The oil and gas operating permit and processing fund shall be administered by the secretary for the purposes of carrying out the provisions of this chapter.
The secretary shall make an annual report to the Governor and to the Legislature on the use of the fund, and shall make a detailed accounting of all expenditures from the oil and gas operating permit and processing fund.
(b) In addition to any other fees required by the provisions of this article, every applicant for a permit to drill a well shall, before the permit is issued, pay to the secretary a special reclamation fee of one hundred and fifty dollars for each activity for which a well work application is required to be filed: Provided, That a special reclamation fee shall not be assessed for plugging activities. Such special reclamation fee shall be paid at the time the application for a drilling permit is filed with the secretary and the payment of such reclamation fee shall be a condition precedent to the issuance of said permit.
There is hereby continued within the Treasury of the State of West Virginia the special fund known as the oil and gas reclamation fund, and the secretary shall deposit with the State Treasurer to the credit of such special fund all special reclamation fees collected. The proceeds of any bond forfeited under the provisions of this article shall inure to the benefit of and shall be deposited in such oil and gas reclamation fund.
The oil and gas reclamation fund shall be administered by the secretary. The secretary shall cause to be prepared plans for the reclaiming and plugging of abandoned wells which have not been reclaimed or plugged or which have been improperly reclaimed or plugged. The secretary, as funds become available in the oil and gas reclamation fund, shall reclaim and properly plug wells in accordance with said plans and specifications and in accordance with the provisions of this article relating to the reclaiming and plugging of wells and all rules promulgated thereunder. Such funds may also be utilized for the purchase of abandoned wells, where such purchase is necessary, and for the reclamation of such abandoned wells, and for any engineering, administrative and research costs as may be necessary to properly effectuate the reclaiming and plugging of all wells, abandoned or otherwise.
The secretary may avail the division of any federal funds provided on a matching basis that may be made available for the purpose of reclaiming or plugging any wells.
The secretary shall make an annual report to the Governor and to the Legislature setting forth the number of wells reclaimed or plugged through the use of the oil and gas reclamation fund provided for herein. Such report shall identify each such reclamation and plugging project, state the number of wells reclaimed or plugged thereby, show the county wherein such wells are located and shall make a detailed accounting of all expenditures from the oil and gas reclamation fund.
All wells shall be reclaimed or plugged by contract entered into by the secretary on a competitive bid basis as provided for under the provisions of article three, chapter five-a of this code and the rules promulgated thereunder.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session