Department of Environmental Conservation

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Transfer of Well Responsibilities

To transfer well responsibilities from one well operator to another, both operators must complete and submit a Request for Transfer of Well Responsibilities (RFTWR) and the supporting documents to DEC for approval. DEC reserves the right to approve or deny submitted RFTWRs. DEC strongly recommends that private party agreements, such as lease agreements or property sales, are postponed until after both operators receive DEC approval of the applicable RFTWR.

Upon DEC's approval of a RFTWR, the new operator assumes the legal responsibilities for each transferred well. The new operator must comply with all state statutory and regulatory requirements to ensure that wells are properly operated and maintained during their productive life and then plugged when they are no longer economically viable.

Required Documents

The Request for Transfer of Well Responsibilities (RFTWR) (PDF) (1.2 MB, Legal size paper) and supporting documents must be submitted to and approved by DEC before well responsibilities are transferred.

The RFTWR indicates that both parties wish to transfer the well responsibilities for the specified well(s) from the current operator (Transferor) to the new, proposed operator (Transferee). The form must be properly completed with the following: (1) the Transferor's and Transferee's up-to-date contact information; (2) the Transferee's legal authority to operate the well(s); and (3) the name(s) and API identification number(s) of the applicable wells. The RFTWR must be signed by an authorized representative for both the Transferor and Transferee and properly notarized. The complete, notarized RFTWR should be submitted to the address below. Operators must submit an original RFTWR to DEC; email and fax submittals are not acceptable.

The required supporting documents are:

  • A complete, signed, and notarized Organizational Report for the Transferee, if one is not already on file;
  • Adequate Financial Security provided by the Transferee, as required; and
  • Up-to-date well construction and well production information, if available.

The RFTWR and supporting documents should be mailed to the Division of Mineral Resources, NYS DEC, 625 Broadway, 3rd Floor, Albany, New York 12233-6500.

Other Requirements

In addition to the required submittals, DEC will conduct a well site inspection prior to approving the RFTWR. DEC will also perform a technical and administrative review of the RFTWR and the well(s). Based on the findings, DEC may require repairs and/or testing prior to the approval of the RFTWR.