TX NATURAL RESOURCES CODE

TITLE 3. OIL AND GAS

SUBTITLE A. ADMINISTRATION

CHAPTER 89. ABANDONED WELLS

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS



§ 89.001. POLICY.
     The conservation and development of all the natural resources of this state are declared to be a public right and duty. It is also declared that the protection of water and land of the state against pollution or the escape of oil or gas is in the public interest. In the exercise of the police power of the state, it is necessary and desirable to provide additional means so that wells that are drilled for the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas, or as injection or salt water disposal wells, and that have been abandoned and are leaking salt water, oil, gas, or other deleterious substances into freshwater formations or on the surface of the land, may be plugged, replugged, or repaired by or under the authority and direction of the commission.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2552, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 89.002. DEFINITIONS.
     (a) In this chapter:
          (1) "Well" means a hole drilled for the purpose of:
               (A) producing oil or gas;
               (B) injecting fluid or gas in the ground in connection with the exploration or production of oil and gas;
               (C) obtaining geological information by taking cores or through seismic operations; or
               (D) producing geothermal energy and associated resources that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Railroad Commission of Texas.
          (2) "Operator" means a person who assumes responsibility for the physical operation and control of a well as shown by a form the person files with the commission and the commission approves. The commission may not require a person to assume responsibility for a well as a condition to being permitted to assume responsibility for another well. In the event of a sale or conveyance of an unplugged well or the right to operate an unplugged well, a person ceases being the operator for the purpose of Section 89.011 only if the well was in compliance with commission rules relating to safety or the prevention or control of pollution at the time of sale or conveyance and once the person who acquires the well or right to operate the well:
               (A) specifically identifies the well as a well for which the person assumes plugging responsibility on forms required and approved by the commission;
               (B) has a commission-approved organization report as required by Section 91.142;
               (C) has a commission-approved bond, letter of credit, or cash deposit under Sections 91.103-91. 107 covering the well; and
               (D) places the well in compliance with commission rules.
          (3) "Nonoperator" means a person who owns a working interest in a well at the time the well is required to be plugged pursuant to commission rules and is not an operator as defined in Subdivision (2) of this subsection.
          (4) "Commission" means the Railroad Commission of Texas.
          (5) "Well-site equipment" means any production-related equipment or materials specific to the well being plugged, including motors, pumps, pump jacks, tanks, tank batteries, separators, compressors, casing, tubing, and rods.
          (6) "Lease" means the lease on which a well made the subject of a plugging contract is located.
          (7) "Delinquent inactive well" means an unplugged well that has had no reported production, disposal, injection, or other permitted activity for a period of greater than 12 months and for which, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, the commission has not extended the plugging deadline.
          (8) "Plugging" includes replugging.
     (b) The terms operator and nonoperator as defined in this section do not mean a royalty interest owner or an overriding royalty interest owner.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2552, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 5255, ch. 967, § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 5406, ch. 1002, § 1, eff. Aug. 29, 1983; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 882, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 515, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 89, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997;

Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1233, § 11, eff. Sept. 1, 2004.

§ 89.003. APPLICABILITY.
     The provisions of this chapter do not alter causes of action arising before August 30, 1965.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2553, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.