U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: May 27, 2020

§ 3162.1 - General requirements.

(a) The operating rights owner or operator, as appropriate, shall comply with applicable laws and regulations; with the lease terms, Onshore Oil and Gas Orders, NTL's; and with other orders and instructions of the authorized officer. These include, but are not limited to, conducting all operations in a manner which ensures the proper handling, measurement, disposition, and site security of leasehold production; which protects other natural resources and environmental quality; which protects life and property; and which results in maximum ultimate economic recovery of oil and gas with minimum waste and with minimum adverse effect on ultimate recovery of other mineral resources.

(b) The operator shall permit properly identified authorized representatives to enter upon, travel across and inspect lease sites and records normally kept on the lease pertinent thereto without advance notice. Inspections normally will be conducted during those hours when responsible persons are expected to be present at the operation being inspected. Such permission shall include access to secured facilities on such lease sites for the purpose of making any inspection or investigation for determining whether there is compliance with the mineral leasing laws, the regulations in this part, and any applicable orders, notices or directives.

(c) For the purpose of making any inspection or investigation, the Secretary or his authorized representative shall have the same right to enter upon or travel across any lease site as the operator has acquired by purchase, condemnation or otherwise.

[47 FR 47765, Oct. 27, 1982. Redesignated and amended at 48 FR 36583, Aug. 12, 1983; 49 FR 37364, Sept. 21, 1984; 53 FR 17363, May 16, 1988]

§ 3162.2 - Drilling, producing, and drainage obligations.

§ 3162.2-1 - Drilling and producing obligations.

(a) The operator, at its election, may drill and produce other wells in conformity with any system of well spacing or production allotments affecting the field or area in which the leased lands are situated, and which is authorized and sanctioned by applicable law or by the authorized officer.

(b) After notice in writing, the lessee(s) and operating rights owner(s) shall promptly drill and produce such other wells as the authorized officer may reasonably require in order that the lease may be properly and timely developed and produced in accordance with good economic operating practices.

[66 FR 1892, Jan. 10, 2001. Redesignated at 66 FR 1892, Jan. 10, 2001; 66 FR 24073, May 11, 2001]

§ 3162.2-2 - What steps may BLM take to avoid uncompensated drainage of Federal or Indian mineral resources?

If we determine that a well is draining Federal or Indian mineral resources, we may take any of the following actions:

(a) If the mineral resources being drained are in Federal or Indian leases, we may require the lessee to drill and produce all wells that are necessary to protect the lease from drainage, unless the conditions of this part are met. BLM will consider applicable Federal, State, or Tribal rules, regulations, and spacing orders when determining which action to take. Alternatively, we may accept other equivalent protective measures;

(b) If the mineral resources being drained are either unleased (including those which may not be subject to leasing) or in Federal or Indian leases, we may execute agreements with the owners of interests in the producing well under which the United States or the Indian lessor may be compensated for the drainage (with the consent of the Federal or (in consultation with the Indian mineral owner and BIA) Indian lessees, if any);

(c) We may offer for lease any qualifying unleased mineral resources under part 3120 of this chapter or enter into a communitization agreement; or

(d) We may approve a unit or communitization agreement that provides for payment of a royalty on production attributable to unleased mineral resources as provided in § 3181.5.

[66 FR 1893, Jan. 10, 2001]

§ 3162.2-3 - When am I responsible for protecting my Federal or Indian lease from drainage?

You must protect your Federal or Indian lease from drainage if your lease is being drained of mineral resources by a well:

(a) Producing for the benefit of another mineral owner;

(b) Producing for the benefit of the same mineral owner but with a lower royalty rate; or

(c) Located in a unit or communitization agreement, which due to its Federal or Indian mineral owner's allocation or participation factor, generates less revenue for the United States or the Indian mineral owner for the mineral resources produced from your lease.

[66 FR 1893, Jan. 10, 2001]

§ 3162.2-4 - What protective action may BLM require the lessee to take to protect the leases from drainage?

We may require you to:

(a) Drill or modify and produce all wells that are necessary to protect the leased mineral resources from drainage;

(b) Enter into a unitization or communitization agreement with the lease containing the draining well; or

(c) Pay compensatory royalties for drainage that has occurred or is occurring.

[66 FR 1893, Jan. 10, 2001]

§ 3162.2-5 - Must I take protective action when a protective well would be uneconomic?

You are not required to take any of the actions listed in § 3162.2-4 if you can prove to BLM that when you first knew or had constructive notice of drainage you could not produce a sufficient quantity of oil or gas from a protective well on your lease for a reasonable profit above the cost of drilling, completing, and operating the protective well.

