I'm in an O&G contract law class right now. From what I know, you can make a deal with the oil company now by talking to the landman they hired. Or you can wait and if the oil company gets the rights to drill in the area and it is believed that your minerals are developed in the process, a court will give you a set of elections to choose from. These elections are often a royalty percentage plus an initial payment. If you do not choose one of the options, one will be chosen for you.
Alternatively, there are times when the mineral rights owner shares in some of the financial obligation to develop and produce the well and then payments come later.
This is Oklahoma law though and it does vary slightly between states.
Either way this is good for you and I don't understand your attitude.
ETA: I think the U.S. is the only country in the world that uses landmen because in the U.S. a person can own both the surface and mineral rights. In other countries the government takes the mineral rights.
This post was edited on 1/16 at 9:40 pm