Ownership of underground pipeline

I am trying to find out if payments should be made for an existing pipeline on property which I inherited. The pipeline runs the entire length of the property and used to connect to a pumping station. A new pumping station has been erected directly across the main street and you can tell where it has been dug and connected to the pipeline on my property. How can I find out the necessary information on ownership of this pipeline?

Normally, pipeline right-of-way is paid for on a one time basis when the pipeline is installed. In some cases, there might be an annual rental due but in my experience, that is not the normal practice. There should be a recorded ROW agreement in the County Courthouse.

Thank you for your response.

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Agree with everything Steve told you. It’s doubtful the easement covering that existing pipeline includes requirements for additional payments, particularly if the changes you are talking about aren’t being made within the boundaries of your property. But you should still try to obtain a copy of the easement and learn the provisions it includes.

Some points that could be important to you in the future are, Do they have the right to install additional lines, Does it allow changes in use (for example what the pipeline carries), Does it have a fixed term or expire within a specified period if it is no longer used, Does the original party the easement was granted to have the right to assign or sell it to someone else?

A lot of old pipeline easements didn’t even include specific limits on the location or width of the ROW. They just granted a blanket easement over the whole tract. If that’s what you find it might be worth trying to get the location and size of the easement defined. The company holding the easement doesn’t have to agree to that but since it is out of line with the way easements are now granted they generally will try to work with the surface owner if it doesn’t prevent them from using the easement or cost them money.

If you strike out on finding a copy of the recorded easement at the county court house try calling the pipeline company, talk to their ROW department and ask them to provide you a copy of the controlling document covering your property. The company’s name and number should be on a marker at places the pipeline crosses public roads.

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Thank you for that valuable information. I really appreciate that.

Is there a on line source for finding ROW agreements for Lincoln County?

Lincoln County Records back to 1993: https://okcountyrecords.com/search/lincoln Search by your legal description.

Thanks Richard for your help.

I have a rather unique situation that has me stumped. My father who is now deceased leased a gas gathering facility that had a underground pipeline running east to west (162 rods). The facility was dismantled in 2013 and cleaned up and abandoned by the company. Their original leases were on a yearly basis for the gas gathering facility. Since 2013, no new agreements for the underground 162 rods of pipe or ROW have been established. I am the new owner and was wondering what price is being offered per rod ( the existing pipe is 8 inches) plus ROW prices. I am beginning to try and start negotiations again. Also, would I be considered the owner of the underground pipe since their final letter states that they were abandoning after their cleanup of the site. Thank You

Ownership and control of the pipeline depends on the written terms of the agreement for the facility and pipeline, as well as the state law. Before taking ownership of the pipeline, you should consider whether there are any associated liabilities, based on the products running through the pipeline and the quality and details of the clean-up of the pipeline. Pipelines are often abandoned in place, but any liability for soil contamination, etc remains with the pipeline company and might be transferred to you if you take ownership. You should consult an oil and gas environmental attorney or other expert before trying to lease the or sell the pipeline to another company.

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Thank you for your response. I will check into that matter more thoroughly I appreciate it. Thanks again