Yesterday‘s blog was about seismic testing and how the local consulting company has been acting in my area. Doggone it if that post didn’t raise some big questions. The biggest questions come from an on-the-spot scenario like this:
A man shows up at my kennel with a piece of paper for me to sign. It is a “permission slip” for the man’s company to enter my land for seismic testing. He says he works for the gas company and he says my land is leased. What happens if I take Ada the Dog’s advice and tell him to “get along, lil’ doggie”?
Here’s what happens: First, they will probably try to get your permission again. Either someone will call you or another person will show up at your property to have the entire conversation over again. (In case you’re wondering, the answer is no, they didn’t respect your words the first time they heard them.)
If you succeed in ultimately getting the point across that you are not going to sign the permission slip– and this is best done by asking for a supervisor’s name so that you can call the supervisor– then, the only real repercussion that this dog can figure out so far is this: They tell on you.
That’s right, they send a notice to the gas company stating that you denied them access. Then what? Well, if the gas company really, really wants to enter your land, and if you are leased, then the gas company might send you a letter saying, “We will be going onto your property anyway!” However, there actually might be very little need to enter your property– especially if it is small or if it is already located in a well production unit. So, the Long and the short of it is that you might never hear from them again.
It’s no big deal to deny them access. If they want it, they will let you know. In the meanwhile, protect yourself by refusing to sign anything. Right now, they are just trying to sign everyone up so that they don’t have to be concerned about whose property they are trampling over. You are not an individual. You are an inconvenience. (FYI)
If the gas company really truly has a right to cross your property, and if they really truly want to, then you will hear from the gas company itself in the future (rather than just the consulting company). They will send you a written notice, and you should read it carefully and make sure it matches your non-expired lease. The databases that gas companies and their sub-contractors use to keep track of leases are NOT accurate. Double-check whatever they say! My master verified this yesterday.
Listen, humans, I don’t want to sound like one of those know-it-all dogs. I’m no Lassie! But I do know that you need to protect yourself because terrible things can happen to your family as a result of natural gas exploration. Never sign anything on the spot! Always take it, read it over the course of a couple days, and then–if you truly think it’s in your best interest–then you can sign it.
Or, roll over on your back and submit on the spot. Don’t think they will be petting your belly. Watch out– they might go for the jugular!