A few years back, David Howell, Senior Right-of-Way Agent, International Right-of-Way Association, Houston, TX, wrote a frightening article about landowners and the ownership of abandoned pipelines. Howell had received a call from a Texas landowner who was facing a $51,000 cost to remove 300 metres of abandoned oil pipeline from his property to allow for development. The company has walked away from the line, but retained ownership and refused to allow Howell to hire his own contractor to remove the pipe at a cost of no more than $1,500. Of course, the $1,500 quote was based on an assumption that the company had properly purged the line of contaminants, etc.
Many landowners are worried about the day when they will become responsible for abandoned pipelines on their properties. However, what happens when the pipeline company walks away (i.e. ceases operations and escapes any regulatory control), but retains ownership?
Read Howell's article at: Who owns abandoned pipelines?