Title 52 - Oil & Gas Code

§52-310. Leaking wells - Entry upon land to plug, replug or repair - Emergencies.

          A. If, after notice and hearing, the Commission finds that:

                    1. A well drilled for the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas, or as an injection or disposal well, is abandoned and unplugged or improperly plugged or is causing or is likely to cause surface or subsurface pollution of any fresh water or is purging or is likely to purge salt water, oil, gas, or other deleterious substances onto the surface of the land in the vicinity of the well; and

                    2. The operator of the well or any other person responsible for plugging, replugging, or repairing the well in such manner as is necessary to prevent further or future pollution cannot be found or is financially unable to pay the cost of performing said work, the Commission or any person authorized by the Commission may enter upon the land upon which the well is located and plug, replug, or repair the well as may be reasonably required to remedy the condition. If an emergency exists or if it otherwise appears to the Commission that irreparable injury will result if immediate remedial action is not taken, said entry upon the land may be made or authorized by the Commission without notice or hearing, for the purpose of taking such temporary remedial action as the Commission considers necessary to prevent or minimize the injury, pending the giving of notice and hearing. The operation shall be conducted in the manner prescribed by the Commission.

          B. For the purpose of immediately responding to emergency situations within the Commission's jurisdiction having potentially critical environmental or public safety impact, the Commission may take whatever necessary action, without notice and hearing, including the expenditure of monies from the Corporation Commission Plugging Fund, to promptly respond to the emergency. Such emergency expenditure shall be made pursuant to the provisions of The Oklahoma Central Purchasing Act upon such terms and conditions established by the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to accomplish the purposes of this section. Thereafter, the Commission shall seek reimbursement from the responsible person, firm or corporation for all expenditures made from the Corporation Commission Plugging Fund. Any monies received as reimbursement shall be deposited to the credit of the Corporation Commission Plugging Fund.

          C. If, at any time, the monies in the Corporation Commission Plugging Fund are insufficient to cover the cost of remedial action for all wells eligible for plugging, replugging or repair under this statute, the Commission shall prioritize expenditures according to degree of actual or potential environmental harm.

Added by Laws 1965, c. 191, § 2, emerg. eff. June 8, 1965. Amended by Laws 1970, c. 217, § 2, emerg. eff. April 15, 1970; Laws 1983, c. 59, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1983; Laws 1985, c. 201, § 2; Laws 1990, c. 107, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 1990; Laws 1991, c. 332, § 8, eff. July 1, 1991; Laws 2012, c. 304, § 216.