Title 52 - Oil & Gas Code

§52-36.3. Condemnation of subsurface stratum or formation - Operation of storage facilities - Limitations.


Any public utility may condemn for its use for the underground storage of natural gas any subsurface stratum or formation in any land which the Commission shall have found to be suitable and in the public interest for the underground storage of natural gas, and in connection therewith may condemn such other interests in property as may be required adequately to examine, prepare, maintain and operate such underground natural gas storage facilities; provided, however, that the right of condemnation of underground sands, formations and strata, granted hereby, shall be limited as follows:

(a) No sand, formation, or stratum which is producing or which is capable of producing oil in paying quantities, through any known recovery method, shall be subject to appropriation hereunder;

(b) No gas bearing sand, formation, or stratum shall be subject to appropriation hereunder, unless the volumes of native gas originally in place therein shall be shown to be substantially depleted, and that such sand, formation or stratum has a greater value or utility as a gas storage reservoir for the purpose of insuring an adequate supply of natural gas for any particular class or group of consumers of natural gas, or for the conservation of natural gas, than for the production of the relatively small volumes of native gas which remain therein, provided that no gas sand, formation or stratum shall be condemned under the terms of this act when the gas therein is being used for the secondary recovery of oil, unless gas in necessary and required amounts is furnished to the operator or operators of the secondary recovery operations for as long as oil is produced in paying quantities in the secondary operations for the recovery of oil at the same cost as that at which the gas was being produced at the time of condemnation by the operator of the secondary recovery project or projects.

(c) Only such area of such underground sand, formation or stratum as may reasonably be expected to be penetrated by gas displaced or injected into such underground gas storage reservoir may be appropriated hereunder.

(d) No rights or interest in existing underground gas reservoirs, being used for the injection, storage and withdrawal of natural gas, owned or operated by others than the condemner, shall be subject to appropriation hereunder.

The right of condemnation hereby granted shall be without prejudice to the rights of the owner of said lands or of other rights or interests therein to drill or bore through the underground stratum or formation so appropriated in such manner as shall comply with orders, rules and regulations of the commission issued for the purpose of protecting underground storage strata or formations against pollution and against the escape of natural gas therefrom and shall be without prejudice to the rights of the owner of said lands or other rights or interests therein as to all other uses thereof. The additional cost of complying with such regulations or orders in order to protect the storage shall be paid by the public utility.

Added by Laws 1951, p. 135, § 3, emerg. eff. May 26, 1951. Amended by Laws 1992, c. 352, § 3, emerg. eff. June 4, 1992.