What Does Easement Have To Do With Selling My Mineral Rights?
October 2, 2017
The sale of mineral rights requires consideration of a number of important topics such as those pertaining to the access and use of the surface estate. Depending on where the mineral deposit is located on your property and what must be done to extract it, you may be required to grant an easement when you sell your mineral rights. Easements provide certain permissions to those who buy mineral rights on your land so they can drill where necessary to extract minerals.
What Is An Easement?
Easements are non-possessory agreements that permit an individual or company that is not the owner of a parcel of land to use it for a specific purpose. When you sell your mineral rights, easements give legal permission to the owners of these rights to drill on your land to extract oil and gas.
Easements include a right of way, which is basically another easement that grants access to the main easement by a road or path. Easements do not give the grantee any right to sell your land or use it in any way not specifically outlined in the contract. Before finalizing the sale of mineral rights, buyers must ensure they receive a grant of easement to access the property from the property owner unless minerals will be extracted from a location on an adjoining property.
In these instances, even if oil and gas deposits are on your property, anyone who buys your mineral rights must obtain an easement from the owner of the adjoining property to gain access. Easements that permit access to your land for the extraction of minerals also typically include an expiration date, after which access to and use of the land ceases.
Types of Easements
There are two types of easements that may apply to your property when negotiating the sale of mineral rights:
- Gross Easements - Gross easements give the right to use your property for a specific purpose to a specific individual or company. If you sell your mineral rights and the buyer must drill on your land to extract them, permission is provided with a gross easement.
- Appurtenant Easements - Appurtenant easements give permission to use your property for a specific purpose to access an adjoining property. If a company extracting oil and gas from an adjoining property requires access from your property, you would grant an appurtenant easement.
In addition, easements granted to control access to your property and activities permitted on your property are categorized as either affirmative or negative easements. Affirmative easements allow mineral rights owners to perform specific activities on the land in the location outlined in the contract. Negative easements prevent certain activities from taking place on specifically restricted areas.
These different categories allow you to protect certain parts of your property while granting access to others for drilling and other mineral extraction activities.
Easements may be granted when you sell your mineral rights or may be passed down in a Will or Deed, along with the ownership of mineral rights. Therefore, it is wise to search for existing easements that may apply to a property before purchasing it.
Regardless of whether you are the one granting an easement or an easement on your property already exists, no sale of mineral rights is complete without an easement contract that permits access to and use of the property!
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