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Oil/Gas/easement and right-away


Dear Mr. Williams,

My question is: Who files the easement in the courthouse, the land owner or Oil and Gas Company.

And if the easement was filed by the Oil and Gas Company and we ask them to produce a copy of that paper work and they refuse to produce us with a copy, do we have legal rights as land owners to put a lock on the gate and pipeline valve?

Thank You for your reply,


Cliff Gordon

I'm hoping that you are referring to easements within the State of Texas...and if so:

Anyone can file an easement of record.  Usually the oil and gas company files the document with the County Clerk.  Once the record is filed then all the oil and gas company is required to do is obtain a certified copy from the courthouse and that is an original for all purposes including in a court of law.

Therefore, if the easement is properly executed and recorded in the County Clerk's office and is an official record then the easement is proper and complete and your cause would not be served by locking the gate.  

On the other hand...the easement only allows them a certain number of feet of easement and they are trespassing if they get off that easement. (This is not including getting from the gate to the easement but if they move dirt they must stay on the easement)

I do hope I have provided some useful info even though I feel like I've only a small portion of the issue at hand.



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Cliff Williams


I will try to answer any question you have. Even if I reject a question, I still will give a shot at what I would do in your position. The only questions I will not take a shot at would be a highly technical engineering or geological question. I am beginning to see quite a few questions from land men and other oil companies and that doesn't matter to me either. I will attempt to help.


I am an oil and gas attorney that has been in the business for more than 20 years. I have held a series 22 and 63 securities license, been in oil and gas operations, land man, division order analyst all prior to obtaining my law degree. Today, I typically write title opinions verifying ownership of oil and gas minerals, assist landowners in negotiations on oil, gas and mineral leases, easements and conveyances. I also assist oil and gas companies with the sale of working interest ownership as well as common business law issues.

State Bar of Texas, Member of the Tarrant County Bar and the Dallas County Bar Associations.

Multiple oil and gas topical columns on

I have a B.S. degree which I rely upon more than my Business Mgmt degree or Law degree...

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