[66 FR 1893, Jan. 10, 2001]

§ 3162.2-6 - When will I have constructive notice that drainage may be occurring?

(a) You have constructive notice that drainage may be occurring when well completion or first production reports for the draining well are filed with either BLM, State oil and gas commissions, or regulatory agencies and are publicly available.

(b) If you operate or own any interest in the draining well or lease, you have constructive notice that drainage may be occurring when you complete drill stem, production, pressure analysis, or flow tests of the well.

[66 FR 1893, Jan. 10, 2001]

§ 3162.2-7 - Who is liable for drainage if more than one person holds undivided interests in the record title or operating rights for the same lease?

(a) If more than one person holds record title interests in a portion of a lease that is subject to drainage, each person is jointly and severally liable for taking any action we may require under this part to protect the lease from drainage, including paying compensatory royalty accruing during the period and for the area in which it holds its record title interest.

(b) Operating rights owners are jointly and severally liable with each other and with all record title holders for drainage affecting the area and horizons in which they hold operating rights during the period they hold operating rights.

[66 FR 1893, Jan. 10, 2001]

§ 3162.2-8 - Does my responsibility for drainage protection end when I assign or transfer my lease interest?

If you assign your record title interest in a lease or transfer your operating rights, you are not liable for drainage that occurs after the date we approve the assignment or transfer. However, you remain responsible for the payment of compensatory royalties for any drainage that occurred when you held the lease interest.

[66 FR 1893, Jan. 10, 2001]

§ 3162.2-9 - What is my duty to inquire about the potential for drainage and inform BLM of my findings?

(a) When you first acquire a lease interest, and at all times while you hold the lease interest, you must monitor the drilling of wells in the same or adjacent spacing units and gather sufficient information to determine whether drainage is occurring. This information can be in various forms, including but not limited to, well completion reports, sundry notices, or available production information. As a prudent lessee, it is your responsibility to analyze and evaluate this information and make the necessary calculations to determine:

(1) The amount of drainage from production of the draining well;

(2) The amount of mineral resources which will be drained from your Federal or Indian lease during the life of the draining well; and

(3) Whether a protective well would be economic to drill.

(b) You must notify BLM within 60 days from the date of actual or constructive notice of:

(1) Which of the actions in § 3162.2-4 you will take; or

(2) The reasons a protective well would be uneconomic.

(c) If you do not have sufficient information to comply with § 3162.2-9(b)(1), indicate when you will provide the information.

(d) You must provide BLM with the analysis under paragraph (a) of this section within 60 days after we request it.

[66 FR 1893, Jan. 10, 2001]

§ 3162.2-10 - Will BLM notify me when it determines that drainage is occurring?

We will send you a demand letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, or personally serve you with notice, if we believe that drainage is occurring. However, your responsibility to take protective action arises when you first knew or had constructive notice of the drainage, even when that date precedes the BLM demand letter.

[66 FR 1894, Jan. 10, 2001]

§ 3162.2-11 - How soon after I know of the likelihood of drainage must I take protective action?

(a) You must take protective action within a reasonable time after the earlier of:

(1) The date you knew or had constructive notice that the potentially draining well had begun to produce oil or gas; or

(2) The date we issued a demand letter for protective action.

(b) Since the time required to drill and produce a protective well varies according to the location and conditions of the oil and gas reservoir, BLM will determine this on a case-by-case basis. When we determine whether you took protective action within a reasonable time, we will consider several factors including, but not limited to:

(1) Time required to evaluate the characteristics and performance of the draining well;

(2) Rig availability;

(3) Well depth;

(4) Required environmental analysis;

(5) Special lease stipulations which provide limited time frames in which to drill; and

(6) Weather conditions.

(c) If BLM determines that you did not take protection action timely, you will owe compensatory royalty for the period of the delay under § 3162.2-12.

[66 FR 1894, Jan. 10, 2001]

§ 3162.2-12 - If I hold an interest in a lease, for what period will the Department assess compensatory royalty against me?

The Department will assess compensatory royalty beginning on the first day of the month following the earliest reasonable time we determine you should have taken protective action. You must continue to pay compensatory royalty until:

(a) You drill sufficient economic protective wells and remain in continuous production;

(b) We approve a unitization or communitization agreement that includes the mineral resources being drained;

(c) The draining well stops producing; or

(d) You relinquish your interest in the Federal or Indian lease.

