Right of Way Owners Group archives

Right-of-way owners. Pipeline, as well as other energy and utility right of way owners group where we can share experience, rates, and recent news.

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I've created this group after seeing multiple conversations regarding rates per rod as well as questions around what is actually allowed or negotiable in right of way agreements. Share your experience, rates, right of way agreement stipulations, opinion regarding eminent domain and other facts/news related to to right of ways here.

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Opinion piece from Barry Smitherman of the TX RRC regarding Eminent Domain when used by pipeline companies - chron.com

Today in Texas, when a company wants to build a pipeline, it starts by negotiating with the landowner to place an easement on land where the pipeline will be buried. The landowner still owns the land, but the company owns the pipeline and has the authority to make repairs to it if necessary. In most cases, pipeline companies can agree with landowners on an amount to pay for the right to run the pipe under their land. In the rare case where an agreement does not happen, the Legislature has given the pipeline companies the power of eminent domain in order to allow the placement of an easement on the property. If eminent domain becomes necessary, a court of law, not the Railroad Commission, reviews the facts of the case and determines whether eminent domain is allowed, and will decide the proper level of compensation for the landowner. Exercising eminent domain is an expensive, emotional and difficult process for all involved - every effort should be made to avoid it.

In a recent case, the Texas Supreme Court stated, "The Legislature grants certain private entities the power of eminent domain." Having said that, the opinion calls for a more thorough review of the process by which pipelines are granted the power of eminent domain. I have begun work crafting a solution that will protect private property rights and comply with the Supreme Court's decision.

Does anyone know where I can find old contracts between a pipeline company and landowner in Texas?

Can they be found in the County Records and/or Rail Road Commission?

Mineral Guy, what you posted, does it apply to common carriers and not just the run of the mill production pipeline from a single or cluster of wells ?

Trinity County, TX - First offer is $200/rod for 100+ rods, 16" NGL line, 50 ft. permenant easement. - All opinions are welcome.

I am very new at this and I have a question, does right of way also cover the land you own and have minerals to between a railroad and a 2 lane road when it was las sueved the men doing it said I owned the highway. Is that possible and if so would I get the mineral rights to me if I do own all away across the 2 lane road? Any help would be appreciated as I did not know you water lines had any money connected to them what about the water rights under this land do I get money on them just like any other mineral and if so who pays it also with them using water from underneth your property? Thank you Ramona I am very glad to be a member with you all and hope this grows.

Current informaion for Ward County Texas. We are in negotiations with

Enterprise Crude Pipeline LLC for a ROW across our land for the "Trinity Phase 2". The first contact was a certified letter notification of upcoming Survery Permiting Activities and the TEXAS LANDOWNER'S BILL OF RIGHTS.

We are negotiating through our attorney. The first phase is a Permission to Survey agreement. Once they decide they want the pipeline ROW which is to be 50 feet wide and want to excerise their RIGHT OF EMINENT DOMAIN they will send an offer for damages suffered for the taking of the land.

If you get paid for damages you avoid a tax situation so I have been told.

I would be interested in the current price per rod being paid in Ward County or other Texas counties for ROW's an any other information you might have accquired todate.

Thank you



You own the land to the middle of the road. The person across the road owns the other half of the road. Under the rail road, it's usually owned by the railroad.


You need to give them 50 feet working easement, but once the pipeline is completed, I would cut that easement down to 15 feet. Also, make sure it's for only one line and have them state the size. I never give them over a 15 foot permanent easement as you can't built on top of any easement. Then if something goes wrong with the line and they have to come back and dig it out, they have to pay damages for a working easement again.

We signed for $500/rod plus damages in Trinity Co., TX. They accepted all of our demands but one (they refused to bore our creek); i.e., only (1) pipeline 16" or smaller, nothing above ground but markers, limits of ingress and egress, damages, debris removal, time limits, double ditching, cattle crossings, abandonment issues, no grantor liability, & etc. They were very easy to deal with and actually voluntarily seperated the payment 50/50 - ROW and damages.

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I am glad to find this forum. Just found out someone is laying a pipeline across our property and we have not been contacted. We own both mineral and surface. There is a existing pipeline installed in the 60's and at that time owned by Trasok? Searching files for easement papers on this. Waiting on call from the OCC to find out if they have any info.

