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      RS 30:1104     


§1104. Duties and powers of the commissioner; rules and regulations; permits

            A. The office of conservation's actions under this Chapter shall be directed and controlled by the commissioner. The commissioner shall have authority to:

            (1) Regulate the development and operation of storage facilities and pipelines transmitting carbon dioxide to storage facilities, including in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 30:1107, the issuance of certificates of public convenience and necessity for storage facilities and pipelines serving such projects approved hereunder.

            (2) Make, after notice and hearings as provided in this Chapter, any reasonable rules, regulations, and orders that are necessary from time to time in the proper administration and enforcement of this Chapter, including rules, regulations, or orders for the following purposes:

            (a) To require the drilling, casing, and plugging of wells to be done in such a manner as to prevent the escape of carbon dioxide out of one stratum to another.

            (b) To prevent the intrusion of carbon dioxide into oil, gas, salt formation, or other commercial mineral strata.

            (c) To prevent the pollution of fresh water supplies by oil, gas, salt water, or carbon dioxide.

            (d) To require the plugging of each abandoned well and the closure of associated surface facilities, the removal of equipment, structures, and trash, and to otherwise require a general site cleanup of such abandoned wells.

            (3) Make such inquiries as he deems proper to determine whether or not waste, over which he has jurisdiction, exists or is imminent. In the exercise of this power the commissioner has the authority to collect data; to make investigations and inspections; to examine properties, papers, books, and records; to examine, survey, check, test, and gauge injection, withdrawal and other wells used in connection with carbon storage; to examine, survey, check, test, and gauge tanks, and modes of transportation; to hold hearings; to provide for the keeping of records and the making of reports; to require the submission of an emergency phone number by which the operator may be contacted in case of an emergency; and to take any action as reasonably appears to him to be necessary to enforce this Chapter.

            (4) Require the making of reports showing the location of all wells used in connection with a storage facility, and the filing of logs, electrical surveys, and other drilling records.

            (5) Prevent wells from being drilled and operated in a manner which may cause injury to neighboring leases or property.

            (6) Prevent blowouts, caving, and seepage in the sense that conditions indicated by these terms are generally understood in the storage business.

            (7) Identify the ownership of all wells used in connection with a storage facility, tanks, plants, structures, and all other storage and transportation equipment and facilities.

            (8) Nothing in this Chapter shall prevent an enhanced oil and gas recovery project utilizing injection of carbon dioxide as approved under R.S. 30:4.

            (9) Approve conversion to geologic storage facilities of hydrocarbon-bearing formations, including depleted oil formations as well as existing or pre-existing enhanced oil or gas recovery operations, if necessary, taking into consideration prior approvals of the commissioner regarding such enhanced oil recovery operations.

            (10) Promulgate rules and regulations requiring interested persons to place monitoring equipment of a type approved by the commissioner on all storage facilities, and ancillary equipment necessary and proper to monitor, verify carbon dioxide injections, and to prevent waste. It shall be a violation of this Chapter for any person to refuse to attach or install a monitor within a reasonable period of time when ordered to do so by the commissioner, or in any way to tamper with the monitors so as to produce a false or inaccurate reading.

            (11) Regulate by rules, the drilling, casing, cementing, injection interval, monitoring, plugging and permitting of injection, withdrawal and other wells which are used in connection with a storage facility and to regulate all surface facilities incidental to such storage operation.

            (12) Require the plugging of each abandoned well or each well which is of no further use and the closure of associated surface facilities, the removal of equipment, structures, and trash, and other general site cleanup of such abandoned or unused well sites.

            (13) Promulgate rules related to the setting and collection of fees and civil penalties pursuant to this Chapter.

            B. Unless that person is also the owner or operator of the facility or activity regulated under the provisions of this Chapter, the owner, shipper, or generator of carbon dioxide shall not be deemed responsible for the performance of any actions required by the commissioner under this Chapter.

            C. Prior to the use of any reservoir for the storage of carbon dioxide and prior to the exercise of eminent domain by any person, firm, or corporation having such right under laws of the state of Louisiana, and as a condition precedent to such use or to the exercise of such rights of eminent domain, the commissioner, after public hearing pursuant to the provisions of R.S. 30:6, held in the parish where the storage facility is to be located, shall have found at least one of the following:

            (1) That the reservoir sought to be used for the injection, storage, and withdrawal of carbon dioxide is suitable and feasible for such use, provided no reservoir, any part of which is producing or is capable of producing oil, gas, condensate, or other commercial mineral in paying quantities, shall be subject to such use, unless any of the following applies:

            (a) The reservoir or any part thereof sought to be used for storage under this Chapter is producing or is capable of producing oil, gas, condensate, or other commercial mineral in paying quantities, and all owners in such reservoir or relevant part thereof have agreed to such use.

            (b) The volumes of original reservoir, oil, gas, condensate, salt, or other commercial mineral therein which are capable of being produced in paying quantities have all been produced.

            (c) Such reservoir has a greater value or utility as a reservoir for carbon dioxide storage than for the production of the remaining volumes of original reservoir oil, gas, condensate, or other commercial mineral, and at least three-fourths of the owners, in interest, exclusive of any "lessor" defined in R.S. 30:148.1, have consented to such use in writing.

            (2) That the use of the reservoir for the storage of carbon dioxide will not contaminate other formations containing fresh water, oil, gas, or other commercial mineral deposits.

            (3) That the proposed storage will not endanger human lives or cause a hazardous condition to property.

            D. The commissioner shall determine with respect to any such reservoir proposed to be used as a storage reservoir, whether or not such reservoir is fully depleted of the original commercially recoverable natural gas, condensate, or other commercial mineral therein. If the commissioner finds that such reservoir has not been fully depleted, the commissioner shall determine the amount of the remaining commercially recoverable natural gas, condensate, or other commercial mineral of such reservoir.

            E. The commissioner may issue any necessary order providing that all carbon dioxide which has previously been reduced to possession and which is subsequently injected into a storage reservoir shall at all times be deemed the property of the party that owns such carbon dioxide, whether at the time of injection or pursuant to a change of ownership by agreement while the carbon dioxide is located in the storage facility, his successors and assigns; and in no event shall such carbon dioxide be subject to the right of the owner of the surface of the lands or of any mineral interest therein under which such storage reservoir shall lie or be adjacent to or of any person other than the owner, his successors, and assigns to produce, take, reduce to possession, waste, or otherwise interfere with or exercise any control there over, provided that the owner, his successors, and assigns shall have no right to gas, liquid hydrocarbons, salt, or other commercially recoverable minerals in any stratum or portion thereof not determined by the commissioner to constitute an approved storage reservoir. The commissioner shall issue such orders, rules, and regulations as may be necessary for the purpose of protecting any such storage reservoir, strata, or formations against pollution or against the escape of carbon dioxide therefrom, including such necessary rules and regulations as may pertain to the drilling into or through such storage reservoir.

            F. The commissioner of conservation, in order to facilitate orderly application reviews in conjunction with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and in anticipation of being granted primary enforcement authority from the EPA, shall adopt and apply the "Reasons of business confidentiality" defined in 40 CFR 2.201 in the same manner and to the same extent as the EPA, and shall not treat any confidential business information contained within the permit applications as a public record. The commissioner shall promulgate any rules or regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this Subsection.

            Acts 2009, No. 517, §2; Acts 2019, No. 297, §1; Acts 2020, No. 61, §1; Acts 2021, No. 326, §1.

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