Natural gas and pipeline companies are aggressively pursuing Pipeline Right‐of‐Way Agreements from landowners across Pennsylvania. Pipeline Agreements are powerful legal contracts carefully drafted by experienced gas and pipeline company lawyers to benefit the company, not the landowner.
Landowners should reject Pipeline Agreements or must negotiate to maximize financial compensation and protect and preserve the landowner’s property. Virtually all Pipeline Right-of-Way Agreements are negotiable and companies do not knock on the landowner’s door with their best offer in hand.
Remember, no matter what the gas or pipeline company landman tells you, they are 100% on the side of the energy company and they are paid to secure the most company friendly Pipeline Agreements possible.
Most Landowners and lawyers do not understand the landowner’s right to decline a Pipeline Agreement offer and lack the expertise and experience to effectively evaluate their negotiation leverage. As a result, landowners are signing bad pipeline agreements, routinely leaving substantial compensation on the negotiation table and not protecting their property for future generations.
If you are approached by a company landman seeking a Pipeline Right‐of‐Way Agreement, do not repeat the mistakes made by thousands of other Pennsylvania Landowners who have signed very poor Pipeline Agreements. Any Landowner considering a Pipeline Agreement should immediately retain an attorney with substantial experience negotiating and drafting Pipeline Right‐of‐Way Agreements and detailed Addendum terms.
Pipeline Right-of-Way Agreements must be negotiated to, among other things:
- Maximize financial compensation, including upfront “option” payments and future compensation and surface damage payments (crops, timber and more);
- Specifically identify the location of the right-of-way and easement area, without leaving open costly company friendly loopholes that allow the company to modify the “agreed upon” route in the future;
- Minimize surface activity and impact, including negotiating the narrowest possible permanent right-of-way, temporary right-of-way, temporary work space, additional work space, and staging and storage areas;
- Limit ingress and egress, including eliminating the pipeline company’s ability to construct access roads or use existing roadways to travel over the surface of the property;
- Significantly limit and restrict the company’s ability to install multiple pipelines, above ground facilities, cables, fiber optic lines, wires, poles or other communication or transportation related equipment;
- Protect the landowner from personal and environmental liability for major industrial operations occurring on their property;
- Establish a termination mechanism for the Pipeline Agreement to avoid entering into a permanent Pipeline Agreement;
- Provide for detailed reclamation requirements within defined timeframes after any and all surface operations, including pipeline installation operations, maintenance operations and upon termination of the Pipeline Agreement;
- Eliminate potentially costly yearly negative tax consequences as a result of the installation of pipeline facilities and access roads.
Equally important, all Pipeline Agreement Addendum terms must be skillfully drafted and written to eliminate powerful company loopholes. Company presented Pipeline Agreements and Pipeline Addendum terms are purposely loaded with calculated loopholes to benefit the company. Remember, the gas company lawyers drafting the Pipeline Agreement and Addendum terms are not working for you.
Attorney Doug Clark has negotiated Pipeline Right‐of‐Way Easement Agreements on behalf of hundreds of Pennsylvania landowners with over 50 separate gas and pipeline companies. Doug personally negotiates and personally drafts strong comprehensive Addendum terms to Pipeline Agreements to eliminate powerful company planted loopholes.
Doug also understands the complicated process of effectively evaluating landowner leverage and using this leverage to negotiate the strongest possible Pipeline Agreement for his clients. Through skilled negotiations our pipeline clients have obtained millions of dollars above the original compensation offered by the pipeline company, while simultaneously protecting and preserving their property.
Attorney Doug Clark is Pennsylvania’s Landowner Lawyer and Doug is at the forefront of Pipeline Agreement representation. If you are presented with a Pipeline Right-of-Way Agreement, let Doug’s experience work for you. Contact us today!