1-1     By:  Hawley (Senate Sponsor - Lucio)                  H.B. No. 3696
 1-2           (In the Senate - Received from the House May 13, 1999;
 1-3     May 14, 1999, read first time and referred to Committee on Natural
 1-4     Resources; May 14, 1999, reported favorably by the following vote:
 1-5     Yeas 4, Nays 0; May 14, 1999, sent to printer.)
 1-6                            A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-7                                   AN ACT
 1-8     relating to the approval of assignments of oil and gas leases
 1-9     covering certain state land.
1-11           SECTION 1.  Section 52.026, Natural Resources Code, is
1-12     amended by amending Subsection (a) and by adding Subsection (e) to
1-13     read as follows:
1-14           (a)  A lessee of an area under this subchapter may transfer
1-15     the [his] lease at any time.  The liability of the transferor to
1-16     properly discharge its obligations under the lease, including
1-17     properly plugging abandoned wells, removing platforms or pipelines,
1-18     or remediation of contamination at drill sites shall pass to the
1-19     transferee upon prior written consent of the commissioner.  The
1-20     commissioner may not withhold the consent unreasonably.  The
1-21     commissioner may require the transferee to demonstrate that it has
1-22     the financial responsibility to properly discharge its obligations
1-23     under the lease and may require the transferee to post a bond or
1-24     provide other security to secure those obligations if the
1-25     transferee is unable to demonstrate such financial responsibility
1-26     to the satisfaction of the commissioner.
1-27           (e)  This section does not relieve a person from the duty to
1-28     comply with a rule adopted or order issued by the Railroad
1-29     Commission of Texas under another provision of this code.
1-30           SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1999.
1-31           SECTION 3.  The importance of this legislation and the
1-32     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
1-33     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
1-34     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
1-35     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.
1-36                                  * * * * *