Senate supports bill to protect land owners from seismic explorers

Jan 29, 2013

After nearly two hours of debate, the Senate gave initial approval to a bill that would require companies doing seismic exploration for minerals to post bonds or negotiate a contract with the surface owners.

Supporters of the bill say that seismic operators sometimes trespass onto private property, and current bond requirements are too low to encourage good-faith negotiations between surface owners and companies wanting to explore.

President of the Cheyenne Area Landowners Coalition, Alex Bowler, says the bill would protect landowners without inhibiting mineral exploration or development…

“This bill will assure that we play by the rules, the Oil and Gas Commission doesn’t erroneously allow a seismic company that has no connection with the split estate law in any way to trespass on to your land when the land owner doesn’t want them to do that,” Bowler says. “If they are able to reach a suitable surface agreement with the seismic company a lot of this becomes moot.”

The bill will be debated two more times.