The gas companies buying leases aren’t always expecting to drill wells. They also need a means to get the extracted gas to consumers. That means pipelines, and those pipes need to run somewhere. If you think that a gas well is going to make you you money, you should be sure what your lease sells about the use of the land for pipeline rights of way.

Advice from Tom Murphy of the Penn State Cooperative Extension:

If the leases allow the company unrestricted access to the properties in the proposed ROW, they have the green light to move forward without additional negotiation on price. But if the lease(s) have addendums indicating the company would have to return to the landowner to strike a separate deal on the ROW, then the company will be approaching you to broker an arrangement. If that is the case, they will normally offer you an easement agreement that includes a number of provisions and payment terms.

The width of that easement is normally 30 feet but companies often will ask for additional work space ranging up to 30 additional feet for a total of 60 feet of width. Keep in mind if the ROW is being developed through a wooded area with marketable timber, you need to determine whose timber it will be upon purchase of the ROW, who will place value on the timber, and if it reverts to you, where will it be placed after it is cut and stacked. If your lease allows, you should get a third party forester who will make a determination of the fair market value of the timber before it is cut.

Another important consideration with pipeline is during the actual construction phase. Always make sure the double ditch method is agreed upon to be used when the excavation is started. It is always important for the topsoil to be separated and saved apart from subsoil. And when the site is re-graded, the topsoil needs to be placed back on the surface, not used to bed the pipe.