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(a) The commission will, in its discretion, establish drilling units to govern well spacing and prescribe a spacing pattern by pool rules adopted in accordance with 20 AAC 25.520. In the absence of an order by the commission establishing drilling units or prescribing a spacing pattern for a pool, the following statewide spacing requirements apply:
(1) for a well drilling for oil, a wellbore may be open to test or regular production within 500 feet of a property line only if the owner is the same and the landowner is the same on both sides of the line;
(2) for a well drilling for gas, a wellbore may be open to test or regular production within 1,500 feet of a property line only if the owner is the same and the landowner is the same on both sides of the line;
(3) if oil has been discovered, the drilling unit for the pool is a governmental quarter section; not more than one well may be drilled to and completed in that pool on any governmental quarter section; a well may not be drilled or completed closer than 1,000 feet to any well drilling to or capable of producing from the same pool;
(4) if gas has been discovered, the drilling unit for the pool is a governmental section; not more than one well may be drilled to and completed in that pool on any governmental section; a well may not be drilled or completed closer than 3,000 feet to any well drilling to or capable of producing from the same pool.
(b) A well may not begin regular production of oil from a property that is smaller than the governmental quarter section upon which the well is located or begin regular production of gas from a property that is smaller than the governmental section upon which the well is located, unless the interests of the persons owning the drilling rights in and the right to share in the production from the quarter section or section, respectively, have been pooled under AS 31.05.100 .
(c) A pooling agreement under AS 31.05.100 must be filed with the commission before regular production from the affected property begins.
(d) The commission will review an application for an exception to the provisions of this section in accordance with 20 AAC 25.540. The applicant for an exception shall send notice of the application by certified mail to the owners, landowners, and operators described in (1) of this subsection and shall furnish the commission with a copy of the notice, the date of mailing, and the addresses to which the notice was sent. The application must include
(1) the names of all owners, landowners, and operators of all properties within 1,000 feet of a well drilling for oil or within 3,000 feet of a well drilling for gas for which an exception is sought;
(2) a plat drawn to a scale of one inch equaling 2,640 feet or larger, showing the location of the well for which the exception is sought, all other completed and drilling wells on the property, and all adjoining properties and wells; and
(3) an affidavit by a person acquainted with the facts, verifying that all facts are true and that the plat correctly portrays pertinent and required data.
(e) Upon application by the operator, the commission will establish notice requirements different from those of (d) of this section if the operator demonstrates to the commission's satisfaction that compliance with the notice requirements in (d) of this section is not feasible because of the complexity of ownership within the notice area.
History: Eff. 4/13/80, Register 74; am 4/2/86, Register 97; am 11/7/99, Register 152
Authority: AS 31.05.030
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Last modified 7/05/2006