The boom in natural gas royalties has even led to niche spinoff companies that look for lease heirs who don’t even know they’re owed money.
Michael Zwick is president of Assets International, a Michigan company that searches for missing heirs.
‘‘It was an underserved niche,’’ Zwick said of oil and gas leases. When a company can’t find an heir to lease royalties, the money often goes to state unclaimed property funds.
Zwick said he has found a few dozen people whose gas lease money was being held in escrow, including one who was owed about $250,000 in drilling royalties. But the average amount, he said, is far lower.