Is this a fair offer to obtain land in Houston County, Texas where Sterling III pipeline will be laid?

My family recently was informed that our ancestor was deeded 1/2 undivided interest in 39 acres of land. There is no record of the minerals being reserved.

The land is located on the path of the Sterling III pipeline in Houston County, Texas. We have been contacted by OneOk for an easement by a landman.

The other property owners in the 39 acres have offered to share the right of way compensation they receive for the pipeline easement (they said the company offered $400 per rod for 2788x75 feet) if we sign a quit claim deed to them. The land has been appraised at about $2500 per acre.

IF my family would consider signing over our interest, is this a fair offer?

Any other advice?

We would appreciate any input. Thank you.


IF you have an undivided half interest in the surface and minerals, it sounds to me like you are already entitled to half the pipeline $$. Why should you give up something to get what you are already entitled to? Or is your interest ONLY in the minerals? If that is the case, you probably aren't entitle to surface damages for the pipeline easement. If you own surface, who has been paying the taxes on your half interest? Might be worth hiring an o/g lawyer.

and the money is way wrong

Thank you to everyone who has replied to my query.

It appears, from a title search, that my family has surface and mineral rights to the land in question.

IF my family would decide to sign the quit claim deed, what would be a fair compensation for my family's situation?

If you own surface, who has been paying the taxes on your half interest? The people that are claiming full ownership of surface? Did they know there was a cloud on the title when they bought it? Or is this a morality issue - someone/you have already been compensated for this sale/interest, but the title is not perfected? IF you have already been compensated for your interest, you could quitclaim the surface to the current owners. But unless you have intentionally sold your interest in any minerals, why give that up? Fair compensation (for surface) I would assume is market value. (39x$2500x.5) if your figures are correct.

You should contact the pipeline company to show them your undivided half interest in surface and they should be writing you the check for your share, not the current surface owners of (half the) land.

(I just sold an easement for a pipeline & mineral ownership didn't have anything to do with it.)

Dear Mr. Harper,

This is way more complex than what you might think. First, OneOk came to you. They know of your interest. OneOk has condemnation powers. At $400 per rod, the acreage cost would probably come out at around $24,000.00 per acre. They have paid more -- much more.

What a lot of people do not know that in Texas, the pipeline company must get all owners to sign. A co-tenant cannot put in a pipeline.

As to who was paying taxes, etc., it really does not make too much difference right now. It is very hard -- but not impossible -- to adversely possess against a co-tenant, which it sounds like you are.

The offer that was made by the other half interest was preying on your hopeful naivete. You did the right thing to come to this board. OneOk does not oppose paying reasonable attorneys and consultant fees. I have a lot of history with them on the Sterling III line.