The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 29: Public Property and Supplies

Chapter 14: NATURAL GAS AND OIL CONSERVATION

Sub-Chapter 01: General Provisions

29 V.S.A. § 505. Authority of the board



§ 505. Authority of the board

(a) For the purposes of this chapter the board shall have authority over all lands and over all oil and gas resources. The board shall prevent the waste of oil and gas, promote conservation, protect correlative rights, and otherwise administer and enforce this chapter. In the event of a conflict, the duty to prevent waste is paramount.

(b) Without limiting its general authority, the board may:

(1) require identification of ownership of oil and gas wells, producing leases, tanks, processing plants, structures, and facilities for the transportation or refining of oil and gas;

(2) require the making and filing of well logs, directional surveys, and reports on well location, drilling and production; provided that all such records marked "confidential" shall be kept confidential for two years after their filing, unless the owner gives written permission to release them at an earlier date; provided, however, that the state geologist is authorized access to this information. The board may provide by rule for extension of the period of confidentiality for an additional period of one year upon written request of the owner and a showing of special circumstances requiring an extension;

(3) require the drilling, casing, installation of proper equipment and facilities, operating, and plugging of wells in such manner as to prevent:

(A) the escape of oil or gas out of one reservoir into another,

(B) the detrimental intrusion of water into an oil or gas reservoir where that is avoidable by efficient operations,

(C) the pollution of fresh water supplies by oil, gas or salt water, or other substances,

(D) blowouts, cave-ins, seepages, and fires;

(4) require the testing of wells used in connection with the production of oil and gas including, but not limited to, production, injection, and disposal wells;

(5) require the licensing of oil and gas well drillers and the furnishing of a reasonable performance bond or other good and sufficient surety, conditioned for the performance of the duty to plug and restore the drilling site of each dry or abandoned well, and to repair each well causing waste or pollution if repair will prevent the waste or pollution;

(6) require that production from wells be separated into gaseous and liquid hydrocarbons, and that each be measured by means and upon standards that may be prescribed by the board;

(7) require that wells be operated at efficient gas-oil or water-oil ratios or that production be limited from wells with inefficient gas-oil or water-oil ratios;

(8) require certificates of clearance in connection with the transportation or delivery of oil, gas, or product;

(9) require the metering or other measuring of oil, gas, or product;

(10) require that every person who produces, sells, purchases, acquires, stores, transports, refines, or processes oil or gas in this state keep complete and accurate records of their quantities, which records shall be available for examination by the board or its agents at all reasonable times;

(11) require the filing of reports, plats, and other data related to matters within the board's jurisdiction;

(12) regulate the drilling, testing, equipping, completing, operating, producing, and plugging of wells, and all other operations for the production of oil or gas;

(13) regulate the stimulation and treatment of wells;

(14) regulate the spacing or locating of wells;

(15) regulate operations to increase ultimate recovery, such as cycling of gas, the maintenance of pressure, and the introduction of gas, water or other substances into a reservoir;

(16) regulate the disposal of salt water and oil field wastes;

(17) determine the amount of oil or gas that may be produced without waste from any unit, reservoir, or field, and allocate the allowed production to and among the wells in such fields or reservoirs;

(18) permit by rule or order the flaring of gas produced from an oil well, pending the time when, with reasonable diligence, the gas can be sold or otherwise utilized on terms that are just and reasonable, if such flaring is in the public interest;

(19) identify reservoirs and classify or reclassify them as oil or gas reservoirs, and classify or reclassify wells as oil or gas wells;

(20) adopt rules and make and enforce orders reasonably necessary to prevent waste, to protect correlative rights, to govern the practice and procedure before the board and otherwise administer this chapter;

(21) implement state responsibility under the National Gas Policy Act of 1978 for determining the statutory maximum lawful price for sales of natural gas;

(22) the board shall have no authority over sales of gasoline and related products covered by Title 9, chapter 109, nor any authority over petroleum inventory reporting covered by Title 9, chapter 110. (Added 1981, No. 240 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 28, 1982.)