Louisiana Mineral Code
This is a link to the Louisiana Mineral Code, which is found in Title 31 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes. The Mineral Code governs “mineral rights,” meaning the property law issues associated with exploring for and producing minerals.
La. R.S. 31:1 et seq., enacted 1974, effective 1/1/1975.
Louisiana Conservation Act
This is a link to the Louisiana Conservation Act, which is found in Title 30 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes (Subtitle I of Title 30 contains the Louisiana Conservation Act and Subtitle II contains the Louisiana Environmental Quality Act). The Louisiana Conservation Act includes provisions relating to pooling, unitization, and the regulation of mineral development.
La. R.S. 30:1 et seq.
Acts of the 2021 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature relating to Oil and Gas
Act 246 — Right to Know Law – Acts 2021, No. 246 amends the Hazardous Materials Information Development, Preparedness, and Response Act, also known as the Right to Know Law, to provide that the Act applies to natural gas pipelines
Act 326 — Subsurface Storage of Fluids – Louisiana Acts 2021, No. 326 expands the existing authority of the Louisiana Office of Conservation under La. R.S. 30:23 to regulate the subsurface storage of certain fluids–namely, liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide–to also include the authority to regulate the subsurface storage of hydrogen, nitrogen, ammonia, compressed air, and noble gases. Act 326 also amends the Louisiana Geological Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide by revising La. R.S. 30:1103 to include a definition of “Confidential business information.” The purpose of adding this definition is to facilitate protection of certain information by preventing it from being subject to public records requests. Finally, Act 326 amends Louisiana Revised Statute 30:1110 to authorize the Commissioner of Conservation to contract for professional services to assist with carbon sequestration permit reviews.
Acts of the 2020 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature relating to Oil and Gas
Act 61 — Amendments to the Louisiana Geological Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide Act – Act 61 amended the Louisiana Geological Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide Act in several ways. One of the amendments authorizes the Office of Conservation to approve the conversion of hydrocarbon-bearing formations and depleted oil formations, as well as formations being used for enhanced recovery, to geologic storage. Before, the provision only authorized the Commission to approve conversion of formations being used for enhanced recovery. Act 61 also expands the Commissioner’s authority to approve the use of formations for carbon sequestration. Prior to Act 61, if a formation was capable of producing oil or natural gas in paying quantities, the Commissioner could not approve the use of that formation for carbon sequestration unless all owners in the formation agreed. That restriction has been eased somewhat by Act 61, so that the Commission can approve use of a formation for CO2 storage, even if the formation is capable of producing oil or gas in paying quantities, provided that the Commission finds that the formation has greater utility for use in CO2 storage than for purpose of producing the oil or gas in the formation.
Act 76 — Remedies available to owners of production payments – Acts 2020, No. 227 amends Louisiana Mineral Code article 212.21 (La. Rev. Stat. 31:212.21) to clarify that “production payment,” as used in Mineral Code articles 212.21 through 212.23, refers to an interest carved out of a mineral lessee’s interest. Thus, the owner of an unleased mineral interest in a unit formed by the Louisiana Office of Conservation is not the owner of a “production payment.”
Act 242 — Commission of Conservation’s authority relating to entering contracts relative to orphan wells – Act No. 242 of the 2020 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature (which was Senate Bill No. 447 by Senator Bret Allain) amends Louisiana Revised Statutes 30:4, 30:83, and 30:92, as well as 37:2157. The amendments authorize the Office of Conservation to enter cooperative endeavor agreements with companies that will assist with the plugging orphan wells, authorize the Oilfield Site Restoration Commission to approve a cooperative endeavor agreement between the Office of Conservation and a company that will assist with the plugging of orphan wells, eliminate a provision stating that a contract for site assessment or remediation must require a cash bond, and provide that companies bidding for certain site restoration work need not comply with certain requirements that otherwise apply to contractors under Louisiana Revised Statutes Title 37.
Acts of the 2019 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature relating to Oil and Gas or other Minerals
Act 150 — Additional reclamation fee for coal and lignite mines – Acts 2019, No. 150 amends Louisiana Revised Statute 30:906.1 to impose on all persons holding a permit under the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act an annual reclamation fee of six dollars for each acre of land included within the approved mine permit area. The revenue is to be used for enforcing the Louisiana Surface Mining and Reclamation Act. This annual fee is in addition to the existing fee under 30:906.1 of eight cents per ton of coal and lignite produced.
Act 193 — Use of Oilfield Site Restoration Fund for Responding to Emergencies – Acts 2019, No. 193 amends Louisiana Revised Statute 30:86 to authorize use of money from the Oilfield Site Restoration Fund to respond to emergencies declared by the Commissioner of Conservation pursuant to Revised Statute 30:6.1. Act No. 193 also amends Revised Statue 30:93.1 to provide that, if money from the Fund is used to respond to an emergency, the Commissioner must seek recovery of those funds from any party that has operated or held a working interest in the site where the emergency occurs.
