• ACT 223 - Sec. 215 Bonding
(a)(1)…upon filing an application for a well permit and before
continuing to operate any oil or gas well, the owner or operator
thereof shall file with the department a bond… conditioned that the
operator shall faithfully perform all of the drilling, water supply
replacement, restoration and plugging requirements (4 pages)
Chapter 78.301 Scope
In addition to the requirements of section 215 of the act (58 P. S.
§ 601.215), this subchapter specifies certain requirements for
surety bonds, collateral bonds, replacement of existing bonds,
maintaining adequate bond and bond forfeiture.(9 pages)
More Bonding
• Guidelines for Submitting Oil and Gas
Well Bonds- (64 pages) 77 pages of…
single well bond $2,500…multiple bonded…blanket bond $25,000…acceptable
bond -- surety or collateral… attorney-in-fact…Collateral…cash…certified
check…bank check…treasurer’s check…money order…payable to the
Commonwealth…letter of credit…certificate of deposit…negotiable
securities…does not pay interest on cash held as collateral...collateral bond
requirements…phased deposits of collateral…individuals…not to corporations,
companies, or partnerships.
Plan on 2 weeks to 3 months for Bond approvals
• A well will be released from bond coverage one year after it has
been properly plugged and the site satisfactorily restored.
Permit Application For Drilling Or Altering A Well
Act 223 - Sec.201
(a) No person shall drill a well or alter any
existing well…without having first obtained a
well permit.
§ 78.11. Permit requirements.
(a) No person may drill or alter a well
unless that person has first obtained a
permit from the Department.
(b) No person may operate a well unless
one of the following conditions has been
(1) The person has obtained a permit
under the act.
(2) The person has registered the well
under the act
(3) The well was in operation on April 18,
1985, under a permit that was obtained
under the Gas Operations Well-Drilling
Petroleum and Coal Mining Act
• A permit will expire in
…at which time the applicant can submit an affidavit, requesting
renewal of the permit, attesting that all applicable parties have been
notified and that all aspects of the original application are the same.
Lots of Applications
Total applications for New,
Drill Deeper and Re-drill
Permits for 2010.
East Region
Staff to handle paperwork- NWRO
7 Clerical for administration
-logging, tracking,
7+ Technical staff for
technical review
-plats, deviation
surveys, environmental
issues, notifications
1 Program Manager to sign
every permit
The hardest part is finding it in the
office (EFACTS)
Admin review
Date Stamp
Tech Chief
How do we keep track
• By adding Numbers to the application–
To each application we add the following numbers:
OGO number
Bond number
API number
Authorization number
Site number
Client number
APS number
Account number
Primary Facility number
Sub-facility number
Sometimes more numbers
Most important part of the application
* Show me the money *
After the date stamp…
…send the money to Harrisburg…
…now the review can begin
Form 5500-PM-OG0001
• § 78.15. Application requirements
(a) An application for a well permit shall be submitted on forms
furnished by the Department and contain the information required by
the Department to evaluate the application.
(b) The permit application will not be considered complete until the
applicant submits a complete and accurate plat, an approvable bond
or other security, the fee, proof of notification, necessary requests for
variance or waivers or other documents required to be furnished by
law or the Department. The person named in the permit shall be the
same person named in the bond or other security.
Completing the Drilling Application
Administration stuff
Name Address Phone
Name & Number
Was location ever permitted before? ###-#####
Is this re-working an existing well not registered or permitted?
Please provide all known information about the
unregistered/ un-permitted well.
Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory…
any “hits” must be addressed and
mitigation standards might be included as a
Special Condition on the Permit.
Permit Types
Drill a new well
Deepen a well
Re-drill a well
Alter a well
Drill a New Well
• A location where a well has never been drilled
location may have been permitted before
Deepen a Well
• To drill an existing well to lengthen the well bore
Re-drill a Well
• Drill through a well plug to put well in production
Plugged Well
Drill through
Alter a Well
• Changes the well bore or drills out well bore
Drill out well bore
Drilled out larger well bore
Original well bore
…Alter a well…casing
• In coal areas…any work that effects the coal
protective casing…requires a permit
• Work or replacement of casing that changes
casing depth or diameter…requires a permit
• Work or replacement of casing of the same
diameter to the same depth does not, by itself,
require a permit.
Other type ?
