There are many misconceptions about how multi-line rights are created in Texas. Contrary to popular belief, a multiple pipeline right-of-way cannot just be created by changing “pipeline” to “pipelines” in the granting provision. In fact, if there is not an express provision in the easement granting the right to lay additional lines, a court will not imply rights beyond those of the easement. In making the determination of multi-line use, Texas courts have routinely turned to the compensation clause and granting provision to see what the parties contemplated at the time of execution.
In Hall, the landowner, Tom Hall, alleged that the pipeline operator, Lone Star Gas Company, excessively used its easement, which granted Lone Star “the right of way and easement to construct, maintain, and operate pipe lines.” Lone Star also had the right of “ingress and egress from the premises, for the purposes of constructing, inspecting, repairing, maintaining, and replacing the property of [grantee].” Although the subject easement agreement used the term “pipe lines,” it did not contain any further expression granting the right to lay additional lines in the future. Furthermore, the compensation clause for future lines was intentionally deleted from the easement agreement. In accordance with precedent case law, the court in Hall weighed the impact of this deletion in order to arrive at the true meaning and intention of the parties. The court concluded that without some express provision addressing the right to lay additional lines or providing for additional compensation for a new line, Lone Star’s proposition that the easement permits future additional lines could not prevail.