Surface payment for well siting (drilling pad)

What is a reasonable surface payment arrangement to expect for allowing 5 acre well site in Mountrail County ND?

It can depend on the type of ground involved. Is it productive farmland, hay meadow, grassland, badlands? Is it near a house or other structure?

It is productive farmground where they are wanting to site. No houses or farm buildings are on the site.

According to a friend who operates in the area, you could probably get $2-$3,000 an acre up front and maybe 10% of that amount for an annual rental. A lot also depends on how unique the location is and what alternatives they have. You don’t want to be unreasonable and chase them to your neighbors land.

You should also be aware of the procedures for “bonding on” to the land if an agreement can’t be reached. The exact process varies from State to State, but basically the Operator can come on anyway and the damage payments are subject to third-party mediation.

Appreciate your reply and information. This is new to us so any advice and recommendations are very welcome.

You many also want to see if one of the universities has a surface use lease so you can read the terms that they require. (The University of Texas has one as an example. But the laws will probably be different in North Dakota.) It is always good to get an attorney that specializes in surface use agreements to write your lease as that location may be there for decades and decades.

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Thanks for that suggestion. Will try to find out if North Dakota has something similar to Texas in that regard.

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