Sent in – “Today the DNR formally solicited comments for the first of two rule-makings associated with the damning report issued by the state auditor. This report (attached) sharply critiqued the DNR’s oversight of abandoned wells and overall lack of enforcement. Anyone who is concerned about oil and gas in the state should read this very important report.” The Report
DNR Office of Conservation — Engineering-Regulatory Division
Advanced Notice of Rulemaking and Solicitation of Comments on Financial Security for the Plug and Abandonment of Oil and Gas Wells and Determinations of Future Utility (LAC 43:XIX.Subpart 1)
As recommendations of a 2014 Performance Audit the Department of Natural Resources, Office of Conservation is requesting comments on the following enumerated issues regarding Financial Security for the Plug and Abandonment of Oil and Gas Wells and Determinations of Future Utility, LAC 43:XIX.Subpart 1.
Written comments concerning the proposed revisions are due no later than 4:30 p.m., August 20, 2014, and should be submitted to Brent Campbell, Office of Conservation, Engineering-Regulatory Division, P.O. Box 94275 Capitol Station, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9275 or by fax to (225) 242-3663. Persons commenting should reference this document as CON ENG 14-01.
1. Revise current regulations to require that all operators, without exception, provide financial security or some type of financial assurance on newly permitted wells or wells with amended permits.
2. Revise current regulations to increase the amount of financial security to be more reflective of the costs to properly plug and remediate orphaned well sites. In addition, implement a process to periodically review and adjust financial security amounts to ensure they are reflective of the costs to plug and remediate orphan well sites.
3. Revise current regulations to require a specific timeframe for how long an inactive well can remain in future utility status, including how often and under what circumstances extensions will be granted.
4. Revise current regulations to require additional financial security or charging a yearly fee for wells in future utility status because the longer a well is in this status, the higher the likelihood it will be abandoned.
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