Oil and gas boom spreads the wealth

Some of the nation’s biggest oil and gas companies are fanning out across the Niobrara shale play in Northern Colorado, drilling and extracting huge quantities of oil and gas from beneath the often-treeless and barren high desert landscape.

The companies are taking risks that sometimes pay off in a big way and other times may not pay back the $4 million-plus investment to drill a well.

But while these companies take their risks and hope to make a solid strike, there’s another party also hoping it will pan out in a big way.

The lease and royalty owner.

“They’re making a ton of money,” said Bill Crews of Greeley-based Crews and Zeren, a mineral title consulting firm. “There was a guy in here recently who’s getting a $230,000 check for (an oil and gas lease) on roughly 400 acres.”

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