When gas is produced from an oil and gas well, it must be transported using underground pipelines. These pipelines, which typically vary in size from 4 to 24 inches in diameter, move the gas from the well to a downstream point of sale. The companies who operate the pipelines, often known as “midstream” companies, contract with local agents (“landmen”) to purchase right-of-way easements in which to build their pipelines. These landmen then contact you and other surface owners along the proposed pipeline route to negotiate the purchase of the easements on behalf of the midstream company.
An easement or “right-of-way” is a right to the use of a portion of the surface that is superior to the rights of the underlying surface owner. The easement may be temporary, but in most cases (as with pipeline easements) it will last for years or even decades. A properly crafted easement limits the purposes for which the easement can be used and protects you as the surface owner from unreasonable harm to the surface.
Pipeline easements typically average 35 to 50 feet in width, with an extra 25 to 50 feet during the construction of the pipeline. Compensation is paid to you as the surface owner on a “per rod” basis, with each rod being 16.5 linear feet in length. When considering whether to accept a pipeline easement, you should take into account the impact on crops, fencing, livestock, terraces, ponds, waterways, roads, and improvements. We have extensive experience working on behalf of land owners and tenants to ensure that their land is protected and that the duties and obligations of both parties are clearly defined in the Right-of-Way Agreement.
Contact us today for a personal meeting to discuss your situation and goals.