There are different rights that you have to your land. In oil-rich Texas, it is especially important that you understand what your rights are in terms of access to the oil beneath your property. You should understand if you have surface or mineral rights or if you have both. In the case that you only have surface rights, then you need to understand that according to the Texas Oil and Gas Association, that means you do not own any oil that is under the surface, but you still have some rights.

Generally, you will have a contract with the company that holds the mineral rights. In this contract, you are usually compensated for the use of the land since the company will need to access the oil by going through the surface and on the surface, which is your land.

However, you should be aware that the courts will side with the mineral rights owner in most cases. The courts see them as being the dominant owner. You still have recourse and protection, though. The court does make sure you get properly accommodation for the use of your land, especially if it interrupts farming or ranching operations.

The bottom line is that you need to work with the company that owns the mineral rights. If you do not, the chances are good the court will force you to do so. It will turn out much better if you are cooperative with the company. This will likely result in the best deal for you. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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