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(a) Except as provided in (b) of this section, a plan of operations for all or part of the leased area or area subject to an oil and gas exploration license must be approved by the commissioner before any operations may be undertaken on or in the leased or licensed area.
(b) A plan of operations is not required for
(1) activities that would not require a land use permit under this title; or
(2) operations undertaken under an approved unit plan of operations in accordance with this title.
(c) Before undertaking operations on or in the leased or licensed area, the lessee or licensee shall provide for full payment of all damages sustained by the owner of the surface estate as well as by the surface owner's lessees and permittees, by reason of entering the land.
(d) An application for approval of a plan of operations must contain sufficient information, based on data reasonably available at the time the plan is submitted for approval, for the commissioner to determine the surface use requirements and impacts directly associated with the proposed operations. An application must include statements and maps or drawings setting out the following:
(1) the sequence and schedule of the operations to be conducted on or in the leased or licensed area, including the date operations are proposed to begin and their proposed duration;
(2) projected use requirements directly associated with the proposed operations, including the location and design of well sites, material sites, water supplies, solid waste sites, buildings, roads, utilities, airstrips, and all other facilities and equipment necessary to conduct the proposed operations;
(3) plans for rehabilitation of the affected leased or licensed area after completion of operations or phases of those operations; and
(4) a description of operating procedures designed to prevent or minimize adverse effects on other natural resources and other uses of the leased or licensed area and adjacent areas, including fish and wildlife habitats, historic and archeological sites, and public use areas.
(e) In approving a lease or license plan of operations or an amendment of a plan, the commissioner will require amendments that the commissioner determines necessary to protect the state's interest. The commissioner will not require an amendment that would be inconsistent with the terms of sale under which the lease was obtained, or terms under which the oil and gas exploration license was obtained or with the terms of the lease or license itself, or which would deprive the lessee or licensee of reasonable use of the leasehold or licensed interest.
(f) The lessee or licensee may, with approval of the commissioner, amend an approved plan of operations.
(g) Upon completion of operations, the lessee or licensee shall inspect the area of operations and submit a report indicating the completion date of operations and stating any noncompliance of which the lessee or licensee knows, or should reasonably know, with requirements imposed as a condition of approval of the plan.
(h) In submitting a proposed plan of operations for approval, the lessee or licensee shall provide 10 copies of the plan if activities proposed are within the coastal zone, and five copies if activities proposed are not within the coastal zone.
History: Eff. 6/28/81, Register 78; am 8/15/82, Register 83; am 3/18/83, Register 85; am 9/22/95, Register 135; am 2/21/98, Register 145
Authority: AS 38.05.020
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Last modified 7/05/2006