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§22-21-2. Definitions.

Unless the context in which used clearly requires a different meaning, as used in this article:

(a) "Review board" means the West Virginia coalbed methane review board which shall be comprised of the members of the West Virginia shallow gas well review board provided for in article eight, chapter twenty-two-c of this code, the state geologist, a representative of the United Mine Workers of America, an employee of the gas industry, and the director of the office of miners' health, safety and training, and the chairman of the review board shall be the chairman of the West Virginia shallow gas review board;

(b) "Coalbed" or "coal seam" means a seam of coal, whether workable or unworkable, and the noncoal roof and floor of said seam of coal;

(c) "Coalbed methane" means gas which can be produced from a coal seam, the rock or other strata in communication with a coal seam, a mined-out area or a gob well;

(d) "Coalbed methane owner" means any owner of coalbed methane;

(e) "Coalbed methane well" means any hole or well sunk, drilled, bored or dug into the earth for the production of coalbed methane for consumption or sale, including a gob well. The term "well" shall mean a coalbed methane well unless the context indicates otherwise. The term "coalbed methane well" does not include any shaft, hole or well sunk, drilled, bored or dug into the earth for core drilling, production of coal or water, venting gas from a mine area, or degasification of a coal seam, or any coalbed methane well extending from the surface into, but not below, a coal seam being mined after such well or its horizontal extension has been plugged in accordance with section twenty-three of this article;

(f) "Coalbed methane well operator" or "well operator" means any person who has the right to operate or does operate a coalbed methane well;

(g) "Coal operator" means any person who proposes to or does operate a coal mine;

(h) "Coal owner" means any person who owns or leases a coal seam;

(i) "Chief" means the chief of the office of oil and gas of the Division of Environmental Protection provided for in section eight, article one of this chapter;

(j)"Director" means the director of the Division of Environmental Protection;

(k) "Division" means the Division of Environmental Protection;

(l) "Gob well" means a well drilled or vent hole converted to a well pursuant to this article which produces or is capable of producing coalbed methane or other natural gas from a distressed zone created above and below a mined-out coal seam by any prior full seam extraction of the coal;

(m) "Mine" or "mine areas," including the sub-definitions under "mine areas," shall have the same definitions as are provided in section two, article one, chapter twenty-two-a of this code;

(n) "Office" means office of oil and gas provided for in section seven, article one of this chapter;

(o) "Person" means any natural person, corporation, firm, partnership, partnership association, venture, receiver, trustee, executor, administrator, guardian, fiduciary, other representative of any kind, any recognized legal entity, or political subdivision or agency thereof;

(p) "Stimulate" means any action taken to increase the natural flow of coalbed methane or the inherent productivity of a coalbed methane well, including, but not limited to, fracturing, shooting, acidizing or water flooding, but excluding cleaning out, bailing or workover operations;

(q) "Waste" means: (i) Physical waste as the term is generally understood in the gas industry and as provided for in article six of this chapter, but giving special consideration to coal mining operations and the safe recovery of coal; (ii) the locating, drilling, equipping, operating, producing or transporting coalbed methane in a manner that causes or tends to cause a substantial reduction in the quantity of coalbed methane recoverable from a pool under prudent and proper operations, or that causes or tends to cause a substantial or unnecessary or excessive surface loss of coalbed methane; (iii) the drilling of more wells than are reasonably required to recover efficiently and economically the maximum amount of coalbed methane from a pool; or (iv) substantially inefficient, excessive or improper use, or the substantially unnecessary dissipation of reservoir pressure. Waste does not include coalbed methane vented or released from any mine area, the degasification of a coal seam for the purpose of mining coal, the plugging of coalbed methane wells for the purpose of mining coal, coalbed methane vented or flared from a coalbed methane well, after completion, for the purpose of evaluating its economic viability, or the conversion of coalbed methane wells to vent holes for the purpose of mining coal;

(r) "Workable coalbed" or "workable coal seam" means any seam of coal twenty inches or more in thickness, or any seam of less thickness which is being commercially mined or can be shown to be capable of being commercially mined;

(s) "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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