Section 9-17-24

Notification requirement; hearing; fees; Alabama Oil and Gas Board Special Fund.

(a) Any person desiring or proposing to drill any well in search of oil or gas or any person proposing to drill a Class II injection well as defined in the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. 300f et seq., before commencing the drilling of any such well, shall notify the State Oil and Gas Supervisor upon the form as the State Oil and Gas Supervisor may prescribe and shall pay to the State Treasurer a fee of three hundred dollars ($300) for each well. The drilling of any well is hereby prohibited until notice is given and the fee has been paid as herein provided. The State Oil and Gas Supervisor shall have the power and authority to prescribe that the form indicate the exact location of the well, the name and address of the owner, operator, contractor, driller, and any other person responsible for the conduct of drilling operations, the proposed depth of the well, the elevation of the well above sea level and such other relevant information as the State Oil and Gas Supervisor may deem necessary or convenient to effectuate the purposes of this article.

(b) Any person filing a petition or notice of such petition with the State Oil and Gas Board requesting a public hearing before the State Oil and Gas Board shall pay to the State Treasurer a fee of one hundred fifty dollars ($150) for filing the petition. Any person who desires to file a petition with the board in forma pauperis shall file with the board a motion for leave so to proceed together with an affidavit, showing his or her inability to pay the filing fee therefor and his or her belief that he or she is entitled to redress before the board. If the motion is granted, the person may proceed without payment of the filing fee. If the motion is denied, the board shall state in writing the reasons for the denial.

(c) Any person proposing to fracture a coal group or geologic formation shall notify the State Oil and Gas Supervisor. The notification shall be in a form prescribed by the State Oil and Gas Supervisor and shall be accompanied by a fee paid to the State Treasurer not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for each stage of a fracture stimulation operation in an individual well, up to a maximum fee of seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) per well, regardless of the number of fracture stages proposed. With respect to coalbed methane operations, a stage of a fracture stimulation operation shall be considered the fracturing of a single coal group. All fees for a proposal to fracture a coal group or geologic formation paid pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the State Oil and Gas Board Special Fund and disbursed by the State Treasurer upon warrants drawn by the state Comptroller for the purpose of defraying the expenses incurred by the State Oil and Gas Board in the performance of its duties pursuant to this subsection.

(d) Any person proposing a surface mining operation to recover oil from oil sands shall notify the State Oil and Gas Supervisor. The notification shall be in a form prescribed by the State Oil and Gas Supervisor and shall be accompanied by a fee paid to the State Treasurer in an amount based on acreage of the operation. The acreage fees for surface mining operations to recover oil from oil sands shall be set by rule of the State Oil and Gas Board. All fees for a proposal to conduct surface mining operations to recover oil from oil sands paid pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the State Oil and Gas Board Special Fund and disbursed by the State Treasurer upon warrants drawn by the state Comptroller for the purpose of defraying the expenses incurred by the State Oil and Gas Board in the performance of its duties pursuant to this subsection.

(e) All well permit fees, filing fees for petitions, and other fees paid to the State Treasurer pursuant to this section shall be paid into the Alabama State Oil and Gas Board Special Fund and disbursed by the State Treasurer upon warrants drawn by the state Comptroller for the purpose of defraying expenses incurred by the State Oil and Gas Board in the performance of its duties.

(f) There is hereby created a separate fund in the State Treasury to be known as the Alabama State Oil and Gas Board Special Fund. This fund shall consist of well permit fees, filing fees for petitions, and other fees. All moneys deposited in this fund shall be used for the purpose of defraying expenses incurred by the State Oil and Gas Board in the performance of its duties. The fund shall be paid out only by warrant of the Comptroller upon the Treasurer, upon itemized vouchers, approved by the State Oil and Gas Supervisor; provided, that no funds shall be withdrawn or expended except as budgeted and allotted according to the provisions of Sections 41-4-80 through 41-4-96 and Sections 41-19-1 through 41-19-12, and only in amounts as stipulated in the general appropriation or other appropriation bills, provided further, that any funds unspent and unencumbered at the end of any state fiscal year shall not be transferred into the General Fund.

(Acts 1945, No. 1, p. 1, §25; Acts 1975, No. 1094, p. 2163, §1; Acts 1979, No. 79-425, p. 666, §§1, 2; Acts 1988, No. 88-576, p. 893, §1; Act 2000-714, p. 1517, §1; Act 2002-425, p. 1092, §1; Act 2013-203, p. 426, §1.)