Oklahoma Surface Damage Agreement

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D. If the damages agreed by the parties or awarded by the court are greater than the deposit deposited, letter of credit, cash or surety certificate, the Operator must pay the damage immediately or deposit an additional deposit, letter of credit, cash payment or certificate of surety sufficient to cover the damages. Such increase in the deposit, letter of credit, cash payment or certificate of deposit shall be in accordance with the requirements of this Section. What is the Oklahoma Surface Damage Act? The Surface Damage Act requires oil companies to negotiate in good faith with landowners to determine and pay the amount of damage that will be caused to property by oil and gas operations. The damages considered are listed below. If these lawsuits fail, the Surface Damages Act provides a procedure for determining such damages through expert opinion and, where appropriate, a jury trial. Under customary law, the owner or lessee of mineral rights has the right to use as much surface land as is “reasonably necessary” to develop those minerals. For many years, oil and gas companies took the position that “reasonably necessary” meant they could do whatever they wanted. Whether or not a state has a surface damage law, almost every company that wants to develop an area will try to negotiate surface damage so as not to argue in court over “proper use.” (2) `surface owner` means the registered owner(s) of the surface of the land on which the drilling is to take place; §52-318.3.

Letter of Intent for Drilling – 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 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. F. The expert`s report may be considered by the court if one of the parties submits written objections to the court within thirty (30) days of the submission of the report. After the hearing, the court makes the corresponding order either by confirming, rejecting, amending or ordering a new notice for cause. Provided that in the event of a new evaluation, the Operator has a right of continuous access, subject to the maintenance of the deposit required herein.

Either party may, within sixty (60) days of the submission of such a report to the Clerk, make a written request for jury proceedings, in which case the amount of damages shall be determined by a jury. The trial takes place in the same way and the verdict is rendered as the conviction by the railway in court. A copy of the final judgment will be sent to the district appraiser in the county(ies) where the property is located. If the party requesting the jury proceedings does not receive a more favourable verdict than the expert opinion, all legal costs, including reasonable attorneys` fees, will be assessed against the party. Surface damage disputes typically arise when the surface owner claims that the operator has caused damage to the property around the well. The operator has the right to drill, but drilling operations must not cause unreasonable damage to surrounding surface properties, including crops, roads and livestock. Damage caused in accordance with this Act shall not prevent the owner of the surface from receiving additional damage caused by the operator at a later date. Tenants are generally responsible for compensating landowners for damage to their property. Landowners must grant tenants access to their wells. If you are a surface rights holder or an operator entering into an oil and gas lease, it is important to carefully formulate clauses regarding surface damage.

Over time, landowners have increasingly resisted the idea that companies can unilaterally define what is reasonable. Legislators in some states have enacted surface damage laws to address competing interests in the development of mineral rights and the consequences of that development on the surface. Other States have not taken such measures and have decided the matter on a case-by-case basis. We know what to do to protect your property from unacceptable damage and protect you from the financial burden of repairing surface damage. §52-318.4. Companies that can be deposited as a security deposit. One. Any operator operating in that State shall deposit a company guarantee, a letter of credit from a banking institution, cash or a certificate of deposit with the Secretary of State in the amount of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00), which are subject to compliance with sections 318.2 to 318.9 of this Title to pay for damages due to the site, that the operator cannot pay otherwise. The Secretary of State shall hold such a business guarantee, a letter of credit from a banking institution, cash or certificates of deposit for the benefit of surface owners in that State and shall ensure that such security is in a form easily payable to an owner of a surface who has been awarded damages in an action brought under this Act. Each corporate guarantee, letter of credit, cash or certificate of deposit submitted to the Secretary of State comes with a deposit fee of ten dollars ($10.00). 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. §52-318.6. Appeal against the decision on exceptions to the expert`s report or the verdict in the jury proceedings – execution of transfer acts. Any aggrieved party may appeal the court`s decision on exceptions to the expert`s report or the verdict in a jury trial. Such a remedy shall not be used to delay the execution of the work on the premises concerned if the arbitral award of the experts or the jury has been filed with the registrar for the use and benefit of the owner of the land. In the event of a review or appeal, a certified copy of the final order or judgment will be sent by the clerk of the court to the competent district clerk for submission and registration. If the operator asks the district court to appoint assessors, the owner of the area must notify the application within ten days. Once the surface owner has received their notice, the parties have 20 days to choose their appraisers.