Existing Pipeline ROW Agreement:

I am new to the forum, so please, be gentle: may not have posted in the correct forum.

Drilling will commence in the next week or so on a piece of land I own. Evangeline Parish, Louisiana. All matters satisfactory there.

However, another issue has come up. I have been contacted by Misstates Petroleum Company. Apparently, they are in the process of purchasing an existing pipeline that runs through my property. The gentleman who contacted me stated that they (midstates petroleum) gained interest in the pipeline because of upcoming activity in the area. It is my understanding from them that Conoco originally placed the pipeline decades ago. i have granted them the opportunity to "test" the pipeline, but have made no other agreements with them.

Yesterday, their representative sent me a proposed agreement without a sum filled for me to review. They claim to want to "go quickly" on this.

I have several questions:

1) This was family land. no one in my family knew of an existing pipeline, or did they remember receiving payment for a pipeline.

2) If this pipeline was not maintained for a number of years, does it remain the property of Conoco to be sold, or does it revert back to my ownership?

3) They claim the pipeline tested ok, and no land disturbance should be required. How can I guarantee that they will not offer me an unreasonable price with the intent to seek repairs after the agreement is signed?

4) What can I expect to see in compensation per rod?

Thanks for the help and any advice.

I own 107 acres there, and I don't even know how much acreage the pipeline passes through. Representative states he will bring a map when we meet (expect to meet in the next week or so).

Mike, while I think they would like you to make a snap decision I don't think you should. They should be able to scale down and e-mail you a map prior to the meeting. I have doubts about meeting anyway. I would rather hammer out a deal through mail and e-mails so you have a record of what is said. Lastly. I recommend getting help. Someone familliar with negotiating pipeline easements. You must stipulate everything with penalties and corrective actions spelled out, or they could run roughshod over your property. I would say that if you had thought of only 25 issues important to you, you have probably thought of less than half of the issues that could become important in time. I would not negotiate a row agreement without help, it's too easy to miss something that may be important later.

Thank you for your response. I have, since, determined that the existing pipeline has reverted back to our ownership. Now the question is, what should I ask for compensation per rod? The pipeline has been pressure tested, and all is good. It is a 4 inch pipe. They are offering $60/rod.

Mike that doesn't sound like a totally lowball offer, but prices differ in different areas. I think they would be extremely happy if you accepted. It might cost more than $1,000 per rod to install a new pipeline elsewhere. If you can get a reasonable idea of what other people are getting and factor in the cost of your pipeline which is already installed, I think you could ask a large premium for your pipeline. You may be able to get $200 per rod or more. Personally I would lease the ROW and pipe to them. Getting the money right is only 1 part of the equation. I would consider professional help mandatory so you don't cheat yourself, and for your own protection. I'd recommend Buddy Cotten from this forum, for the protective clauses alone.