Act 350 — Approval of operations by co-owners – Acts 2019, No. 350 amends Louisiana Mineral Code articles 164, 166, and 167 (La. Rev. Stats. 31:164, 31:166, and 31:167), which apply when land or a mineral servitude is co-owned. The articles previously required approval of owners collectively holding at least an 80% interest in the co-owned land or mineral servitude in order to authorize mineral operations. The legislation lowers that threshold to 75%.
Act 403 — Authorizing a provision for a security interest in state leases – Acts 2019, No. 403 provides that the State Mineral and Energy Board may include in state mineral leases issued after July 31, 2019 a clause that grants a security interest in minerals produced pursuant to the lease (or lands pooled therewith and attributable to the leased premises) to secure the lessee’s obligation to pay lease royalties or other sums due under the lease.
Acts of the 2018 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature relating to Oil and Gas or other Minerals
Act No. 47 — Compensatory mitigation for activities in coastal areas – Louisiana Revised Statute 49:214.41 is one of the statutes governing the Louisiana Coastal Zone Management Program. Under Louisiana laws governing this program, a state permit is required for certain activities in coastal areas. In some circumstances, particularly if the permitted will have some adverse impact on coastal wetlands, the recipient of the permit may be required to conduct some form of “compensatory mitigation.” Act 47 of the Louisiana Legislature’s 2018 Regular Session amends Revised Statute 49:214.41 to expressly provide that: “Compensatory mitigation may also include construction or implementation of an integrated coastal protection project consistent with the state’s mater plan for coastal protection and restoration within the same watershed as the permitted activity.”
Act No. 57 — Caps on civil and criminal penalties for violation of pipeline safety regulations are increased – Louisiana Revised Statute 30:544 provides for civil and criminal penalties for the violation of pipeline safety regulations. Act 57 of the Louisiana Legislature’s 2018 Regular Session amends Revised Statute 30:544 to increase the maximum civil penalty from $10,000 per day per violation to $200,000 per day per violation. The amendment also increases the statute’s cap on the overall size of a civil penalty from $500,000 to $2,000,0000.
Act No. 60 — Commissioner authorized to enter an agreement with federal officials for Louisiana to participate in the oversight of interstate natural gas pipelines within the state – Louisiana Revised Statute 30:551 deals with the authority of the Commissioner of Conservation to regulate pipeline safety. One of the provisions of the statute authorizes the Commissioner to certify to federal officials, as provided in federal law, that the Commissioner has regulatory jurisdiction over intrastate natural gas pipelines and liquefied natural gas facilities not otherwise regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Act 60 of the Louisiana Legislature’s 2018 Regular Session amends Revised Statute 30:551 to authorize the Commissioner of Conservation to make a similar certification to federal officials regarding intrastate underground gas storage facilities. Act 60 also authorizes the Commissioner to enter an agreement with federal officials for Louisiana to participate in the oversight of interstate natural gas pipelines within the state.
Act No. 84 — Legislation provides that the time when the oilfield site restoration fee is payable is “upon the initial disposition of each barrel of oil and condensate” – Louisiana Revised Statute 30:87 provides for an oilfield site restoration fee. The fee is payable on each barrel of crude oil or condensate produced in the state. The purpose of the fee is to pay for restoration of oilfield sites for which a financially responsible party is not available. Act 84 of the Louisiana Legislature’s 2018 Regular Session amends Revised Statute 30:87 to provide that the fee is “payable upon the initial disposition of each barrel of oil and condensate.”
Act No. 105 — Oilfield Site Restoration Commission is given authority to administer funds collected from financial security instruments for specific wells – Louisiana Revised Statute 30:83 establishes and specifies the powers of the Oilfield Site Restoration Commission. One of the powers is to administer the Oilfield Site Restoration Fund. Act 105 of the Louisiana Legislature’s 2018 Regular Session amends Revised Statute 30:83 to provide that the Oilfield Site Restoration Commission also has the authority to administer funds collected from financial security instruments tied to a specific well. Act 105 also amends Revised Statute 30:86 to specify that the funds collected from financial security instruments tied to a specific well may only be used at the site of that well.
Act No. 106 — Program whereby a party can pay extra fees for Office of Conservation to make an expedited review of materials is expanded – Louisiana Revised Statute 30:4(Q) authorizes the Commissioner of Conservation to establish a program whereby applicants for permits or licenses can pay an extra fee for expedited review of the application. The amount of the extra fee is designed to pay for employees of the Office of Conservation to work overtime to process any permit or license application that is being expedited. Act 104 of the Louisiana Legislature’s 2018 Regular Session amends Revised Statute 30:4(Q) to allow a person to pay an additional fee for expedited “review” of a variety of types of materials that may be submitted to the Office of Conservation.
