I would like to see a serious discussion concerning pipeline companies and their methods of operations was they contract or attempt to contract with landowners for permanent easements.
What constitutes illegal behavior by the Pipeline guys (Fraud, misrepresentation, etc) vs. just good old-fashioned hard bargaining?
As a tidbit to the readers, I will offer that the terms and conditions (including price) that I have seen for these lines as negotiated with landowners have been woefully inadequate.
Moreover, as this discussion develops we may discover that Pipeline companies, in their course of dealing with the landowner, regularly step over the line for what is considered legal behavior.
This should not be a recitation of what is "fair" or "unfair" - that is decided between the landowner and the pipeline company as they haggle with one another.
Rather, when does pipeline company turn from shrewd business and hard bargaining into something that becomes illegal?
It is interesting that nobody responded on this post. Here are my thoughts based on a real experience.
Pipeline companies typically form land acquisition shell Corps or LLCs which then subcontract "land agents" to negotiate ROW agreements with landowners. In many cases they represent themselves as direct agents of the very large midstream/pipeline company, but in reality they are not employees and they can easily get away with verbal misrepresentation. I am not sure what is considered illegal behavior (since they are not under an oath) in this business, but I would not sign any document, without specific approval of a good Oil/gas attorney. There are way too many holes to fall in legally and financially.