Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Well Operatorship Responsibilities

If you acquire, own, or operate a natural gas or oil 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.

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.
  • Important Links
  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-8072.
  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC
    Division of Mineral Resources
    625 Broadway
    3rd Floor
    Albany NY 12233-6500
    518-402-8056
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions