Montana Code Annotated 2015

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     82-11-111. (Temporary) Powers and duties of board. (1) The board shall make investigations that it considers proper to determine whether waste exists or is imminent or whether other facts exist that justify any action by the board under the authority granted by this chapter.
     (2) Subject to the administrative control of the department under 2-15-121, the board shall:
     (a) require measures to be taken to prevent contamination of or damage to surrounding land or underground strata caused by drilling operations and production, including but not limited to regulating the disposal or injection of water and disposal of oil field wastes;
     (b) classify wells as oil or gas wells or class II injection wells for purposes material to the interpretation or enforcement of this chapter;
     (c) adopt and enforce rules and orders to implement this chapter.
     (3) The board shall determine and prescribe which producing wells are defined as "stripper wells" and which wells are defined as "wildcat wells" and make orders that in its judgment are required to protect those wells and provide that stripper wells may be produced to capacity if that is considered necessary in the interest of conservation.
     (4) With respect to any pool from which gas was being produced by a gas well on or prior to April 1, 1953, this chapter does not authorize the board to limit or restrain the rate, daily or otherwise, of production of gas from that pool by any existing well or a well drilled after that date and producing from that pool to less than the rate at which the well can be produced without adversely affecting the quantity of gas ultimately recoverable by the well.
     (5) The board has exclusive jurisdiction over all class II injection wells and all pits and ponds in relation to those injection wells. The board may:
     (a) issue, suspend, revoke, modify, or deny permits to operate class II injection wells consistent with rules made by it;
     (b) examine plans and other information needed to determine whether a permit should be issued or require changes in plans as a condition to the issuance of a permit;
     (c) clearly specify in a permit any limitations imposed as to the volume and characteristics of the fluids to be injected and the operation of the well;
     (d) authorize its staff to enter upon any public or private property at reasonable times to:
     (i) investigate conditions relating to violations of permit conditions;
     (ii) have access to and copy records required under this chapter;
     (iii) inspect monitoring equipment or methods; and
     (iv) sample fluids that the operator is required to sample; and
     (e) adopt standards for the design, construction, testing, and operation of class II injection wells.
     (6) The board shall determine, for the purposes of using the oil and gas production damage mitigation account established in 82-11-161:
     (a) when the person responsible for an abandoned well, sump, or hole cannot be identified or located or, if the person is identified or located, when the person does not have sufficient financial resources to properly plug the well, sump, or hole; or
     (b) when a previously abandoned well, sump, or hole is the cause of potential environmental problems and no responsible party can be identified or located or, if a responsible party can be identified and located, when the person does not have sufficient financial resources to correct the problems.
     (7) The board may take measures to demonstrate to the general public the importance of the state's oil and gas exploration and production industry, to encourage and promote the wise and efficient use of energy, to promote environmentally sound exploration and production methods and technologies, to develop the state's oil and gas resources, and to support research and educational activities concerning the oil and natural gas exploration and production industry. The board may:
     (a) make grants or loans and provide other forms of financial assistance as necessary or appropriate from available funds to qualified persons for research, development, marketing, educational projects, and processes or activities directly related to the state's oil and gas exploration and production industry;
     (b) enter into contracts or agreements to carry out the purposes of this subsection (7), including the authority to contract for the administration of an oil and gas research, development, marketing, and educational program;
     (c) cooperate with any private, local, state, or national commission, organization, agent, or group and enter into contracts and agreements for programs benefiting the oil and gas exploration and production industry;
     (d) coordinate with the Montana university system, including Montana tech of the university of Montana or any of its affiliated research programs;
     (e) accept donations, grants, contributions, and gifts from any public or private source for deposit in the oil and gas education and research account established in 82-11-110;
     (f) distribute funds from the oil and gas education and research account to carry out the provisions of this subsection (7); and
     (g) make orders and rules to implement the provisions of this subsection (7).
     82-11-111. (Effective on occurrence of contingency) . Powers and duties of board. (1) The board shall investigate matters it considers proper to determine whether waste exists or is imminent or whether other facts exist that justify any action by the board under the authority granted by this chapter.
     (2) Subject to the administrative control of the department under 2-15-121, the board shall:
     (a) require measures to be taken to prevent contamination of or damage to surrounding land or underground strata caused by drilling operations and production, including but not limited to regulating the disposal or injection of water or carbon dioxide and disposal of oil field wastes;
     (b) classify wells as oil or gas wells, carbon dioxide injection wells, or class II injection wells for purposes material to the interpretation or enforcement of this chapter;
     (c) adopt and enforce rules and orders to implement this chapter.
     (3) The board shall determine and prescribe which producing wells are defined as "stripper wells" and which wells are defined as "wildcat wells" and make orders that in its judgment are required to protect those wells and provide that stripper wells may be produced to capacity if that is considered necessary in the interest of conservation.
     (4) With respect to any pool with gas being produced by a gas well on or prior to April 1, 1953, this chapter does not authorize the board to limit or restrain the rate, daily or otherwise, of production of gas from that pool by any existing well or a well drilled after that date and producing from that pool to less than the rate at which the well can be produced without adversely affecting the quantity of gas ultimately recoverable by the well.
     (5) Subject to subsection (8), the board has exclusive jurisdiction over carbon dioxide injection wells, geologic storage reservoirs, all class II injection wells, and all pits and ponds in relation to those injection wells. The board may:
     (a) issue, suspend, revoke, modify, or deny permits to operate carbon dioxide injection wells and class II injection wells, consistent with rules made by it and pursuant to 82-11-123. If a permit for a carbon dioxide injection well is revoked, an operator may not seek a refund of application or permitting fees or fees paid pursuant to 82-11-181 or 82-11-184(2)(b).
     (b) examine plans and other information needed to determine whether a permit should be issued or require changes in plans as a condition to the issuance of a permit;
     (c) clearly specify in a permit any limitations imposed as to the volume and characteristics of the fluids to be injected and the operation of the well;
     (d) authorize its staff to enter upon any public or private property at reasonable times to:
     (i) investigate conditions relating to violations of permit conditions;
     (ii) have access to and copy records required under this chapter;
     (iii) inspect monitoring equipment or methods; and
     (iv) sample fluids that the operator or geologic storage operator is required to sample; and
     (e) adopt standards for the design, construction, testing, and operation of carbon dioxide injection wells and class II injection wells.
     (6) The board shall determine, for the purposes of using the oil and gas production damage mitigation account established in 82-11-161 or the geologic storage reservoir program account established in 82-11-181:
     (a) when the person responsible for an abandoned well, sump, or hole cannot be identified or located or, if the person is identified or located, when the person does not have sufficient financial resources to properly plug the well, sump, or hole; or
     (b) when a previously abandoned well, sump, or hole is the cause of potential environmental problems and a responsible party cannot be identified or located or, if a responsible party can be identified and located, when the person does not have sufficient financial resources to correct the problems.
     (7) The board may take measures to demonstrate to the general public the importance of the state's oil and gas exploration and production industry, to encourage and promote the wise and efficient use of energy, to promote environmentally sound exploration and production methods and technologies, to develop the state's oil and gas resources, and to support research and educational activities concerning the oil and natural gas exploration and production industry. The board may:
     (a) make grants or loans and provide other forms of financial assistance as necessary or appropriate from available funds to qualified persons for research, development, marketing, educational projects, and processes or activities directly related to the state's oil and gas exploration and production industry;
     (b) enter into contracts or agreements to carry out the purposes of this subsection (7), including the authority to contract for the administration of an oil and gas research, development, marketing, and educational program;
     (c) cooperate with any private, local, state, or national commission, organization, agent, or group and enter into contracts and agreements for programs benefiting the oil and gas exploration and production industry;
     (d) coordinate with the Montana university system, including Montana tech of the university of Montana or any of its affiliated research programs;
     (e) accept donations, grants, contributions, and gifts from any public or private source for deposit in the oil and gas education and research account established in 82-11-110;
     (f) distribute funds from the oil and gas education and research account to carry out the provisions of this subsection (7); and
     (g) make orders and rules to implement the provisions of this subsection (7).
     (8) (a) Before holding a hearing on a proposed permit for a carbon dioxide injection well, the board shall solicit, document, consider, and address comments from the department of environmental quality on the proposal.
     (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (8)(a), the board makes the final decision on issuance of a permit.
     (9) Solely for the purposes of administering carbon dioxide injection wells under this part, carbon dioxide within a geologic storage reservoir is not a pollutant, a nuisance, or a hazardous or deleterious substance.

     History: En. Sec. 4, Ch. 238, L. 1953; amd. Sec. 16, Ch. 93, L. 1969; amd. Sec. 56, Ch. 253, L. 1974; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 260, L. 1974; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 222, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 60-127(part); amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 93, L. 1983; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 503, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 530, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 329, L. 2009; amd. Sec. 14, Ch. 474, L. 2009; amd. Sec. 41, Ch. 19, L. 2011.

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