Community Resources

Landowner Rights

Private property ownership in Texas is a bedrock principle. Private property ownership accounts for 95 percent of all land holdings in the state.

When pipeline companies are considering a new project, they are fully committed to working alongside landowners through a fair and open process that strikes the right balance between protecting private property rights while ensuring the essential infrastructure needed for a growing Texas can continue to be built. With every action, the companies hope to achieve their goals fairly, openly and with respect.

In the context of minerals, a property owner may own the minerals under the land. If the property owner severs mineral ownership from surface ownership, two types of estates are created: a mineral estate and a surface estate. When this occurs, legal rights and responsibilities flow to each, separate estate.

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Mineral Owner Rights

Ownership of the mineral estate includes five essential rights: 1) to develop 2) to lease 3) to receive bonus payments 4) to receive delay rentals and 5) to receive royalty payments.

If the mineral owner decides to develop the estate himself,

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Surface Owner Rights

Except in narrow circumstances, the severed surface owner does not have the right to participate in or control the development of the minerals underneath the property.  Still, many oil and natural gas leases today contain provisions expressly providing for compensation or other benefits to the owner surface estate. 

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