When I purchased some acreage across the road from my house several years ago , I inherited a Tennessee Gas pipeline row that cuts through perhaps 900 or so feet of it. With all the comotion lately about the need for more pipelines to service a growing number of gas wells , I figured I better find out some details of the agreement signed back in the day by the now long deceased landowners.Who knows , maybe there is potential to cash in if they ever want to add some more lines.

Well , after a couple wild goose chases dealing with Kinder Morgan trying to track down a copy , I finally hooked up with the right connection and today my copy arrived in the mail! On October 28,1949 the landowners signed for a whopping $10.00 + $1.00 per Rod. That's right ONE DOLLAR PER 16-1/2 FEET! Works out to about 6 CENTS PER FOOT per line. Don't guess I'll be getting rich any time soon off of this!

There's a moral to this story. Get the most you can for you now and the future landowners someday down the road. I can't believe this was a good deal even in 1949. These landowners were immigrants and simple farmers and my guess is they were taken full advantage of by a slick land man. Or was it the norm for 1949....?

Anyone else had the pleasure of looking up old row agreements with crappy terms like this?

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Don't fret too much Trap, I'm working on one now for 150 acres and the lease goes back to the 1970's, not as old, but just as one-sided.

Ron My jaw hit the floor when I read that dollar per rod part. Had to google to see what a rod was and couldn't believe it was 5-1/2 yards or 16-1/2 feet! Man , even a buck a foot had to be lowball , even in 1949......incredible.......practically free!


My company may be in a position reversed from the norm.  Pipeline is coming our way to hook up 4 new Utica wells and we found out the ROW was signed by the wrong party :')

Great stroke of luck!

Trapper; have an attorney review it.  May be a clause you can use.

Jim can you PM me names of good o&g attorneys in our area? Thanks.
Thanks Jim. I just may do that.
Trapper, it is interesting that you bring this subject up just now. I also bought acreage with a Tennessee Gas, now Kinder Morgan, pipeline running through it. Because we have a Christmas tree farm, I have had a close relationship with the Tennessee Gas folks for the past 30 years because I had them come and mark their ROW each spring so they couldn't complain that I planted trees on it, as they did once.

However, now they need to replace the pipeline so it has gotten very interesting. When they did a survey last Spring, I went to the Recorders office and made a copy of the ROW agreements so I knew what we were dealing with. The owner of one parcel that is about 50 yards wide was paid $240 in 1956. The second parcel contains 60 acres and the owner was paid $1900. I'd guess that the length of the line on that piece is less than a quarter of a mile. Both ROWs clearly state that the agreement is for only one pipeline. The agreement for the larger tract clearly specifies that the permanent easement is 30 feet while the smaller tract does not specify the width. It is my understanding that this has to do with the fact that the owner of the larger tract was not cooperative and was ordered by the court to let the line go through. Others might understand this better than I do but the width of the easement is important to me.

The current situation is that I received a courtesy call two weeks ago stating that the work on line would begin starting the end of November through December. After some discussion about Christmas Tree season, the pipeline replacement has been delayed. However, the surveyors were back in force last week and now there are stakes about every 20 feet along the line as far as the eye can see. Through all of this though, I have to say that everyone that I have dealt with from Tennessee Gas, including their contractors has been very pleasant to work with as long as we all understand that we need to treat each other with respect. Although the pipeline replacement is a bother, I'd much rather go through that than a pipeline explosion.

Kathi, I assume these two parcels you speak of are now your property with the pipeline? How wide of a row do they stake every spring? Is it 30 feet wide throughout both parcels? I would assume the width they mow would be the total row too but not sure.


When I had Tennessee Gas mark their row it was on the larger piece and they marked 30 feet. We do our own mowing except for a small wooded area that they mow and they keep it to 30 feet. We do not grow trees on the smaller piece and since we maintain that parcel as a lawn, we do the mowing.

It will be interesting to see if they keep within their 30 feet when they replace the line. When the line was first put in they had an additional temporary easement of 22 1/2 feet on each side of the permanent easement for workingmspace which gave them a total of 75 feet. The temporary easement ended when the construction was complete. We'll see what happens.
Kathi my agreement does not specify width either but it does include language allowing additional lines at the same payment per rod.

$1.00 in 1949 had the same buying power as $9.53 in 2013.

Annual inflation over this period was 3.58%

Googled the above- not a good deal, even in 49,

Additional line at the same payment is a real killer. Only hope would be that a sharp lawyer can find a hole somewhere in the old lease.

Your moral of the story is absolutely correct.

As I have said in some other threads - I don't believe a pipeline ROW is worth the trouble unless "wheeledge" or a continuing annual payment (preferably with a escalation clause) can be negotiated.   Good luck with that, but maybe, just maybe, if enough landowners start demanding it ..........      Nah, not gonna happen.



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