[66 FR 1894, Jan. 10, 2001]

§ 3162.2-13 - If I acquire an interest in a lease that is being drained, will the Department assess me for compensatory royalty?

If you acquire an interest in a Federal or Indian lease through an assignment of record title or transfer of operating rights under this part, you are liable for all drainage obligations accruing on and after the date we approve the assignment or transfer.

[66 FR 1894, Jan. 10, 2001]

§ 3162.2-14 - May I appeal BLM's decision to require drainage protective measures?

You may appeal any BLM decision requiring you take drainage protective measures. You may request BLM State Director review under 43 CFR 3165.3 and/or appeal to the Interior Board of Land Appeals under 43 CFR part 4 and subpart 1840.

[66 FR 1894, Jan. 10, 2001]

§ 3162.2-15 - Who has the burden of proof if I appeal BLM's drainage determination?

BLM has the burden of establishing a prima facie case that drainage is occurring and that you knew of such drainage. Then the burden of proof shifts to you to refute the existence of drainage or to prove there was not sufficient information to put you on notice of the need for drainage protection. You also have the burden of proving that drilling and producing from a protective well would not be economically feasible.

[66 FR 1894, Jan. 10, 2001]

§ 3162.3 - Conduct of operations.

(a) Whenever a change in operator occurs, the authorized officer shall be notified promptly in writing, and the new operator shall furnish evidence of sufficient bond coverage in accordance with § 3106.6 and subpart 3104 of this title.

(b) A contractor on a leasehold shall be considered the agent of the operator for such operations with full responsibility for acting on behalf of the operator for purposes of complying with applicable laws, regulations, the lease terms, NTL's, Onshore Oil and Gas Orders, and other orders and instructions of the authorized officer.

[53 FR 17363, May 16, 1988; 53 FR 31959, Aug. 22, 1988]

§ 3162.3-1 - Drilling applications and plans.

(a) Each well shall be drilled in conformity with an acceptable well-spacing program at a surveyed well location approved or prescribed by the authorized officer after appropriate environmental and technical reviews (see § 3162.5-1 of this title). An acceptable well-spacing program may be either (1) one which conforms with a spacing order or field rule issued by a State Commission or Board and accepted by the authorized officer, or (2) one which is located on a lease committed to a communitized or unitized tract at a location approved by the authorized officer, or (3) any other program established by the authorized officer.

(b) Any well drilled on restricted Indian land shall be subject to the location restrictions specified in the lease and/or Title 25 of the CFR.

(c) The operator shall submit to the authorized officer for approval an Application for Permit to Drill for each well. No drilling operations, nor surface disturbance preliminary thereto, may be commenced prior to the authorized officer's approval of the permit.

(d) The Application for Permit to Drill process shall be initiated at least 30 days before commencement of operations is desired. Prior to approval, the application shall be administratively and technically complete. A complete application consists of Form 3160-3 and the following attachments:

(1) A drilling plan, which may already be on file, containing information required by paragraph (e) of this section and appropriate orders and notices.

(2) A surface use plan of operations containing information required by paragraph (f) of this section and appropriate orders and notices.

(3) Evidence of bond coverage as required by the Department of the Interior regulations, and

(4) Such other information as may be required by applicable orders and notices.

(e) Each drilling plan shall contain the information specified in applicable notices or orders, including a description of the drilling program, the surface and projected completion zone location, pertinent geologic data, expected hazards, and proposed mitigation measures to address such hazards. A drilling plan may be submitted for a single well or for several wells proposed to be drilled to the same zone within a field or area of geological and environmental similarity. A drilling plan may be modified from time to time as circumstances may warrant, with the approval of the authorized officer.

(f) The surface use plan of operations shall contain information specified in applicable orders or notices, including the road and drillpad location, details of pad construction, methods for containment and disposal of waste material, plans for reclamation of the surface, and other pertinent data as the authorized officer may require. A surface use plan of operations may be submitted for a single well or for several wells proposed to be drilled in an area of environmental similarity.

(g) For Federal lands, upon receipt of the Application for Permit to Drill or Notice of Staking, the authorized officer shall post the following information for public inspection at least 30 days before action to approve the Application for Permit to Drill: the company/operator name; the well name/number; the well location described to the nearest quarter-quarter section (40 acres), or similar land description in the case of lands described by metes and bounds, or maps showing the affected lands and the location of all tracts to be leased and of all leases already issued in the general area; and any substantial modifications to the lease terms. Where the inclusion of maps in such posting is not practicable, maps of the affected lands shall be made available to the public for review. This information also shall be provided promptly by the authorized officer to the appropriate office of the Federal surface management agency, for lands the surface of which is not under Bureau jurisdiction, requesting such agency to post the proposed action for public inspection for at least 30 days. The posting shall be in the office of the authorized officer and in the appropriate surface managing agency if other than the Bureau. The posting of an Application for Permit to Drill is for information purposes only and is not an appealable decision.

