Kinder Morgan is getting ready to replace a major line that goes through our property. The original ROW agreement signed in 1956 grants a permanent easement of 30 feet plus a temporary easement for workspace of 22 1/2 feet on either side of the permanent easement. The temporary easement was terminated "at the expiration of one year from the completion of the construction of the pipeline on the Grantors land". So my question is, will they not need as much workspace to replace the line as they did to install it? Surveyors have mark the centerline of the permanent easement but not the boundaries of it.

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One would not think they would need that much space to bury a line 4-6 feet deep but they seem to be a freak show of sorts for installing simple lines.  30 is plenty of room but you never know

If they go outside of the permanent easement I would ask for damage payments.


What if the line is replaced with a larger inside diameter pipe than currently existing? Technically this is not a true replacement , but an upgraded capacity line ....? Could this be construed as an additional line , opening your "no additional lines" agreement to some renegotiation?

As far as workspace goes ,I have a row agreement with Markwest that gives them 100' during construction with a 75' actual row. I also have workspace agreements where it would cross the road that measure 50'x100' for staging pipe , etc.

I think a good o&g lawyer should be in the cards. As you know , I also have an old Tennessee Gas (now Kinder Morgan) line through my place as well. No word of any changes to it thus far , but forseeable I think.

Trapper, thanks for your thoughts. The 1956 ROW agreement specifies one pipeline. It has been clear from the start that it is an upgrade required due to the number of residences within a running mile, most of which are campers in a campground on my northern border. When they are done it will still be one pipeline.

I appreciate your information about the amount of space in your Markwest agreement. That certainly is a lot more space than Kinder Morgan has to work with under the lease on my land. As for staging pipe, I was approached last June about leasing some of my land for a pipe yard for this upgrade project. I told the land man that we could talk after he gave me a written proposal that I never received. I was told two weeks ago they were not going to use my land for a pipe yard but then was asked by the surveyors where it was to be located. The truth is, I have the only flat land in the project area and 75% of the land involved is mine. Since the plan seems to change weekly I will give it a little more time to see what the next version of the plan is. As of last week the plan was to start digging in the end of March.

I see , your line is a utility line delivering gas to homes , etc. The one here is supposed to be pretty big and I believe it is a high volume trunk line. Two different animals I assume. Good luck to you and please keep us posted!

Trapper, the line through my land is a 36 inch line running from the Gulf to the East Coast. It is large enough that the snow melts on top of it and when the soil is really wet the thing actually rumbles.

It is my understanding that there are differing standards for pipeline quality depending on the number of people that live close to the line. If it runs through a populated area the rules are different than if it only runs through a corn field. Since they keep crowding people into the campground on my northern border, that is also bisected by the pipeline, the population density now requires an upgrade to the line. They have been talking about the upgrade for two years, and it is my understanding that some Fed agency has imposed a deadline for the work to be done. At least all of this is what the Tennessee Gas folks have been telling me.


I would certainly ask for something in writing spelling out exactly what they are going to do and why. If it is a Fed mandate for upgraded standards they must have some paperwork to that effect. You have asked them for a written proposal for the pipe yard and...... funny how "put that in writing" seems to change things all of a sudden. lol

If they are just upgrading the line for more capacity I would think this may open up as Trapper notes "additional lines".

I know nothing about pipeline construction but a 36" pipe is pretty big. 30' may indeed be enough room for construction . My guess is that some additional room may be needed one side or the other. Maybe not - again I would require some paperwork on this before they turn a shovel full of dirt.

Cynic that I am - it is entirely possible that they are indeed going to install a larger capacity line and know that will reopen portions of the existing ROW agreement.

 The original agreement dates from 1956 - existing pipe certainly is a bit old-

likely needs to be replaced, so my above statement may just be cynical.

I would keep a gimlet eye on the entire operation!  lol


For those who know from experience, a 36" line replacement project will require a substantial amount of material to be removed from the excavation.  Large equipment is also required.

Think about it, 4 feet of cover, for the pipe itself, 3 feet deeper at a minimum, that is seven feet of material x width (following OSHA trenching requirements or shoring) plus pipe string out - welding work area, is a lot of material and width needed.  The size of equipment, amount of dirt material, ditch width, every inch of the original (1956 30 foot plus 45 temporary) 75 foot wide easement is needed, IMO this is cutting it very tight.  The only other option is to directionaly drill (bore) under the property and slide the pipe through the bore hole. This can be done also, less surface disturbance.

From reading above, the population increase has potentially made this a High Consequence (49CFR192 HC) area and is getting some upgrade attention.

You can spell out the soil / subsoil separation (double ditch method) re-seeding requirements, soil test, lime and fertilizer, replant trees / damages, etc.

Thanks Tony, that is kind of what we thought. Surely Kinder Morgan knows what their right of way is. Wouldn't you think that they would approach us to discuss a temporary easement as was done when the pipeline was first constructed?
Tony, I have sent you a friend request so I can ask more about 49CFR 192 HC.

James, thanks so much for this information. It is clear that they will need a lot more than 30 feet to replace a 36" pipeline.

Very interesting report James, thank for posting it,


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