A farmer may own his fields, but not what’s beneath them. When an oil company acquires the mineral rights, the farmer must allow the company to drill through the property. In exchange, the company will produce a lease document that lays out annual compensation for the farmer for the loss of productivity on the land.
“It’s made for them, by them,” Mr. Zajes said of the fossil fuel industry. The landowners are typically farmers, not lawyers, and so Mr. Zajes helps them navigate the lease process.
Shot and written for The New York Times.