• If not a new, deepen, re-drill or alteration…it is
an “other” well…and must be specified
Change use from production to storage
Rehabilitate an Orphan well for production
DEP is no
longer able
to register
No re-drill of borehole.
Replacement of casing.
No re-drill of borehole.
Type of well
Comb.(gas & oil)
Injection, recovery
Injection, disposal
Coalbed methane
Gas storage
Other (specify)
Application Fee
The fee is an application processing charge
for expenses incurred by the Bureau of Oil
& Gas…
… and a surcharge for Abandoned &
Orphan Well Plugging Funds.
Surcharges & fees at a glance
Permit fee’s can
range from None, for
rehabbing an Orphan
…to $3850 for a 15,000’
Marcellus Well…&
more if deeper!
Fee calculator website
$ Payment $
• Pay to the order of…
…”Commonwealth of PA”
We accept Money Orders, personal
checks & business checks.
Coordination with regulations &
other permits
The Oil & Gas Act
Oil & Gas Conservation Law
Coal & Gas Resource Coordination Act
Waste Management Act
Clean Streams Law
PACode Chapters 93, 102 & 105
Among others
Oil & Gas Conservation Law
• If well is 3800’ or deeper & penetrates the
Onondaga…then Conservation Well.
What about these?
DEP policy: Proposed vertical wells with a non-vertical lateral, where the vertical
portion penetrates the Onondaga by 200’ or less, and the intent of that portion is
only for logging purposes, can be considered non-conservation wells.
For production purposes
In areas with no spacing application or order, the
borehole, at Conservation depth, must be at least 330’
from outside lease boundary.
Coal and Gas Resource
Coordination Act
• Applies to all proposed
locations that penetrate coal
seams, deemed workable by
underground methods.
Except Conservation wells
and certain “other wells” as
defined in the Act.
• Requires coordination of
coal mine and gas well
operators in areas where
applicable proposed well
locations are near active or
permitted coal mines.
Workable Coal Seams by
underground methods
• Coal 28” thick with sufficient quality
• At least 100’ overburden
• …………………………….for at least 1 sq mi aerial extent
28” sufficient quality
100’ overburden
Aerial extent at least 1 mile
If determined a workable coal seam and well is not
exempted from the Act and not a Conservation Well
Distance restrictions:
At least 1000’ from any other well that
-penetrates a workable coal seam
-has not been plugged
-is non-producing wells abandoned after 11/30/55
workable coal seam
Plugged well
Conservation well
Before 11/30/55
After 11/30/55
Non producers abandoned
House Bill 265
• House Bill 265 looks to amend the Coal
and Gas Resource Coordination Act.
• Allowing Non-Conservation well clusters,
on the same pad, to be located less than
1000’ feet from each other…among other
Permitted Coal Mines whose boundaries are
within 1000’ of proposed location
• Required to notify coal owners/operators
Permitted coal mine
Proposed location
Notified coal owners/ operators
have the right to object
Act 223 if “the well will, in the opinion of the coal owner or operator, unduly
interfere with or endanger such mine, then the coal owner or operator
affected shall have the right to file objections”
DEP will mediate a conference between the 2 parties to work out an agreement
Coordination with gas storage
Proposing to drill within 2000’ of a gas storage
reservoir. Storage operator must be notified with the
casing and cementing plan.
The storage operator can object
DEP will mediate a conference between the 2 parties to work out an agreement
Within perimeter of a landfill
• Whether a landfill is
permitted, active or
…if the proposed location falls within it’s perimeter…
…label the landfill location on plat and identify the owner
Distance restrictions
• The proposed site must be > 100’ from any stream, spring, body of
water, or a wetland > 1 acre, unless approved through a waiver.
Well pad/site
Waiver request – Form 5500-FM-OG0057
• Requesting to waive the 100’ distance restriction from any wetland
> 1 acre, spring, stream or body of water
Describe the waiver request in detail…
…water bodies, classifications, distances, etc..
