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§22-6-12. Plats prerequisite to drilling or fracturing wells; preparation and contents; notice and information furnished to coal operators, owners or lessees; issuance of permits; performance bonds or securities in lieu thereof; bond forfeiture.

(a) Before drilling for oil or gas, or before fracturing or stimulating a well on any tract of land, the well operator shall have a plat prepared by a licensed land surveyor or registered engineer showing the district and county in which the tract of land is located, the name and acreage of the same, the names of the owners of adjacent tracts, the proposed or actual location of the well determined by survey, the courses and distances of such location from two permanent points or landmarks on said tract and the number to be given the well. In the event the tract of land on which the said well proposed to be drilled or fractured is located is known to be underlain by one or more coal seams, copies of the plat shall be forwarded by registered or certified mail to each and every coal operator operating said coal seams beneath said tract of land, who has mapped the same and filed such maps with the office of miners' health, safety and training in accordance with chapter twenty-two-a of this code and the coal seam owner of record and lessee of record, if any, if said owner or lessee has recorded the declaration provided in section thirty-six of this article, and if said owner or lessee is not yet operating said coal seams beneath said tract of land. With each of such plats there shall be enclosed a notice (form for which shall be furnished on request by the secretary) addressed to the secretary and to each such coal operator, owner and lessee, if any, at their respective addresses, informing them that such plat and notice are being mailed to them respectively by registered or certified mail, pursuant to the requirements of this article.

(b) If no objections are made, or are found by the secretary, to such proposed location or proposed fracturing within fifteen days from receipt of such plat and notice by the secretary, the same shall be filed and become a permanent record of such location or fracturing subject to inspection at any time by any interested person, and the secretary may forthwith issue to the well operator a permit reciting the filing of such plat, that no objections have been made by the coal operators, owners and lessees, if any, or found thereto by the secretary, and authorizing the well operator to drill at such location, or to fracture the well. Unless the secretary has objections to such proposed location or proposed fracturing or stimulating, such permit may be issued prior to the expiration of such fifteen-day period upon the obtaining by the well operator of the consent in writing of the coal operator or operators, owners and lessees, if any, to whom copies of the plat and notice shall have been mailed as herein required, and upon presentation of such written consent to the secretary. The notice above provided for may be given to the coal operator by delivering or mailing it by registered or certified mail as above to any agent or superintendent in actual charge of mines.

(c) A permit to drill, or to fracture or stimulate an oil or gas well, shall not be issued unless the application therefor is accompanied by a bond as provided in section twenty-six of this article.

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