Be respectful and realistic. Because oil and gas companies are not required to sign a Surface Use Agreement, surface owners are not in a negotiating position. This is important when you talk to the company and ask questions. By respecting the company representative and realistic about the conditions that should be included, a surface owner is much more likely to get a surface use agreement. Request an operational meeting. Upstream, it is a good idea to meet with the mineral tenant and have a meeting to discuss operational issues. These are things like access to the door, closed doors, work schedules, etc. Some oil and gas companies believe that surface use agreements benefit both parties and are happy to negotiate with the surface owner to avoid confrontations in the future. Setting up a meeting will allow the surface owner to determine the tenant`s willingness to cooperate. At least a surface owner can get maps and details on the extent of future operations on his land. 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. A Surface Use Agreement (OAS) is a contract between the surface owner and the leasing taker (usually oil and gas companies) for an oil and gas lease. This contract describes the rights, obligations and obligations of the landowner and the operator, including the size of the surface disturbances that will be permitted during the construction of well and road cladding, and compensation for any property damage caused by the operator. This agreement helps to resolve ambiguities and uncertainties for both parties. Some states need it before a well can be drilled. Listen to this episode to learn how to negotiate a Surface Use Agreement (SUA). To understand what to consider when negotiating a surface use agreement, it helps to understand what types of activities will take place on your land as part of drilling a well. In episode 15 of the Mineral Rights Podcast, we track the entire life cycle of an oil and gas well and the typical activities associated with it.
If the operator and the landowner are unable to agree on damages, some states grant the operator the right to continue the development, with damages to be determined in hindsight through arbitration or litigation.