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Oil/Gas/Easement and Right-ways


Dear Cliff;

My Mom and Dad bought a house and some property back in 1971; a gas company had them sign a easement and right-away in that same year just a few months later. They had no clue what the easement and right-away was all about. They truly thought it was part of the deed signing and gas lines were layed on their property. Two years later another Gas Pipeline Company took over the pipeline and wanted to get my parents to sign another agreement, but instead went with the original agreement with the previous Gas Company. And since than this pipeline on their land has changed hands at least five times, with a new Gas Company taking over just this year. Now my father died 20 years ago. I have been trying to get the now Gas Company to provide us with legal documents that gives them the right to conduct their buisness on my mom's property, but they have refused and have not return any phone calls in the last month. I was also told by one the Gas personal that the line on mom's property was not and has not been in service for years.

Now my question or should I say questions are: Can these companies use the same easement and right-away to construct their buisness on my mom's property without communicating or paying her for it, and How could we go about getting the easement and right- away void.

The easements that are signed are perpetual and cannot be rescinded unless there is a provision in the contract for abandonment.  You should visit the courthouse and obtain a copy of the original easement agreement.  This agreement contains all the terms of your agreement and if there is any way to get out of the easement/ right-of-way agreement then that document will tell you how that can be done.

To answer your questions directly - yes, the companies who own the right of way can sell and transfer that right at will.  They accomplish the continual use by the executed signature so many years back and the payment that was made at the execution.  If they didn't make payment at that time then the contract is void.  Other than that, look at the contract and see how to terminate that easement.



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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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Husband and father of 26 years

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