Seismograph

Seismograph

SeismographA seismograph is a device that detects vibrations in the earth. It is used in studying the earth’s interior and in prospecting for the probability of hydrocarbons within the earth. Most operators engage independent contractors to conduct geophysical surveys in areas where they hold or are considering buying leases. The shoot of the proposed area is done to provide a contour map to the company’s exploration department. The typical operation is done with either (a) an explosion of a charge that shakes the earth or (b) a machine like a vibrator truck that shakes the earth.

It is not uncommon for the companies doing the seismic work to tear up a significant amount of surface when conducting their operations. If the minerals are not leased, the seismic company must secure a contract to enter the lands. If the minerals are leased, the seismic company has the right to use as much surface as is reasonably necessary to conduct seismic operations. Under either scenario the Landowner is entitled to damages for any damage done to the surface estate. As a result, almost all seismic companies will attempt to negotiate a release.

In doing so, companies typically attempt to get Landowners to sign an overly broad and unduly burdensome contract. It is important that Landowners get an attorney involved early in the process to prevent signing something they shouldn’t. Actually, a Landowner is not required to sign anything and many times that is the course of action we recommend. We tell the Landowner not to interfere with the seismic work (assuming the seismic company has a legal right to be on the land) and then after the work is done we help the Landowner settle damages.

Below are some examples of things we routinely see:
  • Landowner agrees to release all claims of every kind and character whether known or unknown
  • Landowner agrees to release for damage to structural foundations
  • Landowner agrees to release for damage to timber
  • Landowner agrees to release for excess ruts
  • Landowner agrees to release for damage to water wells
  • Landowner accidentally conveys valuable sub-surface rights
These are just a few. If you have been contacted by a seismograph company, please contact us BEFORE you sign anything – we know what to do.
Call us at 888-HEY-GRAY (888-439-4729) or contact us online.