(h) Upon initiation of the Application for Permit to Drill process, the authorized officer shall consult with the appropriate Federal surface management agency and with other interested parties as appropriate and shall take one of the following actions as soon as practical, but in no event later than 5 working days after the conclusion of the 30-day notice period for Federal lands, or within 30 days from receipt of the application for Indian lands:

(1) Approve the application as submitted or with appropriate modifications or conditions;

(2) Return the application and advise the applicant of the reasons for disapproval; or

(3) Advise the applicant, either in writing or orally with subsequent written confirmation, of the reasons why final action will be delayed along with the date such final action can be expected.

The surface use plan of operations for National Forest System lands shall be approved by the Secretary of Agriculture or his/her representative prior to approval of the Application for Permit to Drill by the authorized officer. Appeals from the denial of approval of such surface use plan of operations shall be submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture.

(i) Approval of the Application for Permit to Drill does not warrant or certify that the applicant holds legal or equitable title to the subject lease(s) which would entitle the applicant to conduct drilling operations.

[47 FR 47765, Oct. 27, 1982. Redesignated and amended at 48 FR 36583, Aug. 12, 1983, further amended at 52 FR 5391, Feb. 20, 1987; 53 FR 17363, May 16, 1988; 53 FR 22846, June 17, 1988; 53 FR 31958, Aug. 22, 1988; 81 FR 83078, Nov. 18, 2016; 82 FR 58072, Dec. 8, 2017; 83 FR 49211, Sept. 28, 2018]

§ 3162.3-2 - Subsequent well operations.

(a) A proposal for further well operations shall be submitted by the operator on Form 3160-5 for approval by the authorized officer prior to commencing operations to redrill, deepen, perform casing repairs, plug-back, alter casing, recomplete in a different interval, perform water shut off, commingling production between intervals and/or conversion to injection. If there is additional surface disturbance, the proposal shall include a surface use plan of operations. A subsequent report on these operations also will be filed on Form 3160-5. The authorized officer may prescribe that each proposal contain all or a portion of the information set forth in § 3162.3-1 of this title.

(b) Unless additional surface disturbance is involved and if the operations conform to the standard of prudent operating practice, prior approval is not required for routine fracturing or acidizing jobs, or recompletion in the same interval; however, a subsequent report on these operations must be filed on Form 3160-5.

(c) No prior approval or a subsequent report is required for well cleanout work, routine well maintenance, or bottom hole pressure surveys.

(d) For details on how to apply for approval of a facility measurement point; approval for surface or subsurface commingling from different leases, unit participating areas and communitized areas; or approval for off-lease measurement, see 43 CFR 3173.12, 3173.15, and 3173.23, respectively.

[47 FR 47765, Oct. 27, 1982. Redesignated and amended at 48 FR 36583, Aug. 12, 1983, further amended at 52 FR 5391, Feb. 20, 1987; 53 FR 17363, May 16, 1988; 53 FR 22847, June 17, 1988; 80 FR 16218, Mar. 26, 2015; 81 FR 81419, Nov. 17, 2016; 82 FR 61949, Dec. 29, 2017]

§ 3162.3-3 - Other lease operations.

Prior to commencing any operation on the leasehold which will result in additional surface disturbance, other than those authorized under § 3162.3-1 or § 3162.3-2, the operator shall submit a proposal on Form 3160-5 to the authorized officer for approval. The proposal shall include a surface use plan of operations.

[82 FR 61949, Dec. 29, 2017]

§ 3162.3-4 - Well abandonment.

(a) The operator shall promptly plug and abandon, in accordance with a plan first approved in writing or prescribed by the authorized officer, each newly completed or recompleted well in which oil or gas is not encountered in paying quantities or which, after being completed as a producing well, is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the authorized officer to be no longer capable of producing oil or gas in paying quantities, unless the authorized officer shall approve the use of the well as a service well for injection to recover additional oil or gas or for subsurface disposal of produced water. In the case of a newly drilled or recompleted well, the approval to abandon may be written or oral with written confirmation.

