Boundary surveys are used to formally delineate the boundaries of a parcel of land, and especially in Texas, these surveys are critical in establishing sites for gas and oil extraction. A boundary survey will, at the very least, define the corners of a piece of land, but they can get significantly more sophisticated and in-depth.
Drawings that are created after boundary surveys in Texas will typically include information such as:
- Dimensions: The lot dimensions will come from information such as deeds, survey drawings and subdivision plats. These types of documents show the exact lines of the property, allowing for more accurate dimension measurements.
- Fences: Fences are often built to let people know where boundary lines begin, but rarely have they actually been built directly on top of the property line. Fences can and should be included in boundary line drawings, but one of the purposes of the drawing should also be to clarify whether those fences are actually representative of accurate boundary lines.
- Easements: Land surveyors can include easements on boundary survey drawings if they also have a copy of title commitments to work from.
- Improvements: Boundary surveys can include any types of improvements made on the land, including those made by previous owners. These could include additional buildings like sheds, garages or any other type of improvement that results in a permanent change to the property.
So what’s all involved in completing a boundary survey for an oil or gas site? Land surveyors go through some in-depth, meticulous processes to make sure they’re able to produce accurate results in their work. You can expect the following steps to be included in any boundary survey process:
- Locate and verify each corner of the property, or reset/reestablish those corners if it is unclear where exactly the corners are located.
- Mark each corner with some type of stake—typically either an iron pipe or rebar—that measures about two feet tall. This will ensure the stake can easily be seen across the property (or at least in smaller portions of a large drilling and extraction site).
- After placing markers, the surveyors will then spray paint each corner with a bright color of paint (often pink or orange) to ensure those corners are even easier to see than they would be with stakes along.
- In some cases, surveyors will put down flags or wooden stakes near each corner to add extra labels for contractors and subcontractors.
- Surveyors can include additional structures and improvements in the boundary drawings if the company or organizations that commissioned the survey requests them. These improvements could include buildings, sheds, garages, roads, fences or any other structure built with the intention of being permanent.
- Surveyors will note any potential boundary encroachments in the survey from neighboring properties.
This is just a small amount of information that should give you an idea of what all goes into a boundary survey and when you may consider getting one for your oil or gas site. If you’re interested in learning more about boundary surveys in Texas and how our team can help clients in the oil and gas industries, we encourage you to reach out to D.G. Smyth & Company today with any questions you have.