Austin, TX asked in Energy, Oil and Gas and Real Estate Law for Texas

Q: If you have fractional interest in mineral rights, can you prevent someone from drilling on the surface of the land?

I know if you have the full "twig" that is ingress and egress, you can prevent any drillers from coming on your land...

But what if you have fractional, undivided interest (1/8th or 1/5th or 1/6th)?

1 Lawyer Answer
James Tack Jr
James Tack Jr
  • Energy, Oil & Gas Law Lawyer
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Generally, all cotenants have the right of access to the jointly owned property. If you own surface and a partial mineral interest, the other mineral interest owners are your cotenants and they have right of access also. The best solution for a surface owner with partial mineral interest is to sign a lease with the operator of the well to be drilled with whatever surface restrictions you and they can agree to. Your success of doing so depends upon how much land you have and its relation to the unit to be formed. With horizontal drilling, it is easier for an operator to move surface locations. With vertical drilling, it is sometimes more difficult. You should consult with an oil and gas attorney for a solution to our particular situation.

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