Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Well Operatorship Responsibilities

If you acquire, own, or operate a natural gas, oil, or other Environmental Conservation Law Article 23 regulated well, you are legally responsible for meeting the following state regulatory requirements, including, but not limited to:

  • Operating the well in an environmentally safe and responsible manner complying with all applicable Oil, Gas, and Solution Mining Laws, Rules and Regulations (Environmental Conservation Law Article 23 and 6 NYCRR Parts 550 - 559);
  • Properly disposing of all produced fluids and brine from the well;
  • If applicable, properly handling, storing, and transporting all hydrocarbon production from the well;
  • Properly plugging and abandoning the well once it reaches the end of its productive life;
  • Complying with all Department reporting requirements such as submitting an Annual Well Report;
  • Complying with all local tax reporting requirements and any applicable local fire codes; and
  • Immediately notifying the appropriate Division of Mineral Resources regional office of any leak, spill, fire or other non-routine incident related to your well that may affect the environment or the health, safety, welfare or property of any person.

More about Well Operatorship Responsibilities:

  • Organizational Report - All operators of wells regulated by the Department are required to file an Organizational Report.
  • Financial Security - Well operators must maintain sufficient financial security to ensure proper well plugging and surface restoration.
  • Well Plugging - A well may be permanently plugged and abandoned by operator decision or as required by applicable state regulation. A Permit to Plug and Abandon must be obtained prior to commencing work.
  • Required Reports - Operator reports submitted to the Department form the basis of the Department's program to maintain compliance with the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law.
  • Transfer of Well Responsibilities - An operator proposing to transfer legal operatorship of a well and associated well responsibilities to a new entity must notify the Department on a Department-approved form.
  • Shut-In or Temporary Abandonment - Information regarding the Shut-In or Temporary Abandonment program administered by the Department.