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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 25. Department of Energy
Chapter 160. Virginia Gas and Oil Board Regulations
12/6/2021

4VAC25-160-40. Notice of hearings.

A. Each applicant for a hearing to establish an exception to statewide spacing under § 45.1-361.17 of the Code of Virginia shall provide notice by electronic mail, by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by another commercial carrier including Federal Express and United Parcel Service, return receipt requested, to all gas, oil, coal or mineral owners having an interest underlying any tract located within the distances provided in § 45.1-361.17 of the Code of Virginia or the distance to the nearest well completed in the same pool, whichever is less. Each applicant for a hearing to establish an exception to a well location provided for in a drilling unit established by an order of the board shall provide notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to all gas, oil, coal or mineral owners having an interest underlying the unit where the exception is requested.

B. Each applicant shall include, in or with the mailed notice of the hearing required under § 45.1-361.19 of the Code of Virginia, the following information:

1. The name and address of the applicant and the applicant's counsel, if any;

2. In the case of an application to vacate or amend an order, identification of the order to be vacated or amended;

3. A statement of the relief sought and proposed provisions of the order or proposed order;

4. Citations of statutes, rules, orders and decided cases supporting the relief sought;

5. A statement of the type of well or wells (gas, oil or coalbed methane gas);

6. a. For a pooling order, the notice should include: a plat showing the size and shape of the proposed unit and boundaries of tracts within the unit. The location of the proposed unit shall be shown in accordance with the Virginia Coordinate System of 1983, as defined in Chapter 17 (§ 55-287 et seq.) of Title 55 of the Code of Virginia, also known as the State Plane Coordinate System. The plat shall include property lines taken from (i) deed descriptions and chain of title, (ii) county courthouse records, or (iii) a physical survey for each land track in the unit. The location of the well and the percentage of acreage in each tract in the unit shall be certified by a licensed land surveyor or a licensed professional engineer and attested by the applicant as to its conformity to existing orders issued by the board;

b. For a field rule, the notice should include: a description of the pool or pools in the field, the boundaries of the field, information on the acreage and boundaries of the units proposed to be in the field and any proposed allowable production rates; or

c. For a location exception, the notice should include: a description of the proposed well location in relation to other wells within statewide spacing limits or in relation to the allowable area for drilling within a unit;

7. A description of the interest or claim of the respondent being notified;

8. A description of the formation or formations to be produced;

9. An estimate of the amount of reserves of the unit;

10. An estimate of the allowable costs in accordance with 4VAC25-160-100; and

11. How interested persons may obtain additional information or a complete copy of the application.

C. When after a diligent search the identity or location of any person to whom notice is required to be given in accordance with subsection A or B of this section is unknown at the time the applicant applies for a hearing before the board, the applicant for the hearing shall cause a notice to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, counties, city, or cities where the land or the major portion thereof which is the subject of the application is located. The notice shall include:

1. The name and address of the applicant;

2. A description of the action to be considered by the board;

3. A map showing the general location of the area that would be affected by the proposed action or a description that clearly describes the location or boundaries of the area that would be affected by the proposed action sufficient to enable local residents to identify the area;

4. The date, time and location of the hearing at which the application is scheduled to be heard; and

5. How interested persons may obtain additional information or a complete copy of the application.

D. Notice of a hearing made in accordance with § 45.1-361.19 of the Code of Virginia or this section shall be sufficient, and no additional notice is required to be made by the applicant upon a postponement or continuance of the hearing.

E. Each applicant for a hearing to modify an order established under § 45.1-361.21 or 45.1-361.22 of the Code of Virginia shall provide notice in accordance with § 45.1-361.19 of the Code of Virginia to each person having an interest underlying the tract or tracts to be affected by the proposed modification.

F. An applicant filing a petition to modify a forced pooling order established under § 45.1-361.21 or 45.1-361.22 of the Code of Virginia to change the unit operator based on a change in the corporate name of the unit operator; a change in the corporate structure of the unit operator; or a transfer of the unit operator's interests to any single subsidiary, parent or successor by merger or consolidation is not required to provide notice. Other applicants for a hearing to modify a forced pooling order shall provide notice in accordance with § 45.1-361.19 of the Code of Virginia to each respondent named in the order to be modified whose interest may be affected by the proposed modification.

Statutory Authority

§ 45.1-361.15 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-05-22.2 § 4, eff. October 23, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 22, eff. August 20, 1997; Volume 29, Issue 3, eff. November 8, 2012; Volume 33, Issue 21, eff. July 27, 2017.

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