Great forum R.T.! My family owns ~ 3 Acres in the ROW for both a split two lane highway and the RR. In the O&G lease, it says the energy company gets to keep the minerals from beneath the ROW is my impression. What is up with that? Is it just shoddy leasing by the executive rights guy (we're just NPRI owners)? It is very clear in the mineral estate that the ROW mineral interests remain with the mineral estate and not the ROW owners. It makes a big difference to have the three acres in the ROW included in the formulas for potential royalty interests.

Ward County, Texas ROW update.

In late 2012 we entered into a ROW agreement with Enterprise Crude Pipeline, LLC of Houston, TX for the construction of the Trinity Phase 2, Talladega to MiVida Gathering lineconsisting of one 16 inch pipe line to run in an existing ROW. The negotiations took months to develope with

an inital offer of $50 per ROD with the final offer at $150 per rod and

with attorney fees added for a final price of $250.00 per rod.

When this started we received a certified letter from ECPL with a letter and the "State of Texas Landowner's Bill of Rights" which explains the

ROW regulations and fact that the pipeline companies have the Right of

Eminent Domain, giving them the right to condem the property they need for a pipeline unless you reach a settlement agreement for the ROE. By the way these leases are perpetural Row easements which means forever; after signing the lease you will receive nothing for the

perpetural term of the lease which passes to heirs.

We used an att,rney in Dallas, Texas for our negotiations:

Hi Mr. East, Understood about the surface rights. But are you saying that at 10,000 feet below the ROW one is out of luck, too?

Regards, Ralpr

Hit the send button by mistake.

The Dallas attorney is:

Mr. Thomas Howell, of Counsel

Key Harrington Barnes, PC

3710 Rawlings Streem Suite 950

Dallas, Texats 75219

Direct Dial: thowell@keyharrington

Mr. Howell is a Texas mineral and property owner and has ROW's on his property. Mr. Howell is extremely well qualified and I would recommend

him for work in Texas.

The price per rod varies throughout Texas,


No!, the Row goes to a minimun depth of 36 inches more or less as needed.

They only have a few feet of surface rights plus or minus as required for the line. We still have surface rights on the ROW and can run cattle or crops but we can't build a permenant structure on top of the lines. We still have all Mineral rights to all depths below the surface. We currently have a horizontal well drilled to 5000 feet turned and running 5000 feet to the end of the drill location producing Oil and Gas. In the 60's two gas wells were drilled verticaly to 18,000 feet and produced for over 20 years. Who knows what future technology will allow and what can be discovered at all depths.

I am not an attorney but have learned enough through the use of Texas attorney's to know you need to hire one when it comes to dealing with

any and all oil/gas companies and ROW companies or you will get the

"shaft" as they say.

Hopes this helps.

Hi Mr. East, Thanks so much for the info and it being in line with what I thought. Unfortunately, we are just NPRI owners with no executive rights - so the lease is what it is. But it’s not producing, hopefully at unitizing/pooling time we can get what we should have coming with the aid of a O&G Atty? What would you do?



I would get an attorney to look over the lease and give you his opinion as to where you are.

You say "WE" meaning there are more than one owner of the three acres?

You would each have and undivided interest in the surface and mineral rights depending on if you own equal shares or one person has more than another then it is divided based on ownership.

HI Mr. East, We’re just the majority mineral estate owners. My grandmother sold the ROW rights in the early 50s to the State Hwy Dept, and to the RR. My late mother sold the severed surface estate and retained the majority mineral rights making us the Non-Participating Royalty Interest (NPRI) owners. We just own the mineral rights under the ROW - no surface ownership. I’m not complaining - just concerned (yes we own a lot more acreage, of course, as NPRI owners.

Kind Regards,



I'm really confused regarding your Nonparticipating R I. If you own the majority of the mineral, why would anyone only have a NPRI? Someone gave your rights away when they only keep NP. In most cases, the RR claims the mineral under what they purchases. In some states, even the hi-way claims it. My grandfather sold surface to the RR in 1900 and stated he only sold rights over the land. I was sure the over keep our minerals, only to find out it didn't. You do need an attorney to look into this as it will pay for itself in the future.