…addressing all of the following:
(1) Fluid containment measures (drilling, stimulation, formation & production)
(2) Handling large volume of top-hole water
(3) Site chemical storage & handling…spill clean-up
(4) Disposal methods for wastes and waste fluids (cuttings & muds)
(5) When polluting substances will be removed from site after well completion
(6) Waste removal during inclement weather
(7) Submittal of an E & S Control Plan per Chapter 102
Waiver request – Form 5500-FM-OG0057
• Waiver request form goes out to the field
representative for approval or disapproval…
…who might meet out in the field with operator…
…then make an educated decision
Approved waivers can have special conditions that are incorporated into the permit
…more distance restrictions
• A new well may not be drilled within 200’ of existing buildings
(where someone normally works or lives), or a water well…
…without prior written consent from the owner…
…or an approved request for variance Form 5500-FM-OG0058
Request for Variance From Distance Restriction
From Existing Building or Water Supply (5500-FM-OG0058)
Explain the variance request:
-distances from the proposed well location to buildings and / or water supply;
-uses of buildings and water supplies, and frequency of use;
-proof of notification
-type of insurance coverage for the project
-explain how adherance to the 200-ft requirement would deprive the oil and gas owner of the opportunity
produce or share in the production of oil and gas underlying the surface tract
-evidence that no location more than 200 feet from all buildings or water supplies is available where the
well could be drilled.
Plan Description. Describe measures, facilities, or practices to be employed during well site construction, drilling, and
well operation to insure safety and protect persons and property, and to protect waters of the Commonwealth. Use
additional blank sheets for narrative or sketches as needed
How you’re
Coordination with Public Resources
• “Section 205(c) of the Oil and Gas Act requires the Department to consider the
impact of the proposed well on public resources, including: publicly owned
parks, forest, gamelands and wildlife areas; national or state scenic rivers;
national natural landmarks; habitats of rare and endangered flora and fauna and
other critical communities; historical and archaeological sites listed on the
federal or state list of historic places”
Wildlife Areas
Endangered species
The operator must fill out form 5500-PM-OG0076 if on or near public resources.
We treat different public resources differently…
Coordination of a well Location with Public
Resources - form 5500-PM-OG0076
Is proposed location in or within
200’ of a publicly owned
park/forest/etc., Natural National
Landmarks or
historical/archaeological sites?
Within a corridor of a scenic
Has a PA Natural Diversity
Inventory search been run &
issues resolved?
What add’l measures to be taken
to protect public resource.
Public Resource’s common issues…
Allegheny National Forest (ANF) and DCNR. DEP’s consideration is elevated
when the ANF or DCNR objects to a drilling application. DEP will hold the
application until a site visit by DEP field personnel. DEP will consider the
objections raised by the agency and make a determination.
ANF/DCNR objection
objection consideration,
through field personnel,
make a determination
DEP holds
Application until…
DEP continues
Application review
…more other Public Resource common issues…
Policy for Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Index (PNDI) coordination during
permit review & Evaluation: Form 400-0200-001
The application needs to include the PNDI Project Environmental Review Receipt,
obtained from, with the application. There are 4
types of results:
Potential Impact
Avoidance Measures
Conservation Measures
No Impact
PNDI – “Potential Impacts”
If there is a potential impact a clearance letter is required from the jurisdictional
agency, which may include measures the applicant must take to minimize impacts,
DEP will include them in the permit as a Special Condition.
Measures to take
Included in permit
PNDI- “Avoidance Measures”
If avoidance measures are generated the applicant needs to initial that they will
abide by the measures during the project. DEP will include these measures as
Special Conditions.
Avoidance measures
…avoidance measures
Initials adherence
Included in permit
PNDI- “Conservation Measures”
If Conservation Measures are generated, DEP will might include
them in the permit as a Special Condition
The world is happy
May be included in permit
Special Protection Watersheds
• Applicant identifies if proposed application is in a HQ or EV
watershed. DEP will stamp permits and plats accordingly, if
applicant does not identify watershed appropriately.
Listings for specific stream identification can be found in PA Code Chapter 93
Coordination with ESCGP-1
• If the proposed location is part of a larger
development, disturbing >5 acres, list the
ESCGP-1 approval date and number, if
Page 2 - Notifications
The applicant shall notify…:
-The surface landowner
-Surface landowners whose water supplies are within 1000’ of the proposed location
-Water purveyor’s whose water supplies are within 1000’ of the proposed location
-Gas storage operations, with storage fields, within 2000’
-Coal owner and lessee, of all underlying seams, in workable coal areas
-Underground coal mine operators with mine operations within 1000’
…of their intentions to drill a well…and list them on page 2.
Water supply
surface landowner
Gas well
Gas storage
Workable coal (owner/lessee)
Notification details
The applicant shall notify appropriate parties by certified mail, with proof of notification
or, show proof of notification with appropriate signature on page 2.
