I have been approached by a company wanting my signed permission to seismic my place in Wilbarger County. There is no money offered, and no timeframe listed. Should I ask for a mineral lease first? And if so, what are lease rates going for now?
In many areas, there is no money offered for seismic permission. They will probably not lease until they do the seismic shoot, process the data and interpret the results. Then they will decide if it is worth leasing. That timeframe could be months to years.
I’ve got no experience in your area but in other areas of Texas I’ve always been offered something per acre for a seismic permit.
Here are some questions and suggestion you might want to get into with the permit agent before you go any further:
- If your property isn’t under lease you don’t have any obligation to let them enter your property. If they won’t agree to the payment and permit provisions you think are logical you can decline. Ask for the names of the clients the work is being done for and for a map showing the area the proposed project covers. It’s possible they don’t have a client and this is just a speculative project.
- Will the work that is covered by the permit be done using Vibroseis (thumper trucks) or the old shot hole method? Thumper trucks are heavy and can cause surface damage particularly if work is done during wet periods. Shot holes can damage water wells. The permit should pin down the method used, and in the case of Vibroseis say no work will be done during wet periods that could cause ruts, or with shot holes, say no holes will be drilled within an agreed distance from any water wells.
- Hard to say what a fair price is for your area. If possible, talk to your neighbors or big landowners in your area, see what they have been offered and if they haven’t signed yet suggest negotiating as a group. In some parts of Texas $20-30 per acre was pretty common before Covid arrived.
- If you decide to sign a permit you should limit the term of it. I’d try for 6 months from the date the permit is signed and require receiving payment before anyone enters your property. Seismic companies like to write permits in a way that makes the any payment you receive for the permit the total potential payment due for damages but if you have water wells, valuable improvements, crops or improved pastures that could be seriously damaged by ruts then require the permit to say payment for those types of damages will be in addition to what you receive for signing the permit.
Thank you for the info.
Thank you for the info. Good info to think about.