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WEST VIRGINIA CODE

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CHAPTER 22. ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES.

ARTICLE 6. OFFICE OF OIL AND GAS; OIL AND GAS WELLS; ADMINISTRATION; ENFORCEMENT.

§22-6-22. Well report, logs, core samples, and cuttings to be filed; confidentiality and permitted use; authority to promulgate rules; reporting of production data for horizontal wells.

(a) Within a reasonable time after the completion of the drilling of a shallow well or deep well, the well operator shall file with the secretary and with the state Geological and Economic Survey a completion report containing the following:

(1) The character, depth, and thickness of geological formations encountered, including fresh water, coal seams, mineral beds, brine, and oil and gas bearing formations; and

(2) Such other information as the secretary may require to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.

The secretary may promulgate such reasonable rules in accordance with §29A-3-1 et seq. of this code, as may be considered necessary to ensure that the character, depth, and thickness of geological formations encountered are accurately logged: Provided, That the secretary shall not require logging by the use of an electrical logging device: Provided, however, That if electrical, mechanical, or geophysical logs are recorded in the well, the secretary may request copies of these logs: Provided further, That mechanical or geophysical logs may not include vertical seismic profiles or two-dimensional or three-dimensional seismic information.

(b) If a well operator takes core samples, that activity shall be noted within the report, and, within 60 days after filing the completion report, the operator shall, subject to the terms of this article, provide the state Geological and Economic Survey with a complete set of cores, consisting of at least quarter slabs, correctly labeled and identified according to depth. The core samples requested by and provided to the state Geological and Economic Survey may not contain any materials or documents made with regard to analyzing or interpreting the core samples.

(c) If a well operator catches cuttings during the drilling of any deep or shallow well, that activity shall be noted within the report and, within 60 days after filing the completion report, the operator shall, subject to the terms of this article, provide the state Geological and Economic Survey with a sample of the cuttings, correctly labeled and identified according to depth.

(d) Any information, reports, cuttings, and core samples requested by and provided to the state Geological and Economic Survey by the operator shall be kept confidential at the written request of the operator for a specified amount of time as follows:

(1) Except for core samples, any logs, drill cuttings, reports and other information or materials that reveal trade secrets or other confidential business information relating to the competitive interests of the operator or the operator’s privy may not be disclosed to the public for one year following delivery, unless the operator consents in writing to a shorter time. At the operator’s written request, the period of confidentiality may be extended in annual increments: Provided, That the total period of confidentiality may not exceed three years.

(2) Any core samples may not be disclosed to the public for five years following delivery to the state Geological and Economic Survey, unless the operator consents in writing to a shorter time. At the operator’s written request, the period of confidentiality may be extended for an additional five years: Provided, That the total period of confidentiality may not exceed 10 years.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (d) of this section, the state Geological and Economic Survey may store and process confidential information within its minerals mapping or geographic information systems; however, that confidential information may not be revealed to the public until the lapsing of the period of confidentiality created pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. After the period of confidentiality has lapsed, statistics or other information generated as the result of storage and processing may be disclosed in the aggregate through articles, reports, maps, or lectures presented in accordance with generally accepted academic or scientific practices and in a manner to preclude the identification of a particular well or operator.

(f) A quarterly report of the monthly volumes of oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids produced from any horizontal well drilled shall be filed with the Chief of the Office of Oil and Gas on a form prescribed by the Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.  All reported data shall be made available to the public through the Office of Oil and Gas’ website within a reasonable time. The secretary has the express authority pursuant to this article, as well as pursuant to the powers enumerated in §22-6-2 of this code, to promulgate rules and to amend the current rules to require timely quarterly reporting of production data as well as to establish a process for collecting such data.

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