Surface Use Agreement SUA

Surface Use Agreements: “SUA”, are written contracts defining the pipeline or gas company’s ability to use of the surface of your property.

In relation to pipeline activity, Surface Use Agreements typically involve the proposed installation of above ground facilities, including, but not limited to Gas Valves, Pig Launchers, Pig Receivers, Meter or Compressor Stations, and Storage Agreements. Surface Use Agreements are also commonly used for the installation of well pads and related well site facilities.

The basic Surface Use Agreement presented by the pipeline or gas company landman offers very little to no protection for the landowner and should be refused or negotiated to address many negative issues for the landowner. Also, Surface Use Agreements often authorize the installation and use of a roadway to access the surface facility. Unsightly access roads present additional issues for the landowner that must be addressed.

Surface Use Agreements must be negotiated to, among other things:

  1. Maximize compensation;
  2. Protect the Landowner from liability;
  3. Eliminate potentially significant annual increases in taxes;
  4. Clearly define the scope of authorized negotiations;
  5. Establish the precise location of any surface installation, roadway, or surface structure;
  6. Define the limits of and scope of all surface operations and property impact;
  7. Establish a termination mechanism to avoid any permanent surface use; and
  8. Require detailed reclamation requirements after installation, maintenance and upon termination of the Agreement.

Remember, as with all pipeline and natural gas Agreements, the Landowner must understand their ability to decline any offer and must effectively evaluate negotiation leverage. All Surface Use Agreements are negotiable to benefit the landowner.

If you are presented a Surface Use Agreement, learn your options by contacting The Clark Law Firm, PC today. Attorney Doug Clark is Pennsylvania’s Landowner Lawyer and he will explain your rights and options and Doug negotiates Surface Use Agreements to maximize payments, protect you from personal and tax liabilities, and much more. Contact us today!