Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. Regulation by Board of Oil and Gas Conservation

Preservation Of Property Rights

82-11-180. Preservation of property rights. (1) Title 82, chapter 11, parts 1 and 2, and the issuance of a permit for a carbon dioxide injection well pursuant to Title 82, chapter 11, parts 1 and 2, do not:

(a) prejudice the rights of property owners within a geologic storage reservoir to exercise rights that have not been committed to a storage reservoir; or

(b) prevent a mineral owner or mineral lessee from drilling through or near a storage reservoir to explore for and develop minerals, provided that the drilling, production, and related activities comply with board requirements that preserve the storage reservoir's integrity and implement Title 82, chapter 11, parts 1 and 2.

(2) Title 82, chapter 11, parts 1 and 2, may not be construed to:

(a) change or alter common law in accordance with 1-1-108 as it relates to the rights belonging to or the dominance of the mineral estate, including but not limited to the right to mine, drill, or recomplete a well, to inject substances to facilitate production, or to implement enhanced recovery for the purposes of recovery of oil, gas, or other minerals;

(b) impede or impair the ability of an oil and gas operator to inject carbon dioxide for enhanced recovery or to establish, verify, register, and sell emission reduction credits or attributes associated with the project;

(c) change or alter common law or statutory provisions regarding the ownership of surface or subsurface rights;

(d) diminish, impair, or in any way affect the rights of a natural gas public utility, as defined in 82-10-301, to own, operate, or control a gas storage reservoir in use prior to May 6, 2009; or

(e) apply within the exterior boundaries of any federally recognized Indian reservation within the state of Montana unless the governing body of the tribe adopts a carbon sequestration law and enters into a cooperative agreement with the state.

(3) If the ownership of the geologic storage reservoir cannot be determined from the deeds or severance documents related to the property by reviewing statutory or common law, it is presumed that the surface owner owns the geologic storage reservoir.

History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 474, L. 2009.