By Hawley H.B. No. 3696
Line and page numbers may not match official copy.
Bill not drafted by TLC or Senate E&E.
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
1-1 AN ACT
1-2 relating to the approval of assignments of oil and gas leases
1-3 administered by the land commissioner.
1-4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
1-5 SECTION 1. Amend Natural Resources Code Section 52.026 to
1-6 read as follows:
1-7 Sec. 52.026. LEASE TRANSFER. (a) A lessee of an area under
1-8 this subchapter may transfer his lease at any time. The liability
1-9 of the assignor to properly plug and abandon any wells existing on
1-10 the lease, shall pass to the assignee upon prior written consent of
1-11 the commissioner. The commissioner may require the assignee to
1-12 demonstrate that it has the financial ability to properly discharge
1-13 its obligations under the lease and may require the posting of a
1-14 bond or other security to secure these obligations if he determines
1-15 it to be in the best interest of the permanent school fund.
1-16 (b) The transfer of the lease shall be recorded in any
1-17 county in which all or part of the leased area is located.
1-18 (c) Within 90 days after the execution of the transfer, the
1-19 recorded transfer or a certified copy of the recorded transfer
1-20 accompanied by a filing fee set by the commissioner in an amount
1-21 not less than $5 shall be filed in the land office.
2-1 (d) Every transferee shall succeed to all rights and be
2-2 subject to all obligations, liabilities, and penalties owed to the
2-3 state by the original lessee or any prior transferee of the lease,
2-4 including any liabilities to the state for unpaid royalties.
2-5 SECTION 2. Amend Natural Resources Code Section 52.172 to
2-6 read as follows:
2-7 Sec. 52.172. SALE AND LEASE BY AGENT. The owner of said
2-8 land is hereby authorized to sell or lease to any person, firm, or
2-9 corporation the oil and gas that may be thereon or therein upon
2-10 such terms and conditions as such owner may deem best, subject only
2-11 to the provisions hereof, and he may have a second lien thereon to
2-12 secure the payment of any sum due him. All leases and sales so
2-13 made shall be assignable with the prior written consent of the
2-14 owner. No oil or gas rights shall be sold or leased hereunder for
2-15 a delay rental during the primary term of less than 10 cents per
2-16 acre per year plus royalty, and in case of production, the lessee
2-17 or purchaser shall pay the state the undivided one-sixteenth of the
2-18 value of the oil and gas reserved herein, and like amounts to the
2-19 owner of the soil.
2-20 SECTION 3. Amend Natural Resources Code 52.032 to read as
2-22 Sec. 52.032. REGULATION OF DEVELOPMENT AND OPERATIONS. (a)
2-23 Development and operations on areas covered by this subchapter
2-24 shall be done insofar as practicable in a manner that will prevent
2-25 the pollution of water, destruction of fish, oysters, and other
3-1 marine life, and obstruction of navigation.
3-2 (b) If, in the evaluation of a proposed lease assignment,
3-3 the commissioner decides that the assignee is financially incapable
3-4 of properly plugging and abandoning wells, removing platforms and
3-5 pipelines, or remediating any contamination at the drill site, then
3-6 the commissioner may require the posting of a bond or other
3-7 security to secure those obligations.
3-8 (c) The commissioner shall adopt and enforce rules that may
3-9 be necessary for the purposes stated in [
Subsection (a) of] this
3-11 [ (c)] (d) Any rules and changes of rules adopted under this
3-12 section shall be submitted to the attorney general for his written
3-13 approval before the rules of their changes become effective.
3-14 SECTION 4. The importance of this legislation and the
3-15 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
3-16 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
3-17 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
3-18 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.