Dallas, TX asked in Agricultural Law, Energy, Oil and Gas and Land Use & Zoning for Texas

Q: We own 83 acres of timber but not mineral rights. We have several homes (children) on our property and a cluster well.

We do not own mineral rights. Just received call from driller advising they will be drilling oil on our land. How do i protect our homes timber and water source?

1 Lawyer Answer
Aimee Hess
Aimee Hess
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Streetman, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: In Texas, the mineral estate is the dominant estate. That means that the mineral owner and the oil company have the right to make all reasonable uses of the surface for exploration, drilling and production of oil and gas.

The Texas Railroad Commission, the state agency which regulates oil companies, has rules that say that oil company activities can't be any closer than 300 feet to an existing structure, such as your residence. In addition, Texas courts have recognized that there are certain limits on the right of the oil company to use the surface. These limits are not in a statute, they have been created by court decisions. Each landowner's situation is decided on a case-by-case basis. You should immediately contact an oil and gas attorney to determine how these limits might apply to your property and then have the attorney contact the oil company to negotiate a surface use agreement to protect your property and that may provide for payment of damages to you and that will be signed by both you and the oil company. It's not recommended that you try this on your own without the input of a knowledgeable oil and gas attorney.

1 user found this answer helpful

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.