Part 552: Permits To Drill, Deepen, Plug Back Or Convert Wells
(Statutory authority: Environmental Conservation Law, §§ 23-0301, 23-0305, 23-0501)
- 552.1 Application and fee
- 552.2 Issuance of permit
- 552.3 Reissuance of permit
- 552.4 Permit in mining areas
§552.1 Application and fee
(a) It shall be unlawful for any owner or operator to commence operations to drill, deepen, plug back or convert a well for exploration, production, input, storage or disposal until he has filed an application with the department and has received a permit as specified below. This application shall not be required for deepening or plug back operations to be conducted exclusively within the producing horizon of a pool.
(b) Each copy of the application must be accompanied by a neat, legible plat which has been certified as to correctness by a licensed land surveyor or licensed civil engineer. The plat must be drawn to scale and show the boundaries of the lease or unit containing the well, the distance in feet from the well to the two nearest boundaries, the distance in feet from the well to the nearest well completed in the objective pool (if same is within one mile) and the distance in feet from the well to the nearest producing well (if same is within one mile). Both of the latter two distances may be obtained by scaling from a map, stadia measurements, pacing, odometer or other reasonably accurate means. However, if the distance between the well and the nearest well completed in the objective pool is such that there is a possibility of violation of the spacing requirements of sections 553.1 or 553.3, the distance between the well and the nearest well completed in the objective pool shall be measured accurately on the ground. The plat also must have indicated thereon the latitude and longitude of the well and the scaled distances in feet in east-west and north-south directions from the nearest corner of the United States Geological Survey topographical map upon which the well location is situated, with the topographical map being identified by title, date and as to whether seven and one-half minute or 15 minute coverage.
§552.2 Issuance of permit
(a) Upon determination that the application is in order and that the appropriate plugging bond is in force or proof of financial responsibility has been established as provided in section 551.3, the department shall issue as expeditiously as possible a permit to the owner or operator utilizing form OG9.
(b) During the period while operations are in progress, the permit must be posted in a prominent place at the well site so as to be clearly visible and legible at all times.
(c) If the operations for which the permit is granted have not commenced and been pursued in a diligent manner within 180 days from the date of issuance of the permit, said permit shall expire.
(d) If prior to the commencement of operations, spacing unit are applied for or are pending, the department may suspend the permit. After a decision relative to spacing units, the suspended permit either will be cancelled by the department and the fee refunded, or will be reinstated with the time while in suspension not charged against the 180-day permit period.
(e) Under unusual or emergency circumstances, or for other good cause, the department may permit the commencement of operations by verbal authority of the director prior to the issuance of a formal permit.
§552.3 Reissuance of permit
(a) A permit shall not be transferable but may be reissued as a new permit for any other location if prior to the commencement of operations the owner or operator to whom the permit originally was issued submits, all in triplicate, a letter advising of the location change, another application completely filled out, and the appropriate plat showing the new location. Reissuance of the permit, without additional fee, shall be made by the department after determination that the application is in order and that the appropriate plugging bond is in force or proof of financial responsibility has been established as provided in section 551.3 of this Title.
(b) A new permit shall not be required for a revised location which has been moved no more than 75 feet from the original location as a result of surface obstructions or topography. The owner or operator is required, however, to advise the department by triplicate letter of any such minor changes as were made in location within five days after the commencement of operations.
(c) A permit also may be reissued as a new permit to any other owner or operator without additional fee if prior to the completion of the planned operations, the owner or operator to whom the permit originally was issued disposes of his interest in the well and the other owner or operator takes charge of the operations. To effect this change, the owner or operator to whom the permit originally was issued must submit in triplicate a written statement to the department setting forth the facts and requesting that the permit be reissued to the person who will conduct the operations. Before a permit shall be reissued, the owner or operator who has assumed responsibility for the operation must submit in triplicate a written statement setting forth that he has taken charge of the well and will assume full responsibility for its plugging in conformity with the rules, regulations, orders and amendments thereof issued by the department. Reissuance of the permit, without additional fee, shall be made by the department after determination that all is in order and the new owner or operator has furnished both the required organizational report and a satisfactory plugging bond or proof of financial responsibility as provided in section 551.3 of this Title.
§552.4 Permit in mining areas
(a) Persons engaged in underground mining operations or having underground mining rights are entitled to receive notice of the commencement of any phase of oil or gas well operations which may affect the safety of such underground mining operations or of the mining properties involved. To receive such notice, the department must be advised of the existence and location of such underground mining properties and mining rights. The advisal must be in the form of a plat showing the location of the properties and rights together with a listing of the names and addresses of all owners, lessees and operators thereof.
(b) Upon receipt of an application for permit to drill, deepen, plug back or convert a well which is determined to be located within 660 feet of any known underground mining property or mining rights, the department will advise the applying well owner or operator of the names of all owners, lessees or operators of any such known mining properties if such persons are known and have so registered with the department, and will identify the mining properties involved. The department then will suspend processing of the application until receipt from the operator of a resume of the planned operations insofar as they pertain to the protection of any known or anticipated mining operations.
(c) Upon receipt of the resume of the planned operations discussed in subdivision (b) of this section, the department will advise all owners, lessees or operators thereof who have listed with the department as provided in subdivision (a) of this section of the receipt of the application for permit for a well located within 660 feet of the known underground mining property or mining rights. Accompanying this advisal will be the resume of the planned operations insofar as they pertain to the protection of any known or anticipated mining operations. If no objections by the owners, lessees or operators of the underground mining properties or rights to the well location or operations are made known in writing to the department within 10 days from mailing of notice, and the application is otherwise in order, the permit will be granted.
(d) The notification to the owners, lessees or operators of the underground mining properties or rights and compulsory 10-day waiting period discussed in subdivision (c) of this section will not be required if the resume of planned operations is accompanied by written consent of all owners, lessees, or operators of the underground mining properties or rights to the planned location and operations insofar as they pertain to the protection of any known or anticipated mining operations.
(e) In the event that objection to the location or planned operations insofar as they pertain to the protection of any known or anticipated mining operations is made by the owners, lessees or operators of the underground mining properties or rights within 10 days from mailing of notice, the department shall promptly schedule a public hearing to facilitate a decision on the application.