Section 9-17-6

Oil and Gas Board - Powers and duties generally.

(a) The board shall have jurisdiction and authority over all persons and property necessary to administer and enforce effectively the provisions of this article and all other articles relating to the conservation of oil and gas.

(b) The board shall have the authority and it shall be its duty to make such inquiries as it may think proper to determine whether or not waste, over which it has jurisdiction, exists or is imminent. In the exercise of such power the board shall have the authority to perform the following:

(1) Collect data.

(2) Make investigation and inspection.

(3) Examine properties, leases, papers, books, and records, including drilling records, logs, and other geological and geophysical data.

(4) Examine, check, test, and gauge oil and gas wells, tanks, plants, processing facilities, structures, natural gas pipelines and gathering lines, and storage and transportation equipment and facilities, and other modes of transportation.

(5) Hold hearings.

(6) Appoint a hearing officer for the purpose of conducting public hearings on behalf of the board and making recommendations to the board.

(7) Require the keeping of records and making of reports.

(8) Take such action as may be reasonably necessary to enforce this article.

(c) The board shall have the authority to make, after hearing and notice as provided in this article, such reasonable rules, regulations, and orders as may be necessary from time to time in the proper administration and enforcement of this article, including rules, regulations, and orders for the following purposes:

(1) To require the drilling, casing, and plugging of wells to be done in such a manner as to prevent the escape of oil or gas out of one stratum to another.

(2) To prevent the intrusion of water into an oil or gas stratum from a separate stratum.

(3) To prevent the pollution of fresh water supplies by oil, gas, salt water, or other contaminants resulting from oil and gas operations, including surface mining operations to recover oil from oil sands.

(4) To require the making of reports showing the location of oil and gas wells and surface or underground operations for the recovery of oil from oil sands and to require the filing of logs, including electrical logs, and drilling records and the lodgment in the office of the State Oil and Gas Supervisor of typical drill cuttings or cores, if cores are taken, within six months from the time of the completion of any well or surface or underground operations for the recovery of oil from oil sands.

(5) To require reasonable bond, with good and sufficient surety, or other financial security approved by the board, conditioned for the performance of the duties outlined in subdivisions (1), (2), (3), and (4) of this subsection, including the duty to plug each dry or abandoned well and to restore the well site for each dry or abandoned well and associated production and processing facility and plant upon the abandonment of such well, facility, or plant and to reclaim all surfaces disturbed during surface mining operations for the recovery of oil from oil sands.

(6) To prevent wells from being drilled, operated, or produced in such a manner as to cause injury to neighboring leases or property and to protect neighboring leases or property from being damaged or injured by operations to recover oil from oil sands.

(7) To prevent the drowning by water of any stratum or part thereof capable of producing oil or gas in paying quantities and to prevent the premature and irregular encroachment of water which reduces or tends to reduce the total ultimate recovery of oil or gas from any pool.

(8) To require the operation of wells with efficient gas-oil ratios and to fix such ratios.

(9) To prevent "blowouts," "caving," and "seepage" in the sense that conditions indicated by such terms are generally understood in the oil and gas business.

(10) To prevent fires.

(11) To identify the ownership of all oil and gas wells, surface mining operations to recover oil from oil sands, producing leases, tanks, plants, processing facilities, structures, natural gas pipelines and gathering lines, and storage and transportation equipment and facilities.

(12) To regulate the "shooting," perforating, and chemical treatment of wells.

(13) To regulate enhanced recovery methods, which include Class II injection wells as defined in the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.

(14) To establish drilling units, to determine the spacing of wells, to establish oil and gas fields for each oil and gas pool, including fields for operations to recover oil from oil sands, to establish the spacing of wells for each pool, and to establish drainage or production units.

(15) To limit and prorate the production of oil or gas or both from any pool or field for the prevention of waste as defined in this article.

(16) To require, either generally or in or from particular areas, certificates of clearance or tenders in connection with the transportation of oil, gas, or any product.

(17) To prevent, so far as is practical, reasonably avoidable drainage from each developed unit which is not equalized by counterdrainage.

(18) To require the placing of meters of a type approved by the board wherever the board may designate in plants and processing facilities on all pipelines, gathering systems, barge terminals, loading racks, or other places deemed necessary or proper to prevent waste and the transportation of illegally produced oil or gas. Such meters at all times shall be under the supervision and control of the board; and it shall be a violation of this article, subject to the penalties provided in this article, for any person to refuse to attach or install such meter when ordered to do so by the board or in any way to tamper with such meter so as to produce a false or inaccurate reading or to have any bypass at such a place where the oil or gas can be passed around such meter, unless expressly authorized by written permit of the board.

(Acts 1945, No. 1, p. 1, §9; Acts 1988, No. 88-576, p. 893, §1; Act 2000-714, p. 1517, §1; Act 2008-450, p. 853, §1; Act 2013-203, §1.)