Proposed easement

I have land in Pecos Cty , Texas and a company sent me an offer for a pipeline easement across my property. The wish to " acquire a thirty foot wide permanent easement across your property along with adjacent, temporary workspace easement, fifty feet in width."

For the Rights-of-Way they wish to pay me a proportionate amount of $80.00 per foot rod.

I believe this amount is way below what should be paid and was going to tell them that I at least need $150.00 per foot rod.

Would this be unreasonable?

Paul K Hafling

Permanent easement should be width of the pipe and easement should be single use and not be exclusive.

I have no real expertise in the matter but the suggestions above are common good business practice.

They could come back and put several pipes in over a period of decades for $0 payment with a 30 foot easement not restricted to single use. If they have exclusive right they can say no or extort money that may have gone to you if someone else wants to cross your land.

As for foot rod, I have no idea, is it $80 per foot or is it $80 per 16.5 foot rod? Just to get the discussion going. I suspect they lowballed you with $80 per rod. In my personal opinion, I wouldn't want an easement across property I own unless the monetary value was at least $20,000 to make it worth the hassle and aggravation and pay legal expenses.


I'm sure no expert here; but, I have had some experience with pipeline easements and they are all bad. With that said, sometimes they are necessary. First, I would never sign another easement of any kind that is classified as "permanent" unless there is a pile of money on the table or I am forced to by Right of Eminent Domain which would never happen without a fight. Second, as RWK stated, the statement about the companies $$$ value offer doesn't make sense since feet and rods are mutually exclusive. Gotta be either feet or rods, not both since a foot is a foot and a rod is 16.5 feet. Today most ROW's are negotiated in feet; but, 30 or so years ago, most were written in rods.

On one of my places, I have a pipeline ROW (classified as permanent) that was signed by my father way back in the 80's. The line was used or had gas flowing through it for about one year and then it was shut in on both ends. In 2014 drilling picked up again and the pipeline company decided to start flowing gas through that line. I had no other choice but to let them do what ever they wanted. That line just happens to go through a number of pieces of property and two of my neighboring landowners had pushed back on the pipeline company way back when and refused to sign a lease with a permanent clause in it. Instead, they signed a lease with a two year "in service with flow" clause. That line laid there out of service for over 30 years and when it was put in service again, both landowners got an updated contract and $30/foot to put the line in service again across their property. I got nothing, except the headache! By the way, the section of line on my place is over 3300 feet. 3300 x $30 = a bucket load of cash lost.

The motto to this story is learn as much as you can on your own as you are doing and then "get some expert" help!

Good luck.

I have been negotiating with about 10 of them this last 6 months. They are generally offering a per rod amount, and as you said, permanent easement of 30 feet. Some start with a bigger permanent easement, but usually, the size doesn't have to be more than the 30 feet. Get a rental for the temporary easement and time limit it to about 4 months. There is a University Lands Rate Schedule on the University lands site, and it is a great place to start your pricing. Note that the university easements are for 10 years, but I really don't want to be policing that in increments of 10 years. On that same schedule, there is a "current" renewal amount, but who knows what that renewal amount will be in 10 years? I usually start with the schedule which is by pipe size, and add two rental periods to it to give a "permanent" easement FOR ONE PIPE. I insert a clause that if the pipe isn't use for 12 consecutive months, the easement reverts to me (or my heirs).

They will scream bloody murder, but i have been averaging $200/rod for the past several years in Reeves and Ward counties. A lot of these companies are not ICC carriers with rights of eminent domain, but be careful--there is a specific court that can grant the eminent domain much faster than you think. If the pipeline company wins, they have to deposit money in an escrow until it is all finally settled, but once they do that, they can start the process of digging.

More bothersome are the power transmission guys because they are almost all ICC and they want huge amounts of land to put big towers on (easements of 80 feet or more) and lots of voltage overhead. Because they can "eminent domain you", they aren't near as much fun to deal with.

Another ploy I had to deal with this month was a company that wanted to put a "temporary" water pipe on top of my land--they are lazy because there are lots of buried pipes all over the area, and didn't want to do the work. I stopped that quickly, and now after studying their proposed line, they have decided to look at another area and avoid me. that is my last problem with them--big hurry, push and pressure to sign their agreement and you spend the time and resources and they decide (without telling you) they have changed their minds.