1-1                                   AN ACT
 1-2     relating to the approval of assignments of oil and gas leases
 1-3     covering certain state land.
 1-5           SECTION 1.  Section 52.026, Natural Resources Code, is
 1-6     amended by amending Subsection (a) and by adding Subsection (e) to
 1-7     read as follows:
 1-8           (a)  A lessee of an area under this subchapter may transfer
 1-9     the [his] lease at any time.  The liability of the transferor to
1-10     properly discharge its obligations under the lease, including
1-11     properly plugging abandoned wells, removing platforms or pipelines,
1-12     or remediation of contamination at drill sites shall pass to the
1-13     transferee upon prior written consent of the commissioner.  The
1-14     commissioner may not withhold the consent unreasonably.  The
1-15     commissioner may require the transferee to demonstrate that it has
1-16     the financial responsibility to properly discharge its obligations
1-17     under the lease and may require the transferee to post a bond or
1-18     provide other security to secure those obligations if the
1-19     transferee is unable to demonstrate such financial responsibility
1-20     to the satisfaction of the commissioner.
1-21           (e)  This section does not relieve a person from the duty to
1-22     comply with a rule adopted or order issued by the Railroad
1-23     Commission of Texas under another provision of this code.
1-24           SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1999.
 2-1           SECTION 3.  The importance of this legislation and the
 2-2     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
 2-3     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
 2-4     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
 2-5     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.
         _______________________________     _______________________________
             President of the Senate              Speaker of the House
               I certify that H.B. No. 3696 was passed by the House on May
         13, 1999, by a non-record vote.
                                                 Chief Clerk of the House
               I certify that H.B. No. 3696 was passed by the Senate on May
         26, 1999, by the following vote:  Yeas 30, Nays 0.
                                                 Secretary of the Senate
         APPROVED:  _____________________