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Introduced Version Senate Bill 94 History

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Senate Bill No. 94

(By Senator Sypolt)

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[Introduced January 14, 2011; referred to the Committee on Energy, Industry and Mining; and then to the Committee on the Judiciary.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §22-6-12 and §22-6-14 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to surveyors and registered professional engineers; and plat preparation for drilling or fracturing wells or introducing liquids or wastes into wells.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §22-6-12 and §22-6-14 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 6. OFFICE OF OIL AND GAS; OIL AND GAS WELLS; ADMINISTRATION; ENFORCEMENT.

§22-6-12. Plats prerequisite to drilling or fracturing wells; preparation and contents; notice and information furnished to coal operators, owners or lessees; issuance of permits; performance bonds or securities in lieu thereof; bond forfeiture.

    (a) Before drilling for oil or gas, or before fracturing or stimulating a well on any tract of land, the well operator shall have a plat prepared by a licensed land professional surveyor or registered engineer showing the district and county in which the tract of land is located, the name and acreage of the same, the names of the owners of adjacent tracts, the proposed or actual location of the well determined by survey, the courses and distances of such location from two permanent points or landmarks on said tract and the number to be given the well. In the event the tract of land on which the said well proposed to be drilled or fractured is located is known to be underlain by one or more coal seams, copies of the plat shall be forwarded by registered or certified mail to each and every coal operator operating said coal seams beneath said tract of land, who has mapped the same and filed such maps with the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training in accordance with chapter twenty-two-a of this code and the coal seam owner of record and lessee of record, if any, if said owner or lessee has recorded the declaration provided in section thirty-six of this article, and if said owner or lessee is not yet operating said coal seams beneath said tract of land. With each of such the plats there shall be enclosed a notice (form for which shall be furnished on request by the secretary) addressed to the secretary and to each such coal operator, owner and lessee, if any, at their respective addresses, informing them that such the plat and notice are being mailed to them respectively by registered or certified mail, pursuant to the requirements of this article.

    (b) If no objections are made, or are found by the secretary, to such the proposed location or proposed fracturing within fifteen days from receipt of such plat and notice by the secretary, the same shall be filed and become a permanent record of such the location or fracturing subject to inspection at any time by any interested person, and the secretary may forthwith immediately issue to the well operator a permit reciting the filing of such the plat, that no objections have been made by the coal operators, owners and lessees, if any, or found thereto by the secretary, and authorizing the well operator to drill at such the location, or to fracture the well. Unless the secretary has objections to such the proposed location or proposed fracturing or stimulating, such the permit may be issued prior to before the expiration of such the fifteen-day period upon the obtaining by the well operator of the consent in writing of the coal operator or operators, owners and lessees, if any, to whom copies of the plat and notice shall have been mailed as herein required, and upon presentation of such the written consent to the secretary. The notice above provided for may be given to the coal operator by delivering or mailing it by registered or certified mail as above to any agent or superintendent in actual charge of mines.

    (c) A permit to drill, or to fracture or stimulate an oil or gas well, shall may not be issued unless the application therefor is accompanied by a bond as provided in section twenty-six of this article.

§22-6-14. Plats prerequisite to introducing liquids or waste into wells; preparation and contents; notice and information furnished to coal operators, owners or lessees and director; issuance of permits; performance bonds or security in lieu thereof.

    (a) Before drilling a well for the introduction of liquids for the purposes provided for in section twenty-five of this article or for the introduction of liquids for the disposal of pollutants or the effluent therefrom on any tract of land, or before converting an existing well for such purposes, the well operator shall have a plat prepared by a registered engineer or licensed land professional surveyor showing the district and county in which the tract of land is located, the name and acreage of the same, the names of the owners of all adjacent tracts, the proposed or actual location of the well or wells determined by a survey, the courses and distances of such the location from two permanent points of land marked on said tract and the number to be given to the well, and shall forward by registered or certified mail the original and one copy of the plat to the director. In addition, the well operator shall provide the following information on the plat or by way of attachment thereto to the director in the manner and form prescribed by the director's rules: (1) The location of all wells, abandoned or otherwise located within the area to be affected; (2) where available, the casing records of all such those wells; (3) where available, the drilling log of all such those wells; (4) the maximum pressure to be introduced; (5) the geological formation into which such that liquid or pressure is to be introduced; (6) a general description of the liquids to be introduced; and (7) the location of all water-bearing horizons above and below the geological formation into which such that pressure, liquid or waste is to be introduced; (8) such other information as the director requires by rule. may require

    (b) In the event If the tract of land on which said the well proposed to be drilled or converted for the purposes provided for in this section is located is known to be underlaid with coal seams, copies of the plat and all information required by this section shall be forwarded by the operator by registered or certified mail to each and every coal operator operating coal seams beneath said the tract of land, who has mapped the same and filed such maps with the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training in accordance with chapter twenty-two-a of this code, and the coal seam owner of record and lessee of record, if any, if said the owner or lessee has recorded the declaration provided in section thirty-six of this article, and if said the owner or lessee is not yet operating said those seams beneath said the tract of land. With each of such the plats, there shall be enclosed a notice (form for which shall be furnished on request by the director) addressed to the director and to each such coal operator, owner or lessee, if any, at their respective addresses, informing them that such the plat and notice are being mailed to them, respectively, by registered or certified mail, pursuant to the requirements of this section.

    (c) If no objections are made by any such coal operator, owner or lessee, or the director, such the proposed drilling or converting of the well or wells for the purposes provided for in this section within thirty days from the receipt of such the plat and notice by the director, the same shall be filed and become a permanent record of such the location or well, subject to inspection at any time by any interested person, and the director may after public notice and opportunity to comment, issue such a permit authorizing the well operator to drill at such the location or convert such the existing well or wells for the purposes provided for in this section. The notice above provided for may be given to the coal operator by delivering or mailing it by registered or certified mail as above to any agent or superintendent in actual charge of the mines.

    (d) A permit to drill a well or wells or convert an existing well or wells for the purposes provided for in this section shall may not be issued until all of the bonding provisions required by the provisions of section twelve of this article have been fully complied with and all such those bonding provisions shall apply to all wells drilled or converted for the purposes provided for in this section as if such those wells had been drilled for the purposes provided for in section twelve of this article, except that such the bonds shall be conditioned upon full compliance with all laws and rules relating to the drilling of a well or the converting of an existing well for the purposes provided for in said section twenty-five of this article, or introducing of liquids for the disposal of pollutants including the redrilling, deepening, casing, plugging or abandonment of all such wells.




    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to replace archaic terminology for surveyors and to eliminate the need for engineers to prepare certain plats.


    Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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