(a) Any person who, on the eighth day of June, one thousand nine hundred fifty-five, is injecting gas into or storing gas in a storage reservoir which underlies or is within three thousand linear feet of an operating coal mine which is operating in a coal seam that extends over the storage reservoir or the reservoir protective area shall, within sixty days thereafter, file with the division a copy of a map and certain data in the form and manner provided in this subsection.
Any person who, on the eighth day of June, one thousand nine hundred fifty-five, is injecting gas into or storing gas in a storage reservoir which is not at such date under or within three thousand linear feet, but is less than ten thousand linear feet from an operating coal mine which is operating in a coal seam that extends over the storage reservoir or the reservoir protective area, shall file such map and data within such time in excess of sixty days as the director may fix.
Any person who, after the eighth day of June, one thousand nine hundred fifty-five, proposes to inject or store gas in a storage reservoir located as above shall file the required map and data with the director not less than six months prior to the starting of actual injection or storage.
The map provided for herein shall be prepared by a competent engineer or geologist. It shall show the stratum or strata in which the existing or proposed storage reservoir is or is to be located, the geographic location of the outside boundaries of thesaid storage reservoir and the reservoir protective area, the location of all known oil or gas wells which have been drilled into or through the storage stratum within the reservoir or within three thousand linear feet thereof, indicating which of these wells have been, or are to be cleaned out and plugged or reconditioned for storage and also indicating the proposed location of all additional wells which are to be drilled within the storage reservoir or within three thousand linear feet thereof.
The following information, if available, shall be furnished for all known oil or gas wells which have been drilled into or through the storage stratum within the storage reservoir or within three thousand linear feet thereof; name of the operator, date drilled, total depth, depth of production if the well was productive of oil or gas, the initial rock pressure and volume, the depths at which all coal seams were encountered and a copy of the driller's log or other similar information. At the time of the filing of the aforesaid maps and data such person shall file a detailed statement of what efforts have been made to determine, (1) that the wells shown on said map are accurately located thereon, and (2) that to the best of such person's knowledge the wells are all the oil or gas wells which have ever been drilled into or below the storage stratum within the proposed storage reservoir or within the reservoir protective area. This statement shall also include information as to whether or not the initial injection is for testing purposes, the maximum pressures at which injection and storage of gas is contemplated, and adetailed explanation of the methods to be used or which theretofore have been used in drilling, cleaning out, reconditioning or plugging wells in the storage reservoir or within the reservoir protective area. The map and data required to be filed hereunder shall be amended or supplemented semiannually in case any material changes have occurred: Provided, That the director may require a storage operator to amend or supplement such map or data at more frequent intervals if material changes have occurred justifying such earlier filing.
At the time of the filing of the above maps and data, and the filing of amended or supplemental maps or data, the director shall give written notice of said filing to all persons who may be affected under the provisions of this subsection by the storage reservoir described in such maps or data. Such notices shall contain a description of the boundaries of such storage reservoir. When a person operating a coal mine or owning an interest in coal properties which are or may be affected by the storage reservoir, requests in writing a copy of any map or data filed with the director such copy shall be furnished by the storage operator.
(b) Any person who, on the eighth day of June, one thousand nine hundred fifty-five, is injecting gas into or storing gas in any other storage reservoir in this state not subject to subsection (a) of this section shall, on or before the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-three, file with the division a map in the same detail as the map required for a storage reservoir subject to subsection (a) of this section; and,if the initial injection of gas into the storage reservoir by such person or any predecessor occurred after the thirty-first day of December, one thousand nine hundred seventy, data in the same detail as the data required for a storage reservoir shall be filed subject to subsection (a) of this section: Provided, That in the case of a storage reservoir the operation of which has been certified by the federal power commission or the federal energy regulatory commission under section seven of the federal Natural Gas Act, the person may, in lieu of the data, submit copies of the application and all amendments and supplements of record in the federal docket, together with the certificate of public convenience and necessity and any amendments thereto.
Any person who, after the eighth day of June, one thousand nine hundred fifty-five, proposes to inject or store gas in any other storage reservoir in this state not subject to subsection (a) of this section shall file with the division a map and data in the same detail as the map and data required for a storage reservoir subject to subsection (a) of this section not less than six months prior to the starting of actual injection or storage: Provided, That in the case of a storage reservoir the operation of which will be required to be certificated by the federal energy regulatory commission, the person may, in lieu of the data, submit copies of the application and all amendments and supplementals filed in the federal docket, together with the certificate of public convenience and necessity and any amendments thereto, within twenty days after the same have been filed by such person or issued by the federal energy regulatorycommission.
At the time of the filing of the above maps and data or documents in lieu of data and filing of amended or supplemental maps or data or documents in lieu of data, or upon receipt of an application filed with the federal energy regulatory commission for a new storage reservoir, the director shall give notice of said filing by a Class II legal advertisement in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, the publication area for which shall be the county or counties in which the storage reservoir is located. Such legal advertisements shall contain a description of the boundaries of such storage reservoir. The storage operator shall pay for the legal advertisement upon receipt of the invoice therefor from the division. When any person owning an interest in land which is or may be affected by the storage reservoir requests in writing a copy of any map or data or documents in lieu of data filed with the division, such copy shall be furnished by the storage operator.
