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      RS 56:700.10     



§700.10.  Purpose

With declining reserves and oil and gas becoming harder to discover it is incumbent upon the state to remove as many obstacles as it can which might impede the future exploration and development of minerals in the public waterbottoms.  Oyster leases and oil and gas exploration and production have historically utilized much of the same areas in the waterways and waterbottoms on public lands in the state.  The oil and gas industry has been faced with the problem of having to negotiate damages to oyster beds to conduct geophysical surveys, drilling activities, and movement of equipment to and from well sites in an uncertain and unpredictable manner which is creating an undue burden on the industry.  The purpose of this Part is to effect an equitable solution to the problem which will result in fair and predictable treatment to the oil and gas industry while assuring the oyster fishermen actual compensation for damages to their oyster beds due to mineral activities.  The state has a tremendous interest in preserving the viability of both industries. Since both activities are granted on public waterbottoms by the state it is the obligation of the state to resolve the problems created by this impasse; therefore, the legislature does hereby establish the Oyster Lease Damage Evaluation Board to promulgate rules and regulations to determine the method of establishing a uniform system of compensation for actual damages caused to the beds of leaseholders based on biological test data.

Acts 1995, No. 1304, §1, eff. June 29, 1995.

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