Title 29: Public Property and Supplies
Chapter 14: NATURAL GAS AND OIL CONSERVATION
29 V.S.A. § 503. Definitions
§ 503. Definitions
As used in this chapter:
(1) "Board" means the Vermont natural gas and oil resources board.
(2) "Certificate of clearance" means a permit prescribed by the board for the transportation or the delivery of oil or gas or product.
(3) "Correlative rights" means the reciprocal rights and duties of each owner in a reservoir to produce oil and gas in a manner which will not cause waste and in an amount representing his just and equitable share.
(4) "Development drilling unit" means the area attributed by the board to a well drilled or to be drilled in a known reservoir, for the purpose of allocating production so as to prevent waste and protect correlative rights.
(5) "Drilling site" means all the land disturbed in preparing a site for the drilling of an oil and gas well, and related activities, including roadways and utility access.
(6) "Exploratory drilling unit" means the area attributed by the board to the first well drilled or to be drilled to test for a reservoir, for the purpose of allocating production so as to prevent waste and protect correlative rights.
(7) "Field" means the general area underlaid by one or more reservoirs.
(8) "Gas" means all natural gas, whether hydrocarbon or nonhydrocarbon, including hydrogen sulfide, helium, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen, casinghead gas, and all other fluid hydrocarbons not defined as oil.
(9) "Illegal oil" or "illegal gas" means oil or gas that has been produced from any well within the state in violation of this chapter or any rule, regulation, or order of the board.
(10) "Illegal product" means any product derived in whole or in part from illegal oil or illegal gas.
(11) "Just and equitable share of the production" means, as to each owner, that part of the authorized production from a reservoir that is reasonable in the proportion that the amount of recoverable oil or gas in the developed area of his or her tract or tracts in the reservoir bears to the recoverable oil or gas in the total of the developed areas in the reservoir.
(12) "Lands" means all lands within the state, publicly or privately owned, over which the state, under its police power, has jurisdiction.
(13) "Local agency" means any county, city, town, village, or other political subdivision and any local agency, board, commission, district, or other administrative body.
(14) "Most efficient rate" means the rate at which a well can produce without inefficient, excessive or improper use or dissipation of reservoir energy to achieve the maximum economically feasible recovery of oil or gas.
(15) "Oil" means crude petroleum, oil, and all hydrocarbons, regardless of specific gravity, that are in the liquid phase in the reservoir and are produced at the wellhead in liquid form.
(16) "Oil and gas" means both oil and gas, or either oil or gas, as the context may require to give effect to the purposes of this chapter.
(17) "Operator" means the person who has been designated by the owners or the board to operate the well or field-wide unit, and who is responsible for compliance with this chapter.
(18) "Owner" means the person who has the right to drill into and produce from a reservoir and to appropriate the oil or gas that is produced, either for that person or for that person and others; and in the event that there is no oil and gas lease with respect to any land, the owner of the oil and gas rights shall be considered "owner" to the extent of seven-eighths of the oil and gas underlying the lands in question, and as "royalty interest holder" to the extent of one-eighth of the oil and gas.
(19) "Plug and abandon" means the plugging, replugging if necessary, and abandonment of a well including the placing of all bridges, plugs and fluids therein, and the restoration and reclamation of the drilling site to a condition reasonably consistent with the adjacent terrain and landscape.
(20) "Producer" means the operator of a well or wells capable of producing oil or gas.
(21) "Product" means any commodity made from oil or gas.
(22) "Reservoir" means an underground accumulation of oil or gas which is a common source of supply, or several such accumulations which by rule or order of the board are allowed to be produced on a commingled basis, and are treated by the board as a common source of supply.
(23) "Resources" means oil, gas, and their constituents, existing in or under lands within the state of Vermont.
(24) "State lands" means all state-owned lands inside or outside the state, including the state-owned lands under the waters of Lake Champlain or any other waters.
(25) "State land manager," with respect to any state lands, means the secretary of any agency to which a department or division having responsibility for those lands is attached; or if not attached to an agency, the commissioner of a department or the chairman of a board having responsibility for those lands; or if no agency has responsibility for the lands, the secretary of environmental conservation.
(26) "Unitization" means the combining of tracts and interests necessary to establish a field-wide area for the cooperative development or operation of all or part of a reservoir.
(27) "Waste" includes:
(A) the inefficient, excessive, or improper use or the unnecessary dissipation of reservoir energy;
(B) the inefficient storing of oil or gas;
(C) the locating, drilling, equipping, operating, or producing of an oil and gas well in a manner that causes or tends to cause reduction in the quantity of oil or gas which would be ultimately recoverable from a reservoir under prudent and proper operations, or that causes or tends to cause unnecessary wells to be drilled, or that causes or tends to cause surface or subsurface loss or destruction of oil or gas;
(D) the unauthorized flaring of gas produced from an oil and condensate well after the board has found that the use of gas is, or will be, economically feasible within a reasonable time on terms that are just and reasonable.
(28) "Well log" means all information obtained in and from the drilled borehole including the driller's log, geological log, geophysical log, hydrological log, and other information.
(29) "Fluid" means any material or substance which flows or moves whether in semi-solid, liquid, sludge, gas, or any other form or state.
(30) "Hydraulic fracturing" means the process of pumping a fluid into or under the surface of the ground in order to create fractures in rock for the purpose of the production or recovery of oil or gas. (Added 1981, No. 240 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 28, 1982; amended 2011, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 16, 2012.)