|(a) Requirements for spacing, density, and units. An application for a permit to drill, deepen, plug back, or reenter any oil well, gas well, or geothermal resource well shall be made under the provisions of §§3.37, 3.38, 3.39, and/or 3.40 of this title (relating to Statewide Spacing Rule; Well Densities; Proration and Drilling Units: Contiguity of Acreage and Exception Thereto; and Assignment of Acreage to Pooled Development and Proration Units) (Statewide Rules 37, 38, 39, and 40), or as an exception thereto, or under special rules governing any particular oil, gas, or geothermal resource field or as an exception thereto and filed with the commission on a form approved by the commission. An application must be accompanied by any relevant information, form, or certification required by the Railroad Commission or a commission representative necessary to determine compliance with this rule and state law. (b) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. (1) Application--Request by an organization made either on the prescribed form or electronically pursuant to procedures for electronic filings adopted by the commission for a permit to drill, deepen, plug back, or reenter any oil well, gas well, or geothermal resource well. (2) Commission--The Railroad Commission of Texas. (3) Commission representative--A commission employee authorized to act for the commission. Any authority given to a commission representative is also retained by the commission. Any action taken by the commission representative is subject to review by the commission. (c) Commencement of operations. Operations of drilling, deepening, plugging back, or reentering shall not be commenced until the permit has been granted by the commission and the waiting period, if any, has terminated, or authorization has been granted pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. (d) Testing of existing wells in other reservoirs inside the casing. For an existing well, an operator may request authorization to commence operations to deepen inside the casing or plug back prior to the granting of a permit to deepen or plug back. (1) This authorization shall be requested by submitting a request with the district office to deepen inside the casing or plug back. The request shall include: (A) the operator name; (B) the lease name; (C) the lease number or gas identification number; (D) well number; (E) county; (F) field name; (G) a list of all reservoir(s) to be tested; (H) the casing setting depth and the depth of the deepest reservoir to be tested; (I) a plat showing the well location; and (J) a statement as to whether or not the well location would require an exception to §§3.37, 3.38, 3.39, and/or 3.40 of this title (relating to Statewide Spacing Rule; Well Densities; Proration and Drilling Units: Contiguity of Acreage and Exception Thereto; and Assignment of Acreage to Pooled Development and Proration Units) (Statewide Rules 37, 38, 39, and 40) if completed in any of the reservoirs to be tested. If an exception would be required, the request shall also include a statement that all affected offsets have been given written notice of the intent to test with the opportunity to witness the testing and the offsets shall be identified on the plat. (2) Operations of deepening inside the casing or plugging back shall not be commenced until the district office has reviewed and approved the request. Testing pursuant to this authorization shall be completed within 90 days from the date the district office approves the request. (A) No reservoir tested pursuant to the provisions of this subsection shall be tested for more than 15 days. (B) If the operator desires to place the well on production, the operator shall shut in the well, with no production being sold, and file a permit application for the tested reservoirs with the appropriate fees. If the permit application for the tested reservoirs requires an exception to §§3.37, 3.38, 3.39, and/or 3.40 of this title (relating to Statewide Spacing Rule; Well Densities; Proration and Drilling Units: Contiguity of Acreage and Exception Thereto; and Assignment of Acreage to Pooled Development and Proration Units) (Statewide Rules 37, 38, 39, and 40), no consideration will be given by the commission to the cost of recompleting and testing the well in determining whether or not to grant the exception. (C) Within 30 days of completion of testing, the operator must either file an application for a permit to produce a reservoir tested pursuant to this subsection or file an amended completion report in accordance with §3.16 of this title (relating to Log and Completion or Plugging Report) (Statewide Rule 16) with a copy of the request signed by the district office and a statement that a permit to produce a tested reservoir is not being sought, or if the well has been plugged and abandoned, a plugging report including reservoir and perforation data. If a permit is not obtained for the tested reservoirs and/or an allowable is not assigned, the producer shall report all test production on Form PR, Monthly Production Report, filed for the last permitted reservoir in which the well was completed and may request authorization to sell the test production. The test production may be sold after such authorization is granted. (e) Exploratory and specialty wells. An application for any exploratory well or cathodic protection well that penetrates the base of the fresh water strata, fluid injection well, injection water source well, disposal well, brine solution mining well, or underground hydrocarbon storage well shall be made and filed with the commission on a form approved by the commission. Operations for drilling, deepening, plugging back, or reentering shall not be commenced until the permit has been granted by the commission. For an exploratory well, an exception to filing such form prior to commencing operations may be obtained if an application for a core hole test is filed with the commission. (f) Drilling permit fee. With each application or materially amended application, the applicant shall submit to the commission a nonrefundable fee as determined by §3.78 of this title (relating to Fees and Financial Security Requirements) (Statewide Rule 78). (g) Expiration. Any permit to drill, deepen, plug back, or reenter granted by the commission expires no later than two years after the date of original approval. (h) Plats. An application to drill, deepen, plug back, or reenter shall be accompanied by a neat, accurate plat, with a scale of one inch equals 1,000 feet. The plat for the initial well on the lease, pooled unit, or unitized tract shall show the entire lease, pooled unit, or tract, including all tracts being pooled. If necessary to show the entire lease, the scale may be one inch equals 2,000 feet. Plats for subsequent wells on a lease or pooled unit shall show at least the lease or pooled unit line nearest the proposed location and the nearest survey/section lines. The Division Director or the director's delegate may approve plats with other scales upon request. (1) The lease shall be outlined on the plat using either a heavy line or crosshatching. (2) The plat is to include the following: (A) surface location of the proposed drilling site; (B) perpendicular lines providing the distance in feet from two nearest non-parallel survey/section lines to the surface location; (C) perpendicular lines providing the distance in feet from two nearest non-parallel lease lines to the surface location; (D) a line providing the distance in feet from the surface location to the nearest point on the lease line, pooled unit line, or unitized tract line. If there is an unleased interest in a tract of the pooled unit that is nearer than the pooled unit line, the nearest point on that unleased tract boundary shall be used; (E) a line providing the distance in feet from the surface location to the nearest oil, gas, or oil and gas well identified by number either applied for, permitted, or completed in the same lease, pooled unit, or unitized tract and in the same field and reservoir; (F) the geographic location information; (G) a labeled scale bar; and (H) northerly direction. (3) Requirements for plats as provided for in §3.11, §3.37, §3.38, and §3.86 of this title (relating to Inclination and Directional Surveys Required, Statewide Spacing Rule, Well Densities, and Horizontal Drainhole Wells) may supplement or replace the plat requirements set out above.
|Source Note: The provisions of this §3.5 adopted to be effective January 1, 1976; amended to be effective September 1, 1983, 8 TexReg 3184; amended to be effective March 10, 1986, 11 TexReg 901; amended to be effective October 30, 1986, 11 TexReg 4214; amended to be effective February 24, 1992, 17 TexReg 1225; amended to be effective September 1, 1992, 17 TexReg 5283; amended to be effective July 10, 2000, 25 TexReg 6487; amended to be effective June 11, 2001, 26 TexReg 4088; amended to be effective September 1, 2004, 29 TexReg 8271; amended to be effective January 30, 2007, 32 TexReg 287