Disposal well affect on mineral vs surface rights

My family owns the mineral rights to an old family farm. The surface owner that owns a portion of the old farm sold 2 small parcels to a company who has drilled a disposal well. We just signed a lease for the mineral rights and we found all this out. What are our rights in all this.

My experience in Texas is that the TRRC requires notice to interested parties of an application of a disposal well, which may include nearby neighbors. This is done by letter service and advertisement in the local newspaper. You must respond to TRRC with your concerns timely. If your rights are under lease, the lessee may have an interest and have a valid protest. Not sure what all happens if it goes into hearing, but one may expect to support their concerns with evidence, possibly expert testimony as to why the permit should not be granted.

Depends on state where land is located. In Texas, only the surface owner has control of disposal wells.

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What if the Water Rights have been severed and or retained in a separate entity? I assume that the disposal well would be in a depleted oil and gas formation.

RRC does not require that a disposal well be limited to a depleted formation. It cannot be injected into a formation not-productive of oil and gas, which is generally a standard of no currently producing wells within about 1/4 mile radius. In reality, the disposal water can easily travel over a mile and water-out wells and dilute oil to the point where it will never be economic to produce. The rules are different for injection wells for secondary recovery. Reserved water rights generally pertain to subsurface water being produced from a water well, not about water being injected into a disposal well.

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