Rural Oklahomans get boost from record high natural gas prices

Saturday, July 19th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- Record high natural gas prices could mean big money for Oklahoma's land and mineral owners.

Energy companies are eager to drill as natural gas sells for more than twice the historical average for this time of year.

Experts say the high prices could fuel a burst in drilling that hasn't been seen since before the oil bust of the early 1980s.

Larry Fiddler of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission says individuals could receive monthly royalty checks ranging from 25 dollars to 25 thousand dollars -- depending on the amount of reserves and what percentage of the minerals they own.

The burst in drilling activity is also expected to be a boost for small-town economies through sales tax at restaurants and hotels.

Natural gas closed at five dollars and two cents per thousand cubic feet Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.