Texas Oil & Gas Law: Your Rights as a Landowner, Pt. 3

Fracking is one of the most popular methods for obtaining the natural gas that is underneath the ground level. However, this technique can be very damaging from an environmental standpoint.

How does the process work? Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," essentially breaks up or fractures rocks and other minerals below the earth's surface. A pressurized liquid is used to release stores of natural gas inside these rocks. These gases that were previously inaccessible are now available through the fracking process, making it extremely lucrative for gas companies.

Is fracking really that bad?

Many landowners find themselves frustrated with the contamination that fracking can cause. In other cases, a landowner may find that a company breached their contract in order to engage in fracking practices, causing a serious legal battle. But are their even legal restrictions on fracking and what should you as a homeowner look out for? When signing a contract with a company to lease or sell them your mineral rights and/or surface ownership rights, you should carefully review all details involved.

Though most of the oil and gas is regulated at the federal level, Texas enforces numerous laws in regards to fracking. Companies are required to disclosure which chemicals are being used in the fracking process and other details. This was enacted to ensure that landowners were aware of the potential contamination on their property and could make informed decisions on whether to allow it or not.

Damages Fracking can Cause

As the fracking process can yield hundreds of thousands of barrels of natural gas every day, it is an extremely valuable process for gas companies. Despite the environmental, health, and safety concerns that fracking carries, these companies will often stop at nothing to line their pockets.

The chemicals that are used in the fracking process include everything from lead, mercury, uranium, and methanol. These can leak from the well system and contaminate the soil and water in the surrounding areas. You may find your crops, drinking water, and general health in danger.

You may need to take legal action against a company for:

  • Failing to disclose the dangerous chemicals they used in fracking
  • Contaminating your land, water source, or livestock
  • Causing health problems for you and your family
  • Breaching their contract in any way

Whether you leased or sold your land to a gas company, your safety and health should still be a priority. If you feel that a company's fracking processes have violated your rights in any way, you need to take legal action as soon as possible. Get in touch with our firm today to discuss your case!

Categories: Oil & Gas Law, Fracking


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