Property Owners Learn How to Deal with Pipeline Negotiations - - No One Gets You Closer

Property Owners Learn How to Deal with Pipeline Negotiations

GRAYSON CO -- Dozens of people turned out Thursday night to learn more about their property rights when it comes to gas line companies wanting to build pipe lines.

"We had a pipeline representative, land man come to our house and tell us they wanted to build a pipeline across us," says John Maddux, a land owner in Denison who had to deal with a pipeline company.

It is becoming more and more common for property owners, like Maddux, to have to negotiate with oil and gas companies. So Chuck Jones, the Grayson County Agricultural Extension Agent, asked for an expert on agricultural law to come talk and answer questions on their legal rights as property owners.

"We want people to be educated. We want them to know what their rights are, we want them to know how to negotiate," says Jones.

Tiffany Dowell is an Agricultural Law Specialist. She gave property owners a list of things to look for in the lease that gives oil and gas companies the right to use their land.

"They need to understand how the law works, what they can't ask for, what they should be asking for, and not to just jump and sign the first piece of paper that gets put in front of them," says Dowell.

Maddux says the pipeline company he dealt with wanted to cut down some huge oak trees on his property.

"They wanted to pay us like fifty dollars a piece for them, well we went and started researching what they were really worth and it ended up like just the value of the trees alone was three hundred and sixty thousand dollars."

Jeff Youree is another property owner who had to negotiate three different pipelines in the last five years.

"I feel like the pipeline company, yeah they do lie to you, they didn't hold up to what they said but they pretty much held up to what they put in writing which that was the mistake I made."

For Maddux, doing the research paid off and the pipeline company ended up building around his property.

"I want people to know there is information out there. Do a lot of it yourself so when you do take it to a lawyer, he is not running around to find things."