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Senate Bill 0071


Senate Bill 0071

ARCHIVE (2011)

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DIGEST OF SB71 (Updated April 26, 2011 3:31 pm - DI 84)


Coal bed methane and other oil and gas issues. Allows the department of natural resources to adopt emergency rules for most aspects of oil and gas and other petroleum regulation. Provides that oil and gas statutes do not apply to methane ventilation governed under an approved federal Mine Safety and Health Administration coal mine ventilation plan. Requires the natural resources commission to regulate various aspects of coal bed methane wells. Provides for regulation of coal bed methane wells and other gas wells in a similar manner. Requires coal bed methane well permit applicants to disclose products to be used in the stimulation process of coal seams. Terminates the restriction on the extraction of coal bed methane from a well for oil and gas purposes. Requires the division of oil and gas to give written notice of permit applications to each person who files an affidavit under IC 14-37-7-8. Requires the division of oil and gas (division) to give notice to interested persons of applications for coal bed methane permits, prohibits issuance of a permit less than 30 days after the posting, and establishes other permit issuance criteria. Requires a permit applicant to submit documentation of: (1) receipt of the permit application notice to the coal owner or lessee, and (2) the notice provided to the owner of surface property before the division issues a permit. Requires the division of oil and gas to act on a permit application within fifteen (15) days after the elapse of the notice period to parties interested in developing commercially minable coal resources. Requires the director of the division of oil and gas to hold, within 30 days after a request, an informal hearing when there is a dispute regarding well locations. Modifies definition of "waste" to include a manner that unreasonably reduces the quantity of commercially minable resources. Allows the division to require an owner or operator to modify the location for the drilling of a well for oil and gas purposes, and requires an owner or operator to provide notice of the intent to drill under certain circumstances. Establishes coal seam protection requirements with respect to producing vertical oil and gas wells. Requires the coal owner to acknowledge that the recovery of coal bed methane may result in waste of the commercially minable resource in the written consent authorizing the drilling. Requires: (1) provide thirty (30) days from receipt of the permit application notice to object to the issuance of a permit; and (2) include endangerment of the health and safety of miners as basis for objection. Modifies certain requirements for an affidavit and map used to determine if a commercially minable coal resource is present in an area for which a permit application has been filed. Allows the division to release information regarding the presence of commercially minable coal seams to a person with an interest only in oil and gas explorations in addition for a well applicant. Adjusts the requirements for plugging wells. Allows the director to review certain activities that may result in waste or endangerment of the health and safety of miners. Allows the director of the division of oil and gas to approve alternative plugging methods. Allows an owner or operator of a coal mine to burn by flares coal bed methane under certain circumstances. Limits the exercise of rights in certain circumstances under a coal bed methane estate if the exercise affects miner safety or coal resources. Repeals provisions concerning requirements for coal seam protection and for plugging of wells. Provides that actual damages are damages to marketable timber, crops, drainage systems, or erosion control systems, or quantifiable and verifiable damage to crops from compaction, abnormal flooding, or abnormal soil erosion caused by oil and gas operations. Requires an owner or holder of mineral interests, unless otherwise agreed by the surface owner, to provide written notice of intent to enter the surface owner's property at least five (5) days before an entry for purposes of surveying for drilling for oil, gas, or coal bed methane.
    Current Status:
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