I think I know the answer to this but I am asking anyway:
We have a 'no surface rights' lease.
If the company we leased with approaches us to 'use' our land 'for a road' for construction of a pipeline on land next to ours, I can negotiate for compensation, right? If I say 'no', then what would happen? Can they build the road anyway via eminent domain? How much is the per foot payment for a road? Would we be able to get damages should they occur? Can we make them put a fence up? Can we insist on the the type of road, concrete or asphalt?
Our land is at the corner of 2 roads and they have to go across ours to get to where the proposed pipeline runs. (Initially they were going to run the pipeline on ours but they decided to run it on another property.)
Any thought, tips, or warnings appreciated.
Will probably be hiring atty, if needed, but I wanted to get an idea of what to expect.
I don't have enough information on the particulars just the general question was presented to me, so far.
VSC. Hiring the services of an experienced O&G attorney is a good idea. To save yourself some time, and money, tell the landman that you would like to have a written description of the surface use(s) the operator desires along with a plat showing the location(s). Review the description and plat and if it meets your approval present it to your attorney.
If you have an attorney in mind, call and ask them. If they are an experienced O&G attorney, they will have a surface use agreement that they prefer to use for their clients. You might wish to present that to your landman. If the uses and locations are satisfactory to you and the agreement language is satisfactory for the company, you are merely negotiating price. An experienced O&G attorney will have an idea of what that price should be. My point is that you can accomplish much yourself before handing negotiations off to your attorney. O&G attorneys charge a set hourly rate. Ask them to estimate their time before you give them the permission to represent you in this matter. And it may be a little more involved than "negotiating a road". A road right-of-way is an easement. Will there be a pipeline in that easement also? If so, how many and what size? Etc., etc. Here is my quesstimate as to cost for legal representation - $250 to $800.
The price can depend on a lot of things. If there is no other way for them to get to where they need to go, high price. Example, an Exco pipeline was going in on landowner B's property. The only way to get to it without building a bridge over a bayou was through landowner A's property. Exco offered $100K to landowner A for temporary access to about 1/2 mile of pre existing road.
Thanks for the estimate Skip.
I will 'lawyer up' I was going to anyway, I knew it was over my head.
I am god but not that good and smart enough to know when I am out of my league.
Thanks for mentioning the possibility of being the only way in, not sure if our land is the only way in or not but good to take into consideration and find out, or have the atty do it. Also good to keep in mind to make it temporary or not open ended at least, since it is 'for access to the and construction of the pipeline' no pipeline though.
Waiting for a rough drawing of where it will be on the land then they can call me back if I am ok with the location, then call the atty.
It seems the O&G company had an environmentalist consultant check out the land and were advised our property was too 'moist/wet'. So they are looking elsewhere.
I am relieved because the drawings they sent depicted a roa smack down the middle of the property which I was not too pleased with.
I have again picked up many pieces of wisdom though for reference should I need it later, thanks to the GHS community.
As exciting as this is, we know that we have a responsibility to do this thing correctly. After all, we want the farm to remain a place where the family can gather for another 80 years and beyond. This site was born out of these desires. Before we started this site, googling "shale' brought up little information. Certainly nothing that was useful as we negotiated a lease. Read More