ND Oil and Gas Rules Move to Next Phase of Approval

The Oil and Gas Division today presented an order of proposed final administrative rules to the North Dakota Industrial Commission. The Commission voted 3-0 to approve the rule change order.

Changes to the administrative code include proposals to require sundry notices for spills not responded to with adequate resources, site assessments before and after reclamation if deemed necessary by the director, and changes to what is required on Royalty Information Statements.

“Overall, 43 changes were proposed to 30 sections of administrative code. After considering all comments, two changes were withdrawn completely, nine were modified from the original proposal and 32 were adopted as proposed,” explains Assistant Director, Bruce Hicks. “We received comments from 49 individuals.”

Most notably, the Commission approved changes which require companies to submit a sundry notice when fluids are not properly cleaned-up on well sites and facilities. The sundry notice will include information such as the type of fluid spilled, the root cause of the incident and explanation of how the volume was determined. The Commission also gives the Director discretion to require a site assessment before or after reclamation.

Lastly, the Commission approved changes to what is required to be provided to mineral owners on a Royalty Information Statement. These changes include delaying implementation of this rule until July 1, 2019, to allow industry to develop the necessary software to comply with changes. The requirement to name the point of sale on statements was withdrawn, but the rule keeps requirements for companies to list the amount and purpose of each deduction and identify what costs were deducted, including adjustments and corrections.

Changes will now be submitted to the Attorney General’s office for a procedural review and then will be submitted to Legislative Council for review by the Administrative Rules Committee in March 2018. Rules are expected to be adopted by April 1, 2018, with Royalty Information Statement rules taking effect July 1, 2019.

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