(b) Completion of a well as plugged and abandoned may also include conditioning the well as water supply source for lease operations or for use by the surface owner or appropriate Government Agency, when authorized by the authorized officer. All costs over and above the normal plugging and abandonment expense will be paid by the party accepting the water well.

(c) No well may be temporarily abandoned for more than 30 days without the prior approval of the authorized officer. The authorized officer may authorize a delay in the permanent abandonment of a well for a period of 12 months. When justified by the operator, the authorized officer may authorize additional delays, no one of which may exceed an additional 12 months. Upon the removal of drilling or producing equipment from the site of a well which is to be permanently abandoned, the surface of the lands disturbed in connection with the conduct of operations shall be reclaimed in accordance with a plan first approved or prescribed by the authorized officer.

[47 FR 47765, Oct. 27, 1982. Redesignated and amended at 48 FR 36583, Aug. 12, 1983, further amended at 53 FR 17363, May 16, 1988; 53 FR 22847, June 17, 1988]

§ 3162.4 - Records and reports.

§ 3162.4-1 - Well records and reports.

(a) The operator must keep accurate and complete records with respect to:

(1) All lease operations, including, but not limited to, drilling, producing, redrilling, repairing, plugging back, and abandonment operations;

(2) Production facilities and equipment (including schematic diagrams as required by applicable orders and notices); and

(3) Determining and verifying the quantity, quality, and disposition of production from or allocable to Federal or Indian leases (including source records).

(b) Standard forms for providing basic data are listed in Note 1 at the beginning of this title. As noted on Form 3160-4, two copies of all electric and other logs run on the well must be submitted to the authorized officer. Upon request, the operator shall transmit to the authorized officer copies of such other records maintained in compliance with paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Not later than the 5th business day after any well begins production on which royalty is due anywhere on a lease site or allocated to a lease site, or resumes production in the case of a well which has been off production for more than 90 days, the operator shall notify the authorized officer by letter or sundry notice, Form 3160-5, or orally to be followed by a letter or sundry notice, of the date on which such production has begun or resumed.

(d) All records and reports required by this section must be maintained for the following time periods:

(1) For Federal leases and units or communitized areas that include Federal leases, but do not include Indian leases:

(i) Seven years after the records are generated; unless,

(ii) A judicial proceeding or demand involving such records is timely commenced, in which case the record holder must maintain such records until the final nonappealable decision in such judicial proceeding is made, or with respect to that demand is rendered, unless the Secretary or the applicable delegated State authorizes in writing an earlier release of the requirement to maintain such records.

(2) For Indian leases, and units or communitized areas that include Indian leases, but do not include Federal leases:

(i) Six years after the records are generated; unless,

(ii) The Secretary or his/her designee notifies the record holder that the Department has initiated or is participating in an audit or investigation involving such records, in which case the record holder must maintain such records until the Secretary or his/her designee releases the record holder from the obligation to maintain the records.

(3) For units and communitized areas that include both Federal and Indian leases, 6 years after the records are generated, unless the Secretary or his/her designee has notified the record holder within those 6 years that an audit or investigation involving such records has been initiated, then:

(i) If a judicial proceeding or demand is commenced within 7 years after the records are generated, the record holder must retain all records regarding production from the lease, unit or communitization agreement until the final nonappealable decision in such judicial proceeding is made, or with respect to that demand is rendered, unless the Secretary or his/her designee authorizes in writing a release of the requirement to maintain such records before a final nonappealable decision is made or rendered;

(ii) If a judicial proceeding or demand is not commenced within 7 years after the records are generated, the record holder must retain all records regarding production from the unit or communitized area until the Secretary or his/her designee releases the record holder from the obligation to maintain the records.

(e) Record holders include lessees, operators, purchasers, transporters, and any other person directly involved in producing, transporting, purchasing, or selling, including measuring, oil or gas through the point of royalty measurement or the point of first sale, whichever is later. Record holders must maintain records generated during or for the period for which the lessee or operator has an interest in or conducted operations on the lease, or in which a person is involved in transporting, purchasing, or selling production from the lease, for the period of time required in paragraph (d) of this section.

[47 FR 47765, Oct. 27, 1982. Redesignated and amended at 48 FR 36583, Aug. 12, 1983; 49 FR 37364, Sept. 21, 1984; 52 FR 5391, Feb. 20, 1987; 53 FR 17363, May 16, 1988; 81 FR 81419, Nov. 17, 2016]

§ 3162.4-2 - Samples, tests, and surveys.

