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What eminent domain issues may arise in the oil and gas industry?

Eminent domain may play a part in your oil and gas company plans. But do you understand the legal aspects of this concept and how they will impact your company?

Eminent domain allows one person to use another person’s land by legal force. It is a process that provides a legal way to make someone allow someone else access to their land for a reason that will benefit the public or community as a whole. Because the process takes away some property owner rights, it can be complex and difficult to secure eminent domain.

General rules

The Oklahoma Statutes state that a company cannot use eminent domain unless it follows the detailed requirements set by the law. These requirements include paying for any damages due to the use of the property or accessing the property. It also requires that by exercising eminent domain a company will not create a burden on the public. Finally, a company has to get permission from the state.

Basics of securing the right

The Oklahoman notes transparency is important when exercising eminent domain. A company will have to negotiate with the property owner. Usually, an agreement does not just happen but takes time and plenty of discussions to iron out the details. Company representatives should be prepared to explain completely what they want and what it will be like when they use the property. This will include providing information about traffic flow, damage, and other essential details that could impact the property owner.

Having a good relationship with the property owner is very important. Many oil and gas companies underestimate this point, which can create issues in the future. While a company can secure eminent domain through legal channels, a landowner can make it difficult for them to exercise that right. Being on good terms can help to make everyone’s experience better.

Important legal considerations


The main legal tasks to take care of for securing eminent domain include making sure the company has the legal right to operate in the state. To do this may require registering with the state and securing all licenses or permits. Having this in place prior to dealing with eminent domain is helpful.

In addition, a company should be aware of the specific requirements of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. The agency will require a detailed description of the project. Finally, it is essential for the company to have proper legal representation. An attorney who is familiar with the gas and oil industry, such as Mahaffey & Gore, P.C., will be able to assist with securing eminent domain and ensuring the process goes smoothly without delaying the project.