There are new challenges for landowners that are trying to manage oil and gas assets on their land.

Like anyone associated with the oil and gas industry, I can’t help but spend quite a bit of time thinking about the good old days.

casey-2010-land
Casey circa 2010. When he was “loving life on the dirt roads”

Back in 2006 I was a young land agent having the time of my life, covering every corner of southern Alberta working with landowners to acquire new wells and pipelines on their property. The highways were bumper to bumper vehicles every morning. The small-town gas stations and convenience stores were buzzing every time you stopped. Everyone was busy, and business was prospering.

In 2009 Kris Bower and I launched WellTraxx. Our goal, to assist landowners with the mountains of paperwork new oil and gas development left behind. Their challenges were mainly based around keeping up with all the new activity taking place on their land. Now, ten short years later, it’s a whole new ball game for the same landowners. The buzz is long gone, and you are as likely to spot a sasquatch as you are a drilling rig these days. Market forces and the political climate have knee capped the industry and forced many oil companies to walk away from their assets. It’s incredibly frustrating, as many of them were once solid and profitable and provided hundreds of jobs to the area. Now suddenly, they are not viable due to forces beyond their control.

This leaves landowners the job of learning how to navigate challenges and issues they have never seen before. Landowners ask themselves:

‘What do I do when an oil company can no longer pay for their surface leases? Who is responsible for cleaning up these properties if a new owner isn’t found? I signed these surface rights contracts in good faith, are they no longer valid?’

So our new role at Welltraxx is to spend time working with clients on these issues mentioned above. We assist with the process of completing their Alberta Surface Rights Board recovery of rental applications. We advise them on the steps and processes that come with abandonment and reclamation of wells and pipelines on their land. It has forced our company to evolve. It’s just the new reality in many cases, but it sure isn’t as much fun as the good old days.

The oil and gas industry I know was built upon strong working relationships between energy companies and the landowners they were doing business with. When industry hurts, everyone feels it and that includes the farmers and ranchers who opened the gates and helped make it all happen.

If you are a landowner impacted by abandoned oil wells, we encourage you to contact us. We have recovered over 1 million in lost rental revenue to date. That number will continue to climb due to the current forecast for our oil and gas industry. On the upside though, there is someone here to help you with those questions you have, and that team is us. Contact Welltraxx today and let’s get you paid.