Teachers," Working Papers 2017-12, University of Alberta, Department of Economics, revised 26 Jan 2018.
    8. repec:eee:jrpoli:v:55:y:2018:i:c:p:196-209 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Catherine Hausman & Ryan Kellogg, 2015. "Welfare and Distributional Implications of Shale Gas," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(1 (Spring), pages 71-139.
    10. Aurélien Saussay, 2017. "Can the US shale revolution be duplicated in continental Europe?: An economic analysis of European shale gas resources," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/2b9jeu7kmm9, Sciences Po.
    11. Rakitan, Timothy John, 2017. "Essays in the economics of energy development and disamenities," ISU General Staff Papers 201701010800007207, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    12. Jović, Srđan & Maksimović, Goran & Jovović, David, 2016. "Appraisal of natural resources rents and economic development," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 289-291.
    13. repec:eee:eneeco:v:69:y:2018:i:c:p:295-306 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:eee:enepol:v:111:y:2017:i:c:p:281-296 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Komarek, Timothy M., 2016. "Labor market dynamics and the unconventional natural gas boom: Evidence from the Marcellus region," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-17.
    16. Driouchi, Ahmed & Harkat, Tahar, 2016. "Knowledge Economy, Global Innovation Indices, Rents and Governance in Arab Economies," MPRA Paper 73507, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Badia, Marc & Duro, Miguel & Jorgensen, Bjorn N. & Ormazabal, Gaizka, 2017. "Market-wide Effects of Off-Balance Sheet Disclosures:," CEPR Discussion Papers 12152, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Marchand, Joseph & Weber, Jeremy, 2015. "The Labor Market and School Finance Effects of the Texas Shale Boom on Teacher Quality and Student Achievement," Working Papers 2015-15, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    19. Cronshaw, Ian & Grafton, R. Quentin, 2016. "Economic benefits, external costs and the regulation of unconventional gas in the United States," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 180-186.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Royalty payments; Oil; Natural gas; Mineral rights;

    JEL classification:

    • L71 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Hydrocarbon Fuels
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • Q35 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Hydrocarbon Resources
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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