2015 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 17. Corporation Commission
§17-53.2. Removal of operating equipment, production and storage structures, supplies and equipment, surface debris, abutment or obstacle - Filling of certain pits - Grading or terracing certain disturbed land - Release - Extension of time.

17 OK Stat § 17-53.2 (2015) What's This?

A. The Corporation Commission shall prescribe and promulgate rules and regulations which require the lease operator to remove all unnecessary operating equipment, structures, surface debris, abutment or obstacles used in the operation of the well from the land upon which the well is located, and shall grade or terrace the surface of the soil as required in this section unless the owner of the land and the lease operator have entered into a contract providing otherwise. Provided, however, the provisions of this section shall not apply to Osage County.

B. Within twelve (12) months after the completion of a producing well, the operator shall fill all the pits for containing muds, cuttings, salt water or oil that are not needed for production purposes or are not required by state or federal law or regulation and shall remove all concrete bases, drilling supplies and drilling equipment and all other equipment not necessary for producing said well, excluding guy line anchors. Within such period, the operator shall grade or terrace the land surface within the area disturbed in siting, drilling, completing and producing the well which land is not required in production of the well.

C. Within twelve (12) months after a well that has produced oil or gas is plugged or after the plugging of a dry hole, the operator shall remove all production and storage structures, supplies and equipment and any oil, salt water and debris and fill any remaining excavations. Within such period, the operator shall grade or terrace the area disturbed.

D. The operator shall be released from responsibility to perform any or all requirements of this section on any part or all of the area disturbed upon the filing of a request for a waiver with and obtaining the written approval of the Commission, which request shall be signed by the surface owner to certify the approval of the surface owner of the release sought. The Commission shall approve such requests unless it finds upon inspection that the waiver would be likely to result in substantial damage to adjoining property, substantial contamination of surface or underground water or substantial erosion or sedimentation. If the Commission refuses to approve a request for waiver, it shall do so by order.

E. This act shall also apply to the operators of a secondary or enhanced oil recovery unit that is or has been operated under a plan of unitization approved by order of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and established by a proper certificate of effectiveness. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to repeal the statutes governing the establishment and operation of such secondary or enhanced recovery unit.

F. The Commission may, upon written application by an operator showing reasonable cause, extend the period within which restoration shall be completed, but not to exceed a further six-month period, except under extraordinarily adverse weather conditions or when essential equipment, fuel or labor is unavailable to the operator. If the Commission refuses to approve a request for waiver or extension, it shall do so by order.

G. The provisions of this section shall also apply to the drilling of or conversion to a saltwater disposal or injection well and to any operation in connection with reentering or reworking any oil and gas well or saltwater injection or disposal well.

Amended by Laws 1982, c. 205, § 2, emerg. eff. April 27, 1982.

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