Unitization: Eminent Domain
Unitization, sometimes called pooling, is not always a voluntary agreement between land owners and oil and gas interests. Instead, if a certain amount of mineral rights owners agree, they can use the unitization laws to compel other land owners to join the drilling operation. Some have said that this is comparable to eminent domain, a forcible taking of private property rights by the state. Further, if this is the case, then it may be prohibited under Florida’s ban on the use of eminent domain for private use.
If you are being forced to join a pool of mineral rights against your will, you may be able to fight the procedure to retain your rights or receive compensation for your loss. To learn more, please call our Florida eminent domain attorney at 407-208-2652 or email The Florida Property Rights Law Firm.
Is Unitization Eminent Domain?
The forced consolidation of property owners into a single risk pool for oil and gas operations. When you combine the compulsory engagement in expenses for drilling operations, and the potential for lost property value due to contamination of the property, there is real potential that a land owner who is compelled to participate in drilling operations will suffer a net loss of property value. When a person loses property value due to government action, such as unitization, that may be considered the use of eminent domain.
Is Unitization Legal?
If unitization is considered eminent domain, it may not be legal. Because unitization compels a landowner to lease property to a private organization for the purposes of exploration and exploitation of resources, unitization may be considered illegal under Florida statute 73.013 (1):
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including any charter provision, ordinance, statute, or special law, if the state, any political subdivision as defined in s. 1.01(8), or any other entity to which the power of eminent domain is delegated files a petition of condemnation on or after the effective date of this section regarding a parcel of real property in this state, ownership or control of property acquired pursuant to such petition may not be conveyed by the condemning authority or any other entity to a natural person or private entity, by lease or otherwise
With only a few exceptions. This has yet to be tested in the courts.
If you are facing a loss or damage to your property due to unitization for oil and gas exploration, you may be able to stop the procedure or receive additional compensation for your property. To learn more, please contact The Florida Property Rights Law Firm today for a consultation.
The Florida Property Rights Law Firm represents individuals and businesses when the State of Florida or other governmental entities attempt to take their land, improvements, and/or business by the use of Eminent Domain. Granted by the US and Florida Constitutions and by the Statutes of the State of Florida, Eminent Domain gives the government the right to condemn private property for a public use without the owner’s consent. However, the law also has strict demands that the government prove the need for the condemned property, and that the government provide full compensation to the property’s owner(s).
The eminent domain attorneys at the Florida Property Rights Law Firm are committed to helping you fight the condemnation proceeding to either keep your private property or ensure you receive full and just compensation.
If the State of Florida, any local government or utility company has condemned or is considering condemnation of your property, please call the Florida Property Rights Law Firm for free information regarding your rights. We represent business and private property owners throughout the State of Florida.
We offer a free initial consultation. In most cases, Florida law demands that the condemning authority pay all your court costs, including attorneys’ fees. If you are being faced with a condemnation order, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by contacting the Florida Property Rights Law Firm, PA. Please call or email us today.