We have a well pad on our family property. We are in the process of dividing the property between the heirs. If I want to have a permanent structure built, how far do I have to build  from the well pad?

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You need to ask the operator of the well first and see if they have a problem with you building a structure. You will need a copy of the oil lease the operator is working under and check for distance restrictions. You will also need to check for government restrictions. Consultation with a good oil and gas attorney might be needed.

I second TD'P's advise as to the council of an experienced O&G attorney.  The LA state set back regulations are applicable for setbacks for a well from an existing structure as opposed to the reverse, your situation.  However the state set backs are reasonable bench marks for what I think is usual and acceptable.  The question to me is more so, how close do you want to live to a well pad?  It should be noted that a surface location is really only a well pad when there is a rig present.  The rest of the time the day to day operations of one or more wells is not that intrusive on a residence.  For your review of the state set back requirements (Haynesville wells), use the following link and see Section 2.  Well Setbacks.


Cindy R:

If your lease does not limit the lessee's use of the surface for exploration and/or production, you may not be able to build a structure at all until you obtain a surface waiver from the lease owner(s)/operator. If this is the case and you intend to borrow money in order to finance construction, the bank's title attorney will almost certainly require a waiver of surface rights.

That said, the usual minimum distance from habitable structures in order to obtain a well permit are between 200 and 500 feet, with deeper wells (larger rigs, larger operations, higher wellhead pressures) the minimum is usually 500 feet. Keep in mind that these are distances from the wellhead - larger rigs usually unpack on 30k-40k sq. ft. "footprints" which can take up another 100 feet of distance between the wellhead and any structure (thus 500' is more like 400' when the rig is there).

As a side note, whether you have surface agreements or restrictions in place or not, remember to plan for proper access around the property for all of the new co-owners, including consideration for access to permitted sites by the operator. Ideally, you would want diversity access (alternative servitudes) for the surface / mineral owners from those of the operator, just so the operator's activities do not frustrate the owners' access to their own property. This is not always an available option, but one that should be considered wherever possible.

I'm making the assumption that this is not a "no surface" lease - otherwise you would likely not be asking the question and you could just partition the property however you would like.

Good luck to you.

I live next to a well site. My home was there before the wells.  Suffice it to say, build as far away as possible. It has been a nightmare living next to a well site.  Constant noise.  Trucks in and out all day.

The well heads are about 80 yards away but the 10 tanks where the trucks drive in and out are only about 50 yards and they are loud, ugly and ruin the beautiful landscape.



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