The notification shall include the complete application and form 5500-FM-OG0052
Landowner Notification Of A Well Drilling Or Alterations, if applicable
Rights under the law
Signature on page 2
Certified mail
Signature also waives the 15 day objection period
Notification- Water Supply Protection
Form OG0052 Landowner Notification Of Well Drilling Or Alterations informs
the water supply of their rights under Section 208 of the Act.
Operators who pollute or diminish a water supply shall restore or replace the
supply, adequate in quality/quantity for purposes served.
Operators are presumed responsible for polluting or diminishing affected
water supplies within 1000’ of the drilling, if the supply became affected
during drilling or within 6 months of completion of the drilling or alteration.
< 6 months
< 1000’
Bad Water
Operator is presumed guilty, unless…
He rebuts the presumption by
proving either:
– 1) Pollution was pre-existing
(pre-drilling survey)
– 2) The water supply refused
access for pre-drilling survey
– 3) The water supply is > 1000’
from the drilling
– 4) The water supply became
affect >6 months after well
– 5) The water supply became
affected by some other cause
• The right to
object to an
application is
afforded to
landowners and
coal owner or
operator’s in the
Act and to gas
operator’s in
Chapter 79.
DEP responds to objections from surface landowners
whose water supplies are within 1000’- even if it is not
afforded to them in law or regulation.
DEP responds to written objections with a letter stating receipt of the
objection and that DEP will contact them, during the review, if the application
comes in.
DEP calls objecting party
Application arrives
DEP sends
DEP’s objection response
Most objections are from water supplies that are not the surface
landowner of where the well is being drilled.
DEP re-informs the objecting party that there are casing standards in regulation
for groundwater protection, as well as remedies afforded water supplies that
are affected by drilling.
DEP will inform the objecting party of the applicant’s rights to a permit
within 45 days as long as:
1) The well site is not in violation, or be in violation when permit is issued
2) The application is complete and accurate
3) There are no unresolved objections by coal mine owner/operator
4) Bonding requirements have been met
5) The applicant is not under a legal document from DEP which restricts it’s
The Application Plat
• The plat is
reviewed for
with the rest of
the application,
accuracy &
Plat requirements
Prepared by registered professional Engineer or Surveyor with seal (4 copies)
Municipality & County
Surface Landowner
Surface landowner water supplies of water supplies within 1000’ of proposed location.
Owner of workable coal seams
Tract Acreage
Proposed location surveyed from at least 2 permanent points on tract boundary
Proposed well angle and direction
Well number
Workable coal seams cased off
Latitude and longitude of surface location-10 meter accuracy (NAD 83)
All buildings and water supplies within 200’ of proposed location
Water supplies within 1000’ of proposed location
Wetlands within 100’ of proposed location
Every spring, stream or body of water within 100’ of disturbed area
USGS topographic map name & section number with topographic mark and offsets
Applicable metadata- 10 meter accuracy
Target formation
Well name, number, type, permit number & project number if applicable
Well Deviations and distances with total vertical depth and total measured depth
Well graphic display from plan view
Typical plat – top half
Typical plat
Typical Plat- bottom half
Deviation Survey
Chapter 78 update. 78.52(d) requires the submittal of all predrill data to be used by an
Operator to preserve their defense under section 208(d)(1) within 10 business days of
receipt of such data. DEP is requesting your assistance and cooperation. We ask that
you please submit your pre-drill data in the following method and format to:
Please submit all data electronically on a CD with a cover letter to the appropriate
regional office:
Predrill Data, Oil and Gas Management Program
Northwest Regional Office
230 Chestnut St.
Meadville, PA 16335
NCRO Predrill Data
Oil and Gas Management Program
Northcentral Regional Office
208 West Third Street, Suite 101
Williamsport, PA 17701
Predrill Data, Oil and Gas Management Program
Southwest Regional Office
400 Waterfront Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4024
2.) All data should be submitted in .pdf form.
3.) The CD cover should clearly list the following:
Company Name
Well Farm Name (Pad) and Permit Number(s) (if available)
County of Well Pad(s), Municipality of Well Pad(s)
4.) Folders should be created within the CD using the following file structure:
Well Farm Name/Pad ID
County of Sampling Location, Municipality of Sampling Location
Sample ID
Example (each line is a separate folder)
Smith Well Pad
Clