A land service company has contacted me multiple times wanting to go onto my farm to which I only have surface rights. They say they just want to see if there is a place suitable to locate a 3.67 acre pad for three horizontal wells. If they somehow get permission to stake out a place to “see if it is suitable” will that then give them the legal right to go on and make a pad and drill even if I don’t like what they say they will do? _
The mineral estate has dominance over the surface estate, so yes, they can do that and it is legal-has been for centuries. However, most mineral leases have a 200’ away from house or barn clause. You will need to negotiate a surface use agreement with the help of an attorney if they do need to use your land.