Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Smooth Relationships: Landowners Say Oil Companies Show More Respect Now

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Smooth Relationships: Landowners Say Oil Companies Show More Respect Now

Article excerpt

Glenn Floyd is generally pleased when an oil company wants to drill wells on his land. However, that hasn't always been the case, he said. Floyd doesn't own the mineral rights under his 5,000-acre ranch in Elmore City. In recent years, he said working with drillers and their service providers has been more of a partnership than during previous oil booms. In the last few years, they have had seven wells drilled on the ranch.

When Floyd began acquiring the property in the 1970s, it had legacy wells that were drilled in the 1930s and 1940s. Many of the wells had not been plugged properly, and the sites had leftover trash and equipment. So he contacted the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board for help to plug the wells to modern standards.

Floyd's nephew, David Floyd, said his family used to have problems, such as an operator cutting a hole in a fence to access the land, which meant cattle could escape. But recently, Continental Resources Inc. drilled a well on the ranch and asked him how they could build a gate or a cattle guard, and where the best place to build a lease road was, he said.

"Now they are seeking more input of how we can work this out and do the least amount of damage," David Floyd said.

Glenn Floyd said he also has had a positive experience with Continental's subcontractors, in particular, Lindsay-based Vickers Construction.

"It seems like the mentality is to treat the surface owner right, have the sub (contractors) act right," Glenn Floyd said. "That seems to have permeated the oil field today."

Mason Mungle, president of the Oklahoma chapter of the National Association of Royalty Owners, said he has seen similar changes among producers. He also has personal experience as a landowner; companies have drilled on his working ranch in Atoka.

More than just cleaning up trash and restoring well sites after they're drilled, Mungle said, companies understand the benefits of creating good relationships with surface owners. Many drillers begin by doing seismic exploration work and eventually need to install pipelines and well pads.

Mungle said he worked with 3-D seismic contractors to make sure they picked up all of the stakes and markers in the land and didn't damage the surface. …

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