Even if you've not leased or agreed to seismic testing, it's a good idea to check any parts of your property that aren't visible from the house, road, etc. I had gotten a notice that there would be testing in the area, and planned to - once the snow was gone - go around the perimeter of the property and replace any Posted signs that were down. At the first corner I went to last weekend, I found several stakes on adjoining properties and one about 200' onto my property, not visible from the property line. There was a six-digit number on the stake but no indentification of who had placed it. As I found later, there were unmarked places where they could have wandered onto the property by mistake (now being corrected), but that wasn;t one of them.
Update - The single stake was the tip of the iceberg. I'd left for last (to check) the property line I knew was well posted. I found 10 or so more shot hole stakes, most not visible from the property line The stake line was approximately three-fourths of a mile long and crossed the property. Since it was a source line (orange), the next step would have been mulching a 10-12' wide strip for the shot hole drill.
An East landman had contacted me by phone in March, 2008, but hadn't followed up. The next communication was an October, 2009 form letter saying East would be contacting unleased landowners in the area "very soon". Then, in February, a seismic permitting landman stopped by; his records showed I had leased the property to East. Not! I asked that the error be corrected and the next day a leasing landman showed up. Condensing the negotiations, I said I would consider a non-surface lease, definitely no roads. He produced an Addendum, saying it meant "we can't do anything on your property, just go under it". Since the Addendum explicitly allowed seismic testing, his representation was false. Finally, the day before I discovered the first shot hole stake, a Conquest scout on an ATV drove in. He was surprised when I said the property wasn't leased, but didn't mention that they were already doing line surveying on my land.
I wonder how often a "mistake" like this happens, It's reminiscent of East's claim to have a water pipeline right-of-way for their proposed water storage facility near Covington.
Good suggestion; thanks for replying I did consider "what if" I hadn't stopped them. But other than perhaps some merchantable timber, what provable financial damages would there be? Unless I missed something, I'm inclined to let my "compensation" be casting doubt on any assumption that seniors don't walk their properties.
I don't think there has to be financial damages. It's trespass...the information they would have gotten from the seismic testing is very valuable, and they were planning on stealing it from you without permission or compensation. I know that other people who were in this situation pressed the issue and had the gas company begging to "make it up to them".
What makes this site so great? Well, I think it's the fact that, quite frankly, we all have a lot at stake in this thing they call shale. But beyond that, this site is made up of individuals who have worked hard for that little yard we call home. Or, that farm on which blood, sweat and tears have fallen.[ Read More ]