Not only are the lawyers at the landowners` firm very familiar with negotiating surface use contracts, but we also regularly handle surface damage cases in the jurisdictions in which we operate. We track companies because they use more space than reasonably necessary. Such notice shall be given to the surface owner in any manner provided for in Section 1 and Section 2 of Subsection C of Section 12 of title 12 of the Oklahoma Statutes for service of a subpoena by personal service or mail in a civil action. If the operator makes an affidavit attesting that he has conducted a search with reasonable care and that the location of the owner of the surface cannot be determined or that such notification cannot be issued, an implied notification of the intention to drill may be made in the same manner as that provided for the announcement of the process for the appointment of the appraisers. C. The operator chooses an appraiser, the surface owner chooses an appraiser, and the two selected appraisers choose a third appraiser to be appointed by the court, who is a state-certified general real estate appraiser and is in good standing with the Oklahoma Real Estate Valuation Board. Unless there is valid evidence, the District Court will grant an additional period of time, the three (3) examiners will be selected within twenty (20) days of notification of the notification of the application for appointment of the evaluators or within twenty (20) days of the first date of publication of the notice in accordance with subsection B of this section. If one of the parties fails to appoint an appraiser, or if both appraisers are unable to agree on the selection of the third appraiser within the required time frame, the other required appraisers will be selected by the District Court at the request of one of the parties, at least one of whom must be a state-certified general real estate appraiser and is in good standing with the Oklahoma Real Estate Valuation Board. Before taking up their duties, such experts must take an oath before a notary or other person empowered to take an oath and sign that they will perform their duties faithfully and impartially to the best of their ability. They inspect the property and take into account surface damage that the owner has suffered or will suffer as a result of trespassing on the property in question and through the drilling or maintenance of oil or gas production on the property in question. Assessors must then submit a written report to the Clerk within thirty (30) days of the date of their appointment. The report must include the quantity, boundaries and value of land entered or to be used on oil or gas wells, as well as the amount of surface damage that has occurred or is to be caused to the property.
The appraisers make an assessment and determine the amount of compensation to be paid by the operator to the owner of the area and how the amount is to be paid. These experts then report to the Court on their proceedings. The compensation of the experts is determined and determined by the court. The operator and the owner of the area contribute equally to the payment of expert and legal costs. Any operator who intentionally and knowingly fails to keep the required deposit up to date or fails to notify the owner of the surface before entering or fails to reach an agreement and does not seek expert advice from the court will pay triple damages to the owner of the surface on the instructions of the court. The practical effect of this is that companies offer money when the owner of the surface signs a contract. Most of the time, this contract is a release and often it is a unilateral release that only benefits the energy company. If operators and landowners do not reach an agreement, a new procedure begins. First, the operator must post a bond with the Oklahoma Secretary of State. This guarantee is intended to ensure the payment of the damage found.
Second, the operator must file an application with the district court of the county where the proposed well will be located. This petition asks the court to appoint appraisers to determine surface damage to the property. If an operator performs these steps correctly, they can enter the property even without the permission of the surface owner. However, the operator cannot enter the property until these steps have been completed. At LandownerFirm, our natural resources lawyers believe that the right course of action is to negotiate a fair land use agreement for both parties. A good surface use agreement clearly states the rights of each party. It defines and limits the scope of the version. It is executed by both parties and all conditions are clearly defined. Before signing a seismic exploration agreement, the landowner and operator must carefully consider a number of factors, including: 2.
“Surface Owner” means the owner(s) of the surface of the property on which the drilling operation is to take place. §52-318.3. Declaration of Drilling Intent – Negotiation of Surface Damage. Before entering an oil or gas drilling site, except in cases where there are non-state resident surface owners, non-state resident surface tenants, unknown heirs, imperfect titles, surface owners or surface tenants whose location is reasonably determined, the operator must provide the surface owner with written notice of its intention to drill, which must include a designation of the proposed site and the approximate date on which the operator begins to commence the proposed site. Drilling. At this stage, it should be noted that oil and gas operations at the site in question may continue even if an exception or request for a jury trial is made, provided that the operator files an amount equal to the estimated damage with the clerk of the court […].