Beware of a quid pro quo opportunity. Often, the mineral tenant requires the surface owner to do something that is not allowed in the rental agreement. For example, the oil and gas company may try to facilitate pipelines or facilitate the route through the property in order to obtain another leasing package. This is the ideal time to find a possible agreement on the use of the surface and look for favorable conditions. Look for leasing arrangements. If there are already oil and gas leasing provisions that require compensation or protection for the surface owner, this is ideal. These provisions should be applied and can give the owner a good starting point to demand appropriate compensation from the lessor. In Texas, mineral products dominate surface products. Therefore, the owner of a mineral estate can freely use the surface land for the exploration, development and production of gas and oil under the land.
This right to use the property may be exercised by a tenant who has entered into a mineral lease by the owner of the mineral property itself. And because a tenant can use the surface without restoring it or paying for careless damage, surface owners often acquire what is called a surface use agreement that limits the use of the surface or causes damage. Below is an overview of the surface use agreements in Texas. Scott, thank you for your response. My lawyer recommended that only royalties be awarded and I keep the minerals. That would also have been my preference, but it was not acceptable to my neighbour. He wants executive law so he can negotiate the lease. I have no problem with that, I just want to keep as much control over what`s going on on the surface of my country. One thing I discovered was that if I gave him the royalties, I would have to keep at least a small percentage to myself. Otherwise, I would not be encouraged to lease the minerals, which would be contrary to my right of trust as the executor of the mineral estate. Scott Madison stated that there are a number of common provisions that are typically contained in surface use agreements, including: in general, the UREA will outline the authorized and prohibited activities of all parties to the agreement.
Regardless of which side you go, make sure all agreements are made in writing to avoid future conflicts. Pipeline companies carrying oil, natural gas and their products often turn to surface owners looking for a way to facilitate the construction of pipelines under the owner`s land. While more than 90 percent of these interactions lead to a voluntary transfer of an interest in relief, pipelines may attempt to invoke the power of an important area if negotiations are not concluded.