Act No. 191 — Legislation limits the authority of the Office of Conservation to limit the hours of operation of an injection disposal facility – Louisiana Revised Statute 30:4(B)(16) provides that the Louisiana Office of Conservation has the authority to regulate injection disposal wells used in the oil and gas industry. However, Revised Statute 30:4(B)(16)(c) provides that the Commission does not have authority to regulate the hours of “operation” of a disposal facility. Act 191 of the Louisiana Legislature’s 2018 Regular Session amends Revised Statute 30:4(B)(16)(c) to provide that Commission similarly does not have authority to regulate the hours of “receiving of … waste material.”
Act 245 – Scope of Louisiana Oil Well Lien Act expanded – Act 245 of the 2018 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature amended the Louisiana Oil Well Lien Act (LOWLA) to remove a subsection of the statute that excluded from the definition of “operations” (thus excluding application of LOWLA) any activities involving “transporting, handling, processing, treating, or otherwise dealing” with “[s]alt water or another waste substance produced in association with hydrocarbons, after it is placed in a
Acts of the 2012 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature relating to Oil and Gas
Act 702 — Expropriation Procedures – Act 702 revises the procedures for expropriation of property rights for the construction, maintenance, and operation of pipelines.
Act 743 — Ultra Deep Units – Act 743 grants the Office of Conservation authority to create units up to 9000 acres in size for “structures” that are encountered at a minimum depth of 22,0000 feet.
Act 743 — Risk Fee Statute – Act 743 also amends the Risk Fee Statute to provide that the operoator generally will have to pay a non-participating lessee’s lease royalty and overriding royalty obligations during the operator’s recovery of the risk fee.
Act 754 — Legacy litigation – Act 754 enacts certain reforms relating to “legacy litigation” in which plaintiffs allege that their land has been contaminated by past oil and gas activities. For example, Act 754 provides for the entry of case management orders to manage legacy litigation cases, and allows defendants to admit liability for the remediation or clean-up of property, without that admission being deemed an admission of liability for claims other than for clean-up.
Act 779 — Legacy Litigation – Act 779 enacts certain other reforms relating to legacy litigation. For example, the legislation provides that litigants may subpoena Department of Natural Resources employees who were involved in formualtion of a “feasible plan.” The legislation also allows a defendant to request a hearing at which a plaintiff must present some prima facie evidence to support its claims, and if a plaintiff fails to do so, the defenant is dismissed without prejudice.
Act 795 — Pre-Entry Notice to Surface Owners – Act 795 provides that operators generally will be required to give a surface owner 30 days notice prior to the operator entering land for drilling activities, unless the surface owner has a contract with the operator.
Act 812 — Mandatory Disclosure of Fracturing Fluid Composition – Act 812 directs the Office of Conservation to draft regulations requiring operators to disclose certain information about hydraulic fracturing fluids on a well-by-well basis. The information that generally must be disclosed includes the volume of fracturing fluid, the type of base fluid, and the indentity of each additive, though operators need not disclose the identity of any compound that is a trade secret. The information that is disclosed is made avalable to the public.
Acts of the 2010 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature relating to Oil and Gas
Act No. 646—Drilling Activities – Enacts R.S. 30:28.1, relative to drilling activities. An owner or operator of a permitted oil and gas well shall construct and maintain the drilling activity area in such a manner as to avoid disturbing the use of any privately owned active water well existing at the time of the application for the permit to drill .
Act No. 658—Chapter 22–A. Oil Spill Relief Programs Integrity Act – Enacts R.S. 39:2165 through 2165.12, relative to actions and qui tam actions concerning oil spill relief; to authorize actions and qui tam actions for certain matters related to oil spill relief programs; to provide definitions, terms, procedures, conditions, and requirements; to provide relative to damages and awards
Act No. 875—State Mineral and Energy Board and Act No. 930—State Mineral and Energy Board – Both of these amend R.S. 30:124, relative to the State Mineral and Energy Board. They authorize the State Mineral and Energy Board to lease state lands for the exploration, development, and production of energy from alternative energy resources.
Act No. 955—Use of Surface Water – This enacts Chapter 9–B of Title 30 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, to be comprised of R.S. 30:961 through 963, relative to the use of surface water. It provides for cooperative endeavor agreements to withdraw running surface water and for payment to the state for fair market value for same. It is administered by the Department of Natural Resources. This Chapter is to have no effect on the rights provided for in Civil Code Articles 657 and 658 or any rights held by riparian owners. The act has a sunset provision for termination of its effectiveness of December 31, 2012.
Act No. 994—Right of Riparian Owner – This enacts R.S. 9:1103, relative to the right of riparian owners. It provides for the assignment of rights to access the running waters of the state. In essence it allows a riparian owner to assign water rights to the non-riparian owners for any agricultural or aquacultural purpose within the state of Louisiana.