How can I check if a property has an oil or gas pipeline running through it?

When you’re buying a rural or semi-rural property you need to know if there is an oil or gas pipeline running through the property.  This can have an affect on how you plan to use that property.

There are many, many, many oil and gas pipelines crisscrossing North Texas as well as a whole lot of other buried utilities (electric, phone, etc.  Where most of the other utilities typically follow along roadways the oil and gas pipelines can very possibly be crossing under your rural or semi-rural property.  There are restrictions on how you can use this land and these restrictions might interfere with your plans for the property.  So when you are looking for the acreage property, or in a development surrounded by rural properties, you should perform an additional due diligence step of checking to see if your property has one of these pipelines running under it.

How to identify pipeline routes

Typical pipeline markers used to identify piepeline locations.

 

 

The first thing you should do, before you even make an offer on the property, is to walk the perimeter of the property.  While walking the perimeter you should look for markers similar to those in the diagram above.  These are the typical pipeline route and equipment markers.  These markers are required to be placed at fixed intervals along the route and along the roadways where pipelines cross.  While doing this also look inward to the property for these markers as well.  These markers might not be present as they should be and you should take a drive along the four roads that border the property and see if any of these markers are along the roads.  Make note of where they are as they might mark the path across a wide stretch of land.

Although the oil and gas pipeline companies are required to place these markers appropriately and keep the markers maintained there is always the possibility they have been damaged and/or removed and/or not being properly maintained.  So it is always wise to also visit the Texas Railroad Commission WEB site HERE to research the property.  The RRC has an interactive mapping system that you can use to see if any of these pipelines are listed as running through the property.  Also on this site you can find the rules that pipeline companies must follow here in Texas.

Another potentially very helpful WEB sites are the Department of Transportation’s National Pipeline Mapping System located HERE.  Obviously if you are not in Texas and reading this then this link can help you.

Hopefully this can help you avoid purchasing a property containing an oil and gas pipeline that might interfere with your plans for the property use.

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