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my Family owns 160 acres of farm land , we have 3 wells with 3 different oil companies on it. the problem is our lease roads are in very bad shape we have asked the oil company's to fix them to wich 2 companies have agreed but the third is refusing. the roads are so bad the pumpers are driving thru our fields and pastures to avoid the roads. what can i do about this? can i lock the gate and refuse to give the combo to the 3rd oil company?

When you have an agreement with an oil and gas company both sides must abide by that agreement.  The oil and gas company has a "Surface Use Agreement" (SUA) which was signed by the surface owner when the wells were first drilled.  This agreement should be recorded in the county courthouse Clerk's office in the property records.

You should obtain this document from the courthouse and read it carefully.  You can attempt to use the remedies found in that document and if you don't find the oil company responsive then you may want to hire an attorney to contact them and attempt to settle it amicably.  

Bottom line is - the pumper has a narrow easement and they are trespassing if they get off that easement to check the wells.  The SUA states how wide that easement is to be and who is to maintain the easement.  You might also check the original oil and gas lease to see what surface comments/requirements you will find there (this is recorded in the clerk's office as well).

You must have the agreements in hand to see what the rules of the relationship are...then, hold the company to that agreement.  Starting with locking them out is a poor choice because they can get the sheriff to make sure they have passage by showing the officer their lease agreement.  You must pre-build the case to show that they have breached their agreement.  Lock-out is not out of the question it is just down the road further than where we are today.



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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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