Guide to Surface Use Agreements

Location of drilling and production components are critical:

Well site:  Ask for distance tolerances of geological targets to minimize disruption to existing trees or view corridor;  consider requesting directional drilling to soften impact

Roads:  Don’t always settle for direct route to well/production site.  Maximize benefit to owner for all weather roads and aesthetics.  Require proper shaping, drainage, maintenance and specify materials.

Flow lines, Gathering Lines and Pipelines:  Owner to specify location, depth, width and setbacks.  Request double trenching when possible and specify method of back fill

Production Facilities:  Avoid putting where just convenient to producer.  Keep tucked away and out of site and locate to minimize silhouette against horizon.

Compressors:  Avoid if possible, but if they are required, insist on noise suppression devices

Off-Lease Facilities :  Don’t allow facilities on your surface which service production off-lease

Aesthetics:

Equipment

Require low profile tanks and pumping units

Require noise suppression devices on equipment near houses or proposed home sites

Landscape around sites

Bury power lines in scenic areas

Specify gate types and require cattle guards when appropriate

Helpful rules

Prohibit nighttime operations especially near house

Limit truck access times

Specify maximum number of daily truck traffic

Require trash removal; have a strict trash containment policy to avoid “lunch bag effect”

Environmental:  (in addition to strict adherence to all local, state and federal laws)

Make sure all pits are lined and that once abandoned, the lining and all cuttings are removed.

Require produced water to be trucked off or specify discharge quality to standards required by local authorities.

Require a Reclamation Plan to include proper compaction, reseeding, erosion control, plugging of wells, removal or abandonment of pipelines.

Require a Dust Control Plan.

Health and Safety

Insist on a Traffic Plan to include speed limit, hours of operation and points of ingress/egress.

Insist on a Fire Plan.

Require a weed control plan on roads, around equipment and gates.

If livestock present, consider requiring truck washing or decontamination to minimize spreading of diseases such as Hoof and Mouth.

Not only post No Trespassing signs, include provisions prohibiting hunting, fishing, firearms, alcohol consumption and introduction of domestic pets to the property.

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