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Well Operator Responsibilities

If you acquire, own, or operate natural gas, oil, or other Article 23 regulated well(s), you are legally responsible for meeting the state regulatory requirements of the Oil, Gas, and Solution Mining Law and its associated Rules and Regulations (Environmental Conservation Law Article 23 and 6 NYCRR Parts 550 - 559), including, but not limited to:

  • Registering as a well operator by submitting and maintaining an up-to-date Organizational Report;
  • Submitting and maintaining required levels of financial security;
  • Complying with the required well permitting process including the submission of Application(s) for Permit to Drill, Deepen, Plug Back or Convert, and Well Drilling and Completion Report(s);
  • Operating the well(s) in an environmentally safe and responsible manner, complying with all applicable state regulatory requirements;
  • Complying with 6 NYCRR Part 203, Oil and Natural Gas Sector regulations, effective January 1, 2023, for reducing methane (CH4) emissions and conducting regular Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR);
  • Properly containing and disposing of all produced fluids and brine from the well(s);
  • Properly handling, storing, and transporting all hydrocarbon production from the well;
  • Immediately notifying the appropriate Division of Mineral Resources regional office of any leak, spill, fire or other non-routine incident related to your well(s) that may affect the environment or the health, safety, welfare or property of any person;
  • Submitting well production data on an annual basis;
  • Submitting Request(s) for Transfer of Well Responsibilities when intending to legally transfer well responsibilities from yourself to another well operator;
  • Receiving DEC approval to shut-in or temporarily abandon well(s) when suspending operations on non-completed well(s) or suspending production of a completed well without initiating plugging operations; and
  • Properly plugging and abandoning the well(s) when the well(s) reach the end of their productive life including the submission of the Notice(s) of Intention to Plug and Abandon and Plugging Report(s).

More about Well Operator Responsibilities:

  • Organizational Report - Per 6 NYCRR 551.1, regulated entities involved in oil, gas or solution mining operations must register with DEC.
  • Financial Security - Well operators must maintain sufficient financial security to ensure proper well plugging and surface restoration.
  • Production Reports - Operators of regulated wells must submit annual production data to DEC.
  • Transfer of Well Responsibilities - Before a well operator can transfer well operatorship and the associated responsibilities to a new entity, a Request for Transfer of Well Responsibilities and supporting documents must be approved by DEC.
  • Shut-In or Temporary Abandonment - Information regarding the Shut-In or Temporary Abandonment program administered by the DEC.
  • Well Plugging Requirements - 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.
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    Albany NY 12233-6500
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