Farming can be an overwhelming business, with scientific and economic complexities in every decision. Just deciding on seeding plans or organizing a work crew for silage season can be incredibly stressful. And just when you thought the decisions couldn’t be anymore prevalent, you get a call from a land company requesting access to survey for a possible oil drilling site. What should you do?

Before moving forward, the first thing you should do is request to be present for the survey, advises Tyler Fletcher, Land Resource Coach with Agri-Trend.

“With directional drilling, there’s an opportunity to move this well site into an area that’s the least intrusive for your farming operation,” explains Fletcher in the following video. “You’d be surprised at how much you can move these developments around.”

Being present for the survey is only the first step in an extensive process of negotiations, paperwork and cooperation. In this video, I talk to Tyler Fletcher about the basics of the process, touching on what you can expect to negotiate, when agreements will be revisited and some of the key differences in these agreements between the prairie provinces.

If you cannot view the embedded video, click here.

2 thoughts on “The Basics of Surface Land Agreements

  1. Debra….just a few comments from an old Special Areas landowner. While watching your guest land agent explain Alberta and Saskatchewan surface lease agreement issues it became very evident that he was leaving out “the rest of the story.” In the two provinces the term “surface rights” has no connection what ever to any property rights that the surface title holder may assume he or she holds under that title. The term always refers to the rights that the mineral title holder legally has to encroach on the surface. Because both provinces lack any legislative property rights the landowner becomes victimized by the terms of the agreement. For example any company starting a new project will keep their “negotiation” limits within minimal parameters as to never aproach presidence. They can do this knowing that the Alberta Surface Rights Board will award minimal compensation.
    I have represented landowners at many hearings and it is frustrating to see the commisioners be on a first name basis with company officials.

    It may interest you to know that while Alberta’s regulator – the Alberta Energy and Resources Conservation Board has the authority to suggest guidance and some regulations but they have no punitive ability in legislation. Thats like a RCMP having no power to issue speeding tickets. No where in either province is there any “duty of care” by goernment regulators toward landowner’s property. Anyways good luck on your new job.

  2. Didtimeforgrain, pretty difficult to explain the entire surface land rights system in a short interview of this nature. I’m also pretty sure he was saying he would wish there was more streamlining between the provinces, not saying there was already. I’m just glad to see a young, innovative individual lobby on behalf of the FARMER to ensure fair compensation. He is not a typical landman and a university degree says he might be decently smart. We shouldn’t be so quick to pick apart someone doin an informative interview.

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