New Drill Pad Site

I’ve been contacted by Camino to build a 5 acre pad site on my property in Garvin County, OK. They’re being a bit pushy having just contacting me 3-days ago and telling me they want to start clearing for the site by end of October. I won’t sign any agreement until I have legal counsel review it, but do they have any rights as to dictating when they’ll start building it?

You would be wise to contact an OK oil and gas attorney as fast as possible and get a surface use agreement that will protect your buildings, water wells, stock tanks, etc. The mineral rights are dominant over the surface rights so you need to get as much protection as the law allows. Generally, they stay 200’ feet away from buildings, but you need to get all the protections in writing.

You can observe qualified professionals (often with localized expertise) who provide services to mineral owners right here on The Mineral Rights Forum. You will notice them among 3 different instances on the site:

  • in display image ads and/or brief text messaging on site

  • in our Mineral Service Provider Directory in the main navigation above. These are arranged by professional discipline.

  • as a Business Member participating in many conversations throughout the site (note the blue colored “B” on their picture and blue text on their posts).

These practitioners are often able to provide the specific (and often localized) services that meet your needs.

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You can find attorneys listed in the Forum website as mentioned above or through the OK bar association.

Thank you for your feedback, and agree 100% about legal counsel for all the items you mention…which are not nearly specific enough in their initial document even if I didn’t have some experience with legal agreements in general. Regarding their timeline, do they have control over that? Do you know if I have rights regarding when they could initiate their clearing efforts, to some degree at least?

Unfortunately, due to the mineral rights having dominance, you do not have much say-so in the timing or any other decision regarding the location. If you can find an attorney with surface lease expertise, that would be the best type to use in this situation. The boiler plate lease that the operator would offer is not in your best interest. They are looking for a flat spot with about five acres (depending upon the type of setup they have planned). You want them to diminish it down after drilling and replant and put it back to its former usage once drilling is over. You also want protection against environmental damage, get a bonus for using your land (and water, etc.) A good attorney can help you get the best protection. Act quickly. You might want to get some pictures both from a land point of view and from Google or a drone flight to have “before” shots.

Thank you again. Looking into an OK attorney today to review the agreement they offered and advise.

Also in OK, the surface owner may own the produced water, so be sure and get clauses that might get you access to payments for lithium or hydrogen or anything else from pore space. Attorney should know about these things.

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Water access and leaving the water well, if one’s necessary, I had thought about, but not the points you make. I’ll be sure to bring them up with our attorney. Thank you!

Contact Hampton & Milligan in OKC. Long time Oil & Gas attorneys.

If they want to use your land to drill directionally/horizontally to other land which your land is not pooled/unitized with, your leverage increases greatly. (Actually, if that is the case, you can tell the company to pound sand.) Be sure they disclose in writing all drilling plans they have for your pad. Limit the use of the pad to just such identified wells.

Thank you, I’ll look them up!

Yes, it’s a horizontal, interval well that’s supposed to run 2 miles northward. I’ll be sure our counsel checks on pooling/utilization that might include our sections. I like your point about incorporating the specific drilling plans into the SUA, as well as limiting usage to just those plans. Thanks!

If the drill pad is not within the unit, they can’t force their way onto your property, even if they have an O&G lease covering your land. With that leverage, assuming you have no real objection to the pad, you might be able to extract other concessions. You might ask not only ask for a larger upfront cash payment, but additional annual rentals after five years or so. Adjusted to CPI.