(a) During the drilling and completion of a well, the operator shall, when required by the authorized officer, conduct tests, run logs, and make other surveys reasonably necessary to determine the presence, quantity, and quality of oil, gas, other minerals, or the presence or quality of water; to determine the amount and/or direction of deviation of any well from the verticial; and to determine the relevant characteristics of the oil and gas reservoirs penetrated.

(b) After the well has been completed, the operator shall conduct periodic well tests which will demonstrate the quantity and quality of oil and gas and water. The method and frequency of such well tests will be specified in appropriate notices and orders. When needed, the operator shall conduct reasonable tests which will demonstrate the mechanical integrity of the downhole equipment.

(c) Results of samples, tests, and surveys approved or prescribed under this section shall be provided to the authorized officer without cost to the lessor.

[47 FR 47765, Oct. 27, 1982. Redesignated and amended at 48 FR 36583, Aug. 12, 1983, further amended at 53 FR 17363, May 16, 1988]

§ 3162.5 - Environment and safety.

§ 3162.5-1 - Environmental obligations.

(a) The operator shall conduct operations in a manner which protects the mineral resources, other natural resources, and environmental quality. In that respect, the operator shall comply with the pertinent orders of the authorized officer and other standards and procedures as set forth in the applicable laws, regulations, lease terms and conditions, and the approved drilling plan or subsequent operations plan. Before approving any Application for Permit to Drill submitted pursuant to § 3162.3-1 of this title, or other plan requiring environmental review, the authorized officer shall prepare an environmental record of review or an environmental assessment, as appropriate. These environmental documents will be used in determining whether or not an environmental impact statement is required and in determining any appropriate terms and conditions of approval of the submitted plan.

(b) The operator shall exercise due care and diligence to assure that leasehold operations do not result in undue damage to surface or subsurface resources or surface improvements. All produced water must be disposed of by injection into the subsurface, by approved pits, or by other methods which have been approved by the authorized officer. Upon the conclusion of operations, the operator shall reclaim the disturbed surface in a manner approved or reasonably prescribed by the authorized officer.

(c) All spills or leakages of oil, gas, produced water, toxic liquids, or waste materials, blowouts, fires, personal injuries, and fatalities shall be reported by the operator in accordance with these regulations and as prescribed in applicable order or notices. The operator shall exercise due diligence in taking necessary measures, subject to approval by the authorized officer, to control and remove pollutants and to extinguish fires. An operator's compliance with the requirements of the regulations in this part shall not relieve the operator of the obligation to comply with other applicable laws and regulations.

(d) When reasonably required by the authorized officer, a contingency plan shall be submitted describing procedures to be implemented to protect life, property, and the environment.

(e) The operator's liability for damages to third parties shall be governed by applicable law.

[47 FR 47765, Oct. 27, 1982. Redesignated and amended at 48 FR 36583, Aug. 12, 1983, further amended at 53 FR 17363, May 16, 1988; 53 FR 22847, June 17, 1988]

§ 3162.5-2 - Control of wells.

(a) Drilling wells. The operator shall take all necessary precautions to keep each well under control at all times, and shall utiliz and maintain materials and equipment necessary to insure the safety of operating conditions and procedures.

(b) Vertical drilling. The operator shall conduct drilling operations in a manner so that the completed well does not deviate significantly from the vertical without the prior written approval of the authorized officer. Significant deviation means a projected deviation of the well bore from the vertical of 10° or more, or a projected bottom hole location which could be less than 200 feet from the spacing unit or lease boundary. Any well which deviates more than 10° from the vertical or could result in a bottom hole location less than 200 feet from the spacing unit or lease boundary without prior written approval must be promptly reported to the authorized officer. In these cases, a directional survey is required.

(c) High pressure or loss of circulation. The operator shall take immediate steps and utilize necessary resources to maintain or restore control of any well in which the pressure equilibrium has become unbalanced.

(d) Protection of fresh water and other minerals. The operator shall isolate freshwater-bearing and other usable water containing 5,000 ppm or less of dissolved solids and other mineral-bearing formations and protect them from contamination. Tests and surveys of the effectiveness of such measures shall be conducted by the operator using procedures and practices approved or prescribed by the authorized officer.

[47 FR 47765, Oct. 27, 1982. Redesignated and amended at 48 FR 36583, Aug. 12, 1983, further amended at 53 FR 17363, May 16, 1988; 80 FR 16222, Mar. 26, 2015; 82 FR 61949, Dec. 29, 2017]

§ 3162.5-3 - Safety precautions.

