I can't say too much about your situation, but here is what I have heard. The price of gas is so low that many operators are losing money. There are situations where some wells are having more gas withdrawn for domestic use than is being sold. As you can imagine, there is very little incentive to keep operating at such losses. Another factor that could be an issue is minimum volume agreements (operators agree with gatherers / pipelines to deliver a minimum amount of gas each month / quarter / year or face penalties).

It really boils down to the exact agreement you have for domestic use. In Kansas there are several variations of domestic use clauses in leases. Obviously I do not know all of the facts, but it sounds like they are just trying to find any excuse to prevent you from using gas. In some places I have heard operators had to set up (and pay monthly) for the home to be converted to LP (propane) gas and stop using well gas. It sounds like if the well gas is your primary heat, you may want to spend the money to have a professional evaluate your lease and options to enforce it.

I have also heard of legitimate reasons why an operator had to cut domestic use of gas off. In Texas the story I read was due to H2S being present in the gas (which can be deadly).

If the well is not producing in economic quantities the operator could choose to plug the well rather than face additional losses. Again, a professional should be consulted to evaluate your situation. Ultimately, you, as well as the operator would both like to realize the maximum benefits from the well. I hope you can resolve your issue amicably.


I did have a clause in one of my old 1980 leases; but, we never actually used any of the gas so I can't speak personally about any of your issues with the company. I am definitely not a fan of the oil companies when they pull this type of shenanigan without some alternative help; but, I can understand why a new oil company person just coming in would make such a move so quickly. The price and volume of gas might be one thing; but, in my opinion, the Hydrogen Sulfide concentration in the gas is a total different situation and more than likely the driver of such action, even if you signed a "hold harmless clause". I know you mentioned that in your opinion, the Hydrogen Sulfide concentration was low at 53 and 93 ppm. Even if this concentration is only on one or two wells, I consider this way to high to take a chance on sending it to a private home. I live in Texas and as a kid my family used raw untreated natural gas straight from some wells. As far as I know the gas was very low in hydrogen sulfide and there was nothing added so we could detect a leak. Even back then but especially today, this is a disaster trying to find a place to happen since we have lawyer's standing on every street corner just waiting to file a big lawsuit.

Not sure what kind of standards there are or how this gas from an oil field is regulated; but, I would guess that even 50 ppm would be way to high since OSHA Industrial standards has a PEL (personal exposure limit) of 10 PPM. One other thing I would suspect is that the gas for your personal use doesn't have any leak protection smelling gas (methyl mercaptan) added to it which is another real potential danger point.

Hope you can get this worked out to your satisfaction.

Check this out!

In Kansas some leases required the operator to deliver gas to the home that was usable. If the gas did not have enough pressure or quality to be usable in residence, the operator had to provide an alternative energy source (propane). If H2S was in high enough quantity to be considered too dangerous to be "usable" in the home, and your lease is drafted in such a way that requires usable gas, you may have some options for the operator to provide you an alternative supply or type of fuel.