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. Be aware of old abandoned appliances or potential contamination problems. If this type of problem exists, it could be a starting point for a debate on the need to protect the use of the surface. If a surface owner is concerned about pollution or safety issues, he or she has the right to contact the Texas Railroad Commission and request a review/assessment of the situation. Knowing that an oil tanker and a gas accelerator may be more inclined to work with a surface owner, if these problems exist, in order to avoid RRC`s involvement. First of all, I would like to say that the best way to negotiate surface protection is to negotiate the actual lease of oil and gas between the oil group and the mineral owner. This assumes that the surface owner owns some or all of the minerals and has a “seat at the table” during negotiations.
The parties each have something that the other wants and it is possible to conduct real negotiations. Surface protection is an integral part of the lease itself. However, mineral property has often been “separated” from the surface, and the first time the surface owner knows that an oil and gas lease has been tolerated is when the oil company shows up to develop the minerals. In these cases, a Surface Use agreement is probably the best alternative. Respect legal restrictions when using. Although there are few legal restrictions on a mineral tenant`s right to use land, some protections should be known to the landowner. First, the purchaser has the right to use only the amount of “reasonably necessary” surface land to produce oil and gas from that specific lease (or pool if pooling has occurred). If the use is greater than reasonably necessary (i.e.