(c) The director shall also intervene in the federal docket, and participate in the proceedings for the purpose of assuring that the certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by the federal energy regulatory commission does not authorize operations or practices in conflict with the provisions of this article. The director may cooperate with the public service commission if the commission also intervenes. The attorney general is hereby directed to provide legal representation to the director to achieve the purposes of this subsection.
(d) For all purposes of this article, the outside boundaries of a storage reservoir shall be defined by the location of those wells around the periphery of the storage reservoir which had no gas production when drilled in said storage stratum: Provided, That the boundaries as thus defined shall be originally fixed or subsequently changed where, based upon the number and nature of such wells, upon the geological and production knowledge of the storage stratum, its character, permeability, and distribution, and operating experience, it is determined in a conference or hearing under section ten of this article that modification should be made.
(a) As used in this article:
(1) "Commission" means the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and "commissioner" means the Oil and Gas Conservation Commissioner as provided for in section four of this article;
(2) "Director" means the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection and "chief" means the Chief of the Office of Oil and Gas;
(3) "Person" means any natural person, corporation, partnership, receiver, trustee, executor, administrator, guardian, fiduciary or other representative of any kind, and includes any government or any political subdivision or any agency thereof;
(4) "Operator" means any owner of the right to develop, operate and produce oil and gas from a pool and to appropriate the oil and gas produced therefrom, either for that person or for that person and others; in the event that there is no oil and gas lease in existence with respect to the tract in question, the owner of the oil and gas rights therein is the "operator" to the extent of seven-eighths of the oil and gas in that portion of the pool underlying the tract owned by such owner, and as "royalty owner' as to one-eighth interest in such oil and gas; and in the event the oil is owned separately from the gas, the owner of the substance being produced or sought to be produced from the pool is the "operator" as to that pool;
(5) "Royalty owner" means any owner of oil and gas in place, or oil and gas rights, to the extent that the owner is not an operator as defined in subdivision (4) of this section;
(6) "Independent producer" means a producer of crude oil or natural gas whose allowance for depletion is determined under Section 613A of the federal Internal Revenue Code in effect on July 1, 1997;
(7) "Oil" means natural crude oil or petroleum and other hydrocarbons, regardless of gravity, which are produced at the well in liquid form by ordinary production methods and which are not the result of condensation of gas after it leaves the underground reservoir;
(8) "Gas" means all natural gas and all other fluid hydrocarbons not defined as oil in subdivision (7) of this section;
(9) "Pool" means an underground accumulation of petroleum or gas in a single and separate reservoir (ordinarily a porous sandstone or limestone). It is characterized by a single natural- pressure system so that production of petroleum or gas from one part of the pool affects the reservoir pressure throughout its extent. A pool is bounded by geologic barriers in all directions, such as geologic structural conditions, impermeable strata, and water in the formations, so that it is effectively separated from any other pools that may be presented in the same district or on the same geologic structure;
(10) "Well" means any shaft or hole sunk, drilled, bored or dug into the earth or underground strata for the extraction of oil or gas;
(11) "Shallow well" means any well other than a coalbed methane well, drilled no deeper than one hundred feet below the top of the "Onondaga Group": Provided, That in no event may the "Onondaga Group" formation or any formation below the "Onondaga Group" be produced, perforated or stimulated in any manner;
(12) "Deep well" means any well, other than a shallow well or coalbed methane well, drilled to a formation below the top of the uppermost member of the "Onondaga Group;"
(13) "Drilling unit" means the acreage on which one well may be drilled;
(14) "Waste" means and includes:
(A) Physical waste, as that term is generally understood in the oil and gas industry;
(B) The locating, drilling, equipping, operating or producing of any oil or gas well in a manner that causes, or tends to cause, a reduction in the quantity of oil or gas ultimately recoverable from a pool under prudent and proper operations, or that causes or tends to cause unnecessary or excessive surface loss of oil or gas; or
(C) The drilling of more deep wells than are reasonably required to recover efficiently and economically the maximum amount of oil and gas from a pool. Waste does not include gas vented or released from any mine areas as defined in section two, article one, chapter twenty-two-a of this code or from adjacent coal seams which are the subject of a current permit issued under article two of chapter twenty-two-a of this code: Provided, That this exclusion does not address ownership of the gas;
(15) "Correlative rights" means the reasonable opportunity of each person entitled thereto to recover and receive without waste the oil and gas in and under his tract or tracts, or the equivalent thereof; and
(16) "Just and equitable share of production" means, as to each person, an amount of oil or gas or both substantially equal to the amount of recoverable oil and gas in that part of a pool underlying the person's tract or tracts.
(b) Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the use of the word "and" and the word "or" are interchangeable, as, for example, "oil and gas" means oil or gas or both.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.