Family owns property in Desoto Parish. Leased out to EXCO with producing wells. Some of the siblings want to partition the property. If this goes to court could we lose the mineral rights? We don't want to lose the royalties we are being paid.

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Re: "... even family partitions can get hairy..."

No kidding! Here we have 10 family members and ALREADY 3 separate attorney groups. At $250 / hour, that is 'eating' 1-2 acres per week.

( I would let the petitioners pay for the appraisals and the surveys! -- as well as their legal representation. )

How far do you have to be from a well site to build a permanent residential structure?

I don't think there is a set back requirement for an inhabitable structure from a well pad.  At least I've never heard of one.  If a well pad is in existence first, I don't think an owner of a residence built later could require any sound wall or other privacy measures of the well operator.  Check with your municipal or parish government.

Thank you for your reply. 

Cindy R:

Have to be?  Depends upon what it would take from a local planning & zoning and/or building permit process to say.  As Skip alludes, the burden is upon the surface / mineral owner to seek proper spacing as the well was there first in this scenario.

Traditionally, shallow well leases / old leases set a minimum of 200' from any residence or occupied structure (barns, etc.).  To obtain a deeper well / higher potential well pressure permit, the state requires a minimum of 500' from any such structure without the necessity to obtain waiver(s) from any affected owner(s).  I would definitely recommend being at least that far away, and if available separate access to the structure (not requiring passers-by too near the pad).

Thank you for your reply.

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