2011 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 70: Oil and Gas
Article 12: Surface Owners Protection Act, 70-12-1 through 70-12-10
Section 70-12-5: Notice of operations; proposed surface use and compensation agreement.
70-12-5. Notice of operations; proposed surface use and compensation agreement.
A. Prior to initial entry upon the land for activities that do not disturb the surface, including inspections, staking, surveys, measurements and general evaluation of proposed routes and sites for oil and gas operations, the operator shall provide at least five business days' notice by certified mail or hand delivery to the surface owner.
B. No less than thirty days before first entering the surface of the land to conduct oil and gas operations, an operator shall, by certified mail or hand delivery, give the surface owner notice of the planned oil and gas operations. The notice shall include:
(1) sufficient disclosure of the planned oil and gas operations to enable the surface owner to evaluate the effect of the operations on the property;
(2) a copy of the Surface Owners Protection Act;
(3) the name, address, telephone number and, if available, facsimile number and electronic mail address of the operator and the operator's authorized representative; and
(4) a proposed surface use and compensation agreement addressing, at a minimum and to the extent known, the following issues:
(a) placement, specifications, maintenance and design of well pads, gathering pipelines and roads to be constructed for oil and gas operations;
(b) terms of ingress and egress upon the surface of the land for oil and gas operations;
(c) construction, maintenance and placement of all pits and equipment used or planned for oil and gas operations;
(d) use and impoundment of water on the surface of the land;
(e) removal and restoration of plant life;
(f) surface water drainage changes;
(g) actions to limit and effectively control precipitation runoff and erosion;
(h) control and management of noise, weeds, dust, traffic, trespass, litter and interference with the surface owner's use;
(i) interim and final reclamation;
(j) actions to minimize surface damages to the property;
(k) operator indemnification for injury to persons caused by the operator; and
(l) an offer of compensation for damages to the surface affected by oil and gas operations.
C. The notices required by this section shall be given to the surface owner at the address shown by the records of the county clerk at the time the notice is given. If legal title and equitable title are not held by the same person, notice shall be given to both the holder of legal title and to the holder of equitable title at the addresses shown by the records of the county clerk at the time the notice is given.
D. Upon receipt of the notice required by Subsection B of this section, the surface owner may:
(1) accept the proposed surface use and compensation agreement within twenty days; or
(2) reject the proposed surface use and compensation agreement; provided that, failure to accept the proposed agreement within twenty days shall be deemed to be a rejection by the surface owner. If the proposed agreement is rejected, the surface owner may enter into negotiations with the operator, including, if the parties agree, binding arbitration or mediation.
E. Notices required by the Surface Owners Protection Act shall be deemed to have been received five days after mailing by certified mail or immediately upon hand delivery.
F. The operator and the surface owner may enter into a mutually acceptable agreement that sets forth the rights and obligations of the parties with respect to the surface activities conducted by the operator.
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