You Only Have Surface Rights and No Mineral Rights — Some Issues for You
If you own only the surface rights for a tract of land and you have no mineral rights, what’s the potential impact of oil or gas production from your land? If you’re thinking of buying surface rights to land, without the minerals, what should you understand before you buy? Attorney Ray Kerlick talks about these issues and related ones in this video.
We have five offices in Wharton County, Fort Bend County, and Matagorda County and serve landowners from all over Texas. Call or text 800-929-1725 for an appointment. Appointments can be in-person, online, or by phone.
Summary of Oil and Gas Issues for Owners of Surface Rights and No Mineral Rights
Hello, my name is Ray Kerlick. I’m a partner at the law firm of Wadler, Perches, Hundl, and Kerlick in Wharton, Texas.
Today I was hoping to talk with you a little bit about oil and gas production in Texas and specifically the surface damages and the use of your surface as a landowner in Texas. In Texas, oil and gas, and surface are two different interests potentially. Most of us are familiar with this idea that two different people may own the surface rights and not own the mineral rights or the oil and the gas.
Recognize that you as a surface owner who does not own minerals have limited rights. This is also something that you as a potential buyer of a tract of land should be aware of.
If you don’t have the executory rights to the minerals, meaning the right to sign the lease, you will not have any rights to determine what actually goes into the lease. So you’ll be at the mercy of the oil and gas mineral owner.
That said even in those situations the oil and gas company is not entitled to damage your surface estate unreasonably. That damage might be spills, broken fences, or livestock or crops that may be killed by oil and gas activities on the property. These are all items for which you would be entitled to petition and potentially sue the oil and gas company to recover your reasonable damages related to their usage of the oil and gas well.
This is a very tricky subject and one that you should speak with a lawyer about. Before buying a property with no mineral rights, you ought to be discussing these issues with your lawyer. You should ask your attorney about the difficulties you might have five or ten years down the road when this property might get developed for oil or gas.
Get the Experienced Legal Help You Need Before You Buy Land
The attorneys of Wadler, Perches, Hundl & Kerlick have many years of experience representing the rights of surface as well as mineral owners in issues related to oil and gas law. Call or text 800-929-1725 for an appointment at our offices in Wharton County, Fort Bend County, and Matagorda County. Appointments can be in-person, online, or by phone.