Surface Access Fees

A long time ago, Ambrose Claybar told me, "Buddy, i don't do anything for free." And he meant it.

The first time that I EVER heard of a Surface Access Fee was when we wanted to lay a line over Temple Inland Land. They would not let us set foot on the property, not even to look around, until there was an agreement in place, with them assuming laibilities, no firarms, hunting, fishing, etc. No fences cut, waste picked up and disposed of and anything else they could cram in a form.

When pipeline companies start off a negotiation threatening eminent domain, make sure that you get a surface access fee, with a free copy of the survey, location of indian burial mounds and anything else they might stumble across.

The pipeline company has to has to take you to court to enforce eminent domain, A surface access agreement has NOTHING to do with eminent domain. I told one permit agent our fee per acre and he almost choked. He said that they just wanted to look around. My response was that you just wanted to commit criminal trespass. I told him that we would stand our ground and if that meant us defending ourselves, then come and take it. They caved within days. We also set the tone for future negotiations.

HOWEVER, with a surfce access agreement, you maximize your asset value since it is a totally different animal than a pipeline ROW. Ask your oil and gas attorney if they have such an agreement, or a trusted mineral manager. If the pipeline company takes it upon themselves to ignore you and enter into a bad faith trespass, seize their property and hold them until the sheriff arrives.

As you age, you realize that you can always learn something new. The something new in Surface Access Agreements, Oil and Gas Leases, Pipeline ROW agreements, etc (anything to do with the surface of the lands), in addition to the other consideration, write in and demand a "monitoring fee" of $500.00 per day , for each and every day that the company is on the property to ensure that operations are being conducted according to the terms of the relevant agreement.

This concept hit me in the face last week and now all my forms will have this worked into them to (1) maximize asset value and (2) to protect your property and the environment.


Do you have a sample clause for this provision?

Thank you.