DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL
Coal bed methane. Requires the natural resources commission (commission) to: (1) regulate coal bed methane wells; (2) establish alternative spacing, unit, and bonding requirements for coal bed methane wells; (3) maintain a public record containing certain information on coal bed methane wells; and (4) adopt rules requiring the notification of a property owner before property is entered for oil and gas or coal bed methane purposes. Allows an owner or holder of mineral rights to coal to file an affidavit identifying a minable coal resource. Provides for regulation of coal bed methane wells and other gas wells in a similar manner. Requires the division of oil and gas (division) to post applications for coal bed methane permits on its web site. Prohibits the issuance of a permit less than 15 days after the posting, and establishes other conditions to permit issuance. Allows the commission to require an owner or operator to modify the location for the drilling of a well for oil and gas or coal bed methane purposes under certain circumstances. Amends the well plugging requirements. Allows an owner or operator of a coal mine to vent coal bed methane under certain circumstances. Provides for the establishment of an estate in land with respect to coal bed methane comparable to an estate that may be established under current law with respect to oil and gas. Limits the exercise of rights in certain circumstances under a coal bed methane estate if the exercise would affect miner safety or coal resources. Provides that a conveyance or reservation of rights to coal or oil and gas will not be considered as including the rights to coal bed methane unless there has been a specific grant. Provides that a coal operator's venting of coal bed methane gas in connection with mining operations is not considered to be a waste or diminution of resources.