Input on Mineral Drilling & Habitat/Wildlife Effect


Active Member
I have been looking for the right piece land for over a year. I am considering purchasing a property, 133 ac, in west central ky for hunting, habitat improvement for deer and turkey and very likely relocating to live on in the next 6-8 years. It has what I am looking for, some tillable acres for planting/orchards, thick cover, water, good access points, electric on property, road frontage, etc...
My only hangup is the mineral rights lease was just renewed with an oil company for another 3 years by the current owner. No drilling or exploration was done during the first lease term. The land has not been touched by the oil company so far. I guess the land owner wanted to squeeze a few more dollars out of it before it sold by renewing the lease. The owner is a timber company and it was select cut about 5 years ago. The current owner is willing to let the mineral rights go with the sale of the property. A few folks have said they would not be worried about future drilling and if they haven't drilled it by now chances are small on future drilling, I'm not that naive.
So my concern is I would hate getting a property just the way I want it with sweat equity and money or worse, building a house/cabin then a drilling rig show up to drill. I feel like I would have little if any say about their operation. I know every company is different and I have been educating myself prior to pulling the buy trigger.

Who has experience on working with mineral drilling companies and what should I expect?

Do they work with landowners or do they say this is where we are drilling and placing the holding tank and that's it, regardless of where or what you have done to improve a property or plan to do in the future? I know they have to/should/suppose to/repair surface damage.

What effect may it have on the wildlife use and movement?

Thanks in advance. D.
I somewhat agree if they haven't drilled yet they probably won't in the next three years. Look over the mineral lease carefully or have a lawyer look it over so there are no surprises. They've been telling me I am on a schedule for a natural gas well. It's been 40 years, still waiting. LOL. Once the three years is up, if you want to continue the lease then put in provisions about off limit areas. When you do that though they may not renew or may push off things. just depends on if you want an oil well or not. Might be good income. I know many people with oil wells and some do quit well over time financially. Basically they put in a a road, and the actually well area is small. Are there a lot of wells in that area?
There are oil wells in my area and 1 on my land that I get a very small % from.Heck it's $40.00 every couple months.Biggest issue is the mess they can cause.But the deer get used to the noise and pumper checking on well.Best advise is what was mentioned take lease to mineral lawyer and have them look at it.Some say no drilling within so many feet of structure,build a structure where you don't want them.There are several different kinds of leases. There are some that allow drilling and some that allow seismic testing.Biggest issue is stay away from fracking and don't let them drill salt water disposal wells.
Get a copy of the lease and have a lawyer that is wise about drilling read it over.

Contact the county leaders and find out how many oil wells are in the area. To me whether they drill or not likely is based upon the price of oil. If oil get higher, then they have a reason to open a well, if it don't increase, then why open a well. Price of oil may drive the decision / direction of this lease.

The appears to be alot of abandonded wells but only a few active wells with 5 miles, straight line distance, or so in the part of the county where I am looking, and it appears not many drilling permits applied for in the last couple of years.