The operator shall perform operations and maintain equipment in a safe and workmanlike manner. The operator shall take all precautions necessary to provide adequate protection for the health and safety of life and the protection of property. Compliance with health and safety requirements prescribed by the authorized officer shall not relieve the operator of the responsibility for compliance with other pertinent health and safety requirements under applicable laws or regulations.

[47 FR 47765, Oct. 27, 1982. Redesignated and amended at 48 FR 36583, Aug. 12, 1983, further amended at 53 FR 17363, May 16, 1988]

§ 3162.6 - Well and facility identification.

(a) Every well within a Federal or Indian lease or supervised agreement shall have a well identification sign. All signs shall be maintained in a legible condition.

(b) For wells located on Federal and Indian lands, the operator must properly identify, by a sign in a conspicuous place, each well, other than those permanently abandoned. The well sign must include the well number, the name of the operator, the lease serial number, and the surveyed location (the quarter-quarter section, section, township and range or other authorized survey designation acceptable to the authorized officer, such as metes and bounds or longitude and latitude). When specifically requested by the authorized officer, the sign must include the unit or communitization agreement name or number. The authorized officer may also require the sign to include the name of the Indian allottee lessor(s) preceding the lease serial number.

(c) All facilities at which oil or gas produced from a Federal or Indian lease is stored, measured, or processed must be clearly identified with a sign that contains the name of the operator, the lease serial number or communitization or unit agreement identification number, as appropriate, and the surveyed location (the quarter-quarter section, section, township and range or other authorized survey designation acceptable to the authorized officer, such as metes and bounds or longitude and latitude). On Indian leases, the sign also must include the name of the appropriate tribe and whether the lease is tribal or allotted. For situations of one tank battery servicing one well in the same location, the requirements of this paragraph and paragraph (b) of this section may be met by one sign as long as it includes the information required by both paragraphs. In addition, each storage tank must be clearly identified by a unique number. With regard to the quarter-quarter designation and the unique tank number, any such designation established by State law or regulation satisfies this requirement.

(d) All signs must be maintained in legible condition and must be clearly apparent to any person at or approaching the storage, measurement, or transportation point.

(e) All abandoned wells shall be marked with a permanent monument containing the information in paragraph (b) of this section. The requirement for a permanent monument may be waived in writing by the authorized officer.

[52 FR 5391, Feb. 20, 1987, as amended at 53 FR 17363, May 16, 1988; 81 FR 81420, Nov. 17, 2016]

§ 3162.7 - Measurement, disposition, and protection of production.

§ 3162.7-1 - Disposition of production.

(a) The operator shall put into marketable condition, if economically feasible, all oil, other hydrocarbons, gas, and sulphur produced from the leased land.

(b) Where oil accumulates in a pit, such oil must either be (1) recirculated through the regular treating system and returned to the stock tanks for sale, or (2) pumped into a stock tank without treatment and measured for sale in the same manner as from any sales tank in accordance with applicable orders and notices. In the absence of prior approval from the authorized officer, no oil should go to a pit except in an emergency. Each such occurrence must be reported to the authorized officer and the oil promptly recovered in accordance with applicable orders and notices.

(c)(1) Any person engaged in transporting by motor vehicle any oil from any lease site, or allocated to any such lease site, shall carry on his/her person, in his/her vehicle, or in his/her immediate control, documentation showing at a minimum; the amount, origin, and intended first purchaser of the oil.

(2) Any person engaged in transporting any oil or gas by pipeline from any lease site, or allocated to any lease site, shall maintain documentation showing, at a minimum, the amount, origin, and intended first purchaser of such oil or gas.

(3) On any lease site, any authorized representative who is properly identified may stop and inspect any motor vehicle that he/she has probable cause to believe is carrying oil from any such lease site, or allocated to such lease site, to determine whether the driver possesses proper documentation for the load of oil.

(4) Any authorized representative who is properly identified and who is accompanied by an appropriate law enforcement officer, or an appropriate law enforcement officer alone, may stop and inspect any motor vehicle which is not on a lease site if he/she has probable cause to believe the vehicle is carrying oil from a lease site, or allocated to a lease site, to determine whether the driver possesses proper documentation for the load of oil.

(d) The operator shall conduct operations in such a manner as to prevent avoidable loss of oil and gas. A operator shall be liable for royalty payments on oil or gas lost or wasted from a lease site, or allocated to a lease site, when such loss or waste is due to negligence on the part of the operator of such lease, or due to the failure of the operator to comply with any regulation, order or citation issued pursuant to this part.

(e) When requested by the authorized officer, the operator shall furnish storage for royalty oil, on the leasehold or at a mutually agreed upon delivery point off the leased land without cost to the lessor, for 30 days following the end of the calendar month in which the royalty accrued.

[47 FR 47765, Oct. 27, 1982. Redesignated and amended at 48 FR 36583, Aug. 12, 1983; 49 FR 37364, Sept. 21, 1984; 53 FR 17363, May 16, 1988; 81 FR 81420, Nov. 17, 2016]

§ 3162.7-2 - Measurement of oil.

All oil removed or sold from a lease, communitized area, or unit participating area must be measured under subpart 3174 of this title. All measurement must be on the lease, communitized area, or unit from which the oil originated and must not be commingled with oil originating from other sources, unless approved by the authorized officer under the provisions of subpart 3173 of this title.

[81 FR 81504, Nov. 17, 2016]

§ 3162.7-3 - Measurement of gas.

All gas removed or sold from a lease, communitized area, or unit participating area must be measured under subpart 3175 of this chapter. All measurement must be on the lease, communitized area, or unit from which the gas originated and must not be commingled with gas originating from other sources unless approved by the authorized officer under subpart 3173 of this chapter.

[81 FR 81609, Nov. 17, 2016]

§ 3162.7-4 - Royalty rates on oil; sliding and step-scale leases (public land only).

Sliding- and step-scale royalties are based on the average daily production per well. The authorized officer shall specify which wells on a leasehold are commercially productive, including in that category all wells, whether produced or not, for which the annual value of permissible production would be greater than the estimated reasonable annual lifting cost, but only wells that yield a commercial volume of production during at least part of the month shall be considered in ascertaining the average daily production per well. The average daily production per well for a lease is computed on the basis of a 28-, 29-, 30-, or 31-day month (as the case may be), the number of wells on the leasehold counted as producing, and the gross production from the leasehold. The authorized officer will determine which commercially productive wells shall be considered each month as producing wells for the purpose of computing royalty in accordance with the following rules, and in the authorized officer's discretion may count as producing any commercially productive well shut in for conservation purposes.

(a) For a previously producing leasehold, count as producing for every day of the month each previously producing well that produced 15 days or more during the month, and disregard wells that produced less than 15 days during the month.

(b) Wells approved by the authorized officer as input wells shall be counted as producing wells for the entire month if so used 15 days or more during the month and shall be disregarded if so used less than 15 days during the month.

(c) When the initial production of a leasehold is made during the calendar month, compute royalty on the basis of producing well days.

(d) When a new well is completed for production on a previously producing leasehold and produces for 10 days or more during the calendar month in which it is brought in, count such new wells as producing every day of the month in arriving at the number of producing well days. Do not count any new well that produces for less than 10 days during the calendar month.

(e) Consider “head wells” that make their best production by intermittent pumping or flowing as producing every day of the month, provided they are regularly operated in this manner with approval of the authorized officer.

(f) For previously producing leaseholds on which no wells produced for 15 days or more, compute royalty on the basis of actual producing well days.

(g) For previously producing leaseholds on which no wells were productive during the calendar month but from which oil was shipped, compute royalty at the same royalty percentage as that of the last preceding calendar month in which production and shipments were normal.

(h) Rules for special cases not subject to definition, such as those arising from averaging the production from two distinct sands or horizons when the production of one sand or horizon is relatively insignificant compared to that of the other, shall be made by the authorized officer as need arises.

(i)(1) In the following summary of operations on a typical leasehold for the month of June, the wells considered for the purpose of computing royalty on the entire production of the property for the months are indicated.

Well No. and record Count (marked X)
1. Produced full time for 30 daysX
2. Produced for 26 days; down 4 days for repairsX
3. Produced for 28 days; down June 5, 12 hours, rods; June 14, 6 hours, engine down; June 26, 24 hours, pulling rods and tubingX
4. Produced for 12 days; down June 13 to 30
5. Produced for 8 hours every day (head well)X
6. Idle producer (not operated)
7. New well, completed June 17; produced for 14 daysX
8. New well, completed June 22; produced for 9 days

(2) In this example, there are eight wells on the leasehold, but wells No. 4, 6, and 8 are not counted in computing royalties. Wells No. 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 are counted as producing for 30 days. The average production per well per day is determined by dividing the total production of the leasehold for the month (including the oil produced by wells 4 and 8) by 5 (the number of wells counted as producing), and dividing the quotient thus obtained by the number of days in the month.

[53 FR 1226, Jan. 15, 1988, as amended at 53 FR 17364, May 16, 1988]