Lawyer offers landowners advice when negotiating mineral rights

GRAYSON COUNTY, TX - As oil and gas continue to boom in Texas, pipelines are rapidly being built across private land leaving some landowners with difficult decisions.
Thursday night in Grayson County a Texas A&M assistant professor and extension specialist spoke to residents and offered some useful advice.

Several dozen residents showed up at the Grayson County courthouse to get some much needed advice.

"I'm here in Grayson County to do a presentation on oil and gas lease negotiations and pipeline easement negotiations," said Tiffany Dowell.

Tiffany Dowell is a lawyer, assistant professor and extension specialist for Texas A&M. She offered residents some answers to questions the county frequently receives.

"We get quite a few phone calls. We have a lot of pipelines coming through North Texas, some are water and some are high pressure gas, and they're crossing across peoples property and they're being contacted for easements. So people need to know how to negotiate with these companies so they can protect their resources and get fair payment for their properties," said Chuck Jones, an agriculture and natural resources agent

Dowell said property owners should consider certain terms when it comes to dealing with oil and gas companies on your property.

"It's really important for landowners to protect the surface estate, to protect the surface of the land. The best way to do that is to put specific terms doing so when negotiating the oil and gas lease," said Dowell.

She also said when dealing with pipeline easement...

"Probably the most important thing there is to be real specific. A lot of times companies come in with easements that are real general. They don't really set out the rules as far as what's going to happen. The more specific the landowner can get that agreement the better off he is going to be," said Dowell.

One landowner currently in the process of leasing his land said what he learned Thursday night will help protect himself and his property.

"All of it was a shock because you think a lease would be there to help you and things like that. But basically the lease is made for the oil company and you don't realize that until you hear some of the things that came out of this," said Mack Broyles, a Grayson County landowner.

Dowell stressed that whenever entering into a contract with any company, you should always talk to an attorney to make the best, informed decision.

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