BOX 2 – SPLIT ESTATE
A split estate is a property whose subsurface minerals do not belong to the surface owner, but have been previously separated, sold, or allotted to another owner (sometimes the federal government). In this case, the oil and gas operator is not required to obtain the consent of the surface owner in order to explore or to develop the minerals. In some states, however, companies must attempt to negotiate access and impact compensation with surface owners. Compensation provisions include damages; any losses suffered due to the interruption of crops or the grazing of cattle; and the costs of replanting native grasses.