Rachael Van Horn
Woodward, Okla. —
A group of independent property and mineral owners have planned a meeting in Woods County to learn more about their rights when big oil companies come calling.
According to Woods County Mineral Owners Director for District 3, Marceline Piper, the meeting will be held February 4 at 7 p.m. in the Northwest Technology Center in Alva and the public is welcome.
The Woods County Mineral Owners Association was founded in 1976 to help mineral owners learn more about how energy contracts work and how to protect themselves, according to Piper.
The group helps educate land owners on how best to deal with oil companies when they begin to explore on your land, as well as how to manage that agreement as the drilling and exploration continues Piper said.
"A lot of people, like the farmers and ranchers think the money just comes out of the ground," she said. "But you do have to know how to manage this and that's what we do. We just try and educate each other."
February's meeting will address some specific local litigation in the works now against drilling companies who allegedly are allowing saltwater to flow into ditches-either by accident or negligence, Piper said.
"We are having problems with the oil companies when they drill these horizontal wells, they use so much water and they are letting some of the waste water flow into the ditches," she said. "We have one guy who, when their pipe that was carrying the water away to disposal broke, it flooded his wheat field."
According to Piper, there will be two Oklahoma City law firms and one local law firm present at the meeting who are familiar with a 1982 law written regarding these issues.
"There is some litigation about this going on right now and so come and learn about what your rights are," she said. In Woods County, we have had three oil booms now. One in 1928, one in the 80s and one now. We fowled up the other two so lets get together and take better care of the money we make in this one."
For more information call Piper at 580-327-1273.