Dealing with a Sabal Trail Purchase Offer
By: Joe Dent
Now that the Sabal Trail Pipeline has been approved, Spectra Energy ("Spectra") will be purchasing easements which will grant it access to and through the seller's property for the purpose of constructing and installing the pipeline. Beyond the value of an easement, Sellers must be aware of issues to be considered when negotiating the terms and request certain safeguards to protect their land. A reversion clause, which provides the easement reverts back to the seller in the event the pipeline isn't constructed or is abandoned, should be in the easement. Other important provisions in an easement should address the location of the pipeline within the easement and Spectra's use of the remaining property within the easement. Otherwise, the pipeline might be installed anywhere within the boundaries of the easement, and Spectra can do whatever it desires with the remaining property in the easement. Limiting the use can be instrumental in protecting the remaining value of the seller's property. Restoration of the property once the pipeline is installed should be addressed because the property is still owned by the seller. With having specific clauses in the easement addressing the restoration of the property after construction, a seller might find themselves in a dispute without little or no legal recourse. General liability and environmental insurance provided by Spectra in the event of a catastrophe should be in the easement.
Watson Spence can assist with negotiating the terms of an easement and can assist with any lawsuits pertaining to the value of any easement.