Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 4. Oil and Gas

Additional Development Following Completion Of Productive Well

77-3-428. Additional development following completion of productive well. (1) The lessee shall be required, upon completing a commercially productive oil or gas well upon the leased premises, to proceed with reasonable diligence to drill such additional wells to the depth of the formation found commercially productive or to such depth as may be necessary to economically test, develop, and operate the deposits discovered.

(2) No lessee shall, however, be required to drill to completion more than one well under any one lease during any one calendar year or a total number of wells under any one lease in excess of the total number of 40-acre subdivisions of land held under such lease. As to lands found valuable for gas production only, the drilling obligation of the lessee shall be confined to a total number of wells equal to the total number of tracts comprising 160 acres of land included in the lease, except as the drilling of offset oil or gas wells necessary to protect the leased premises and deposits from loss or depletion due to wells drilled on contiguous lands shall require greater diligence in drilling and a greater number of wells to be drilled.

(3) The performance of said well drilling operations may be suspended only by and with the consent of the board during the time oil or gas previously discovered cannot be marketed at a profit or for other good cause shown.

History: En. Sec. 11, Ch. 108, L. 1927; re-en. Sec. 1882.11, R.C.M. 1935; R.C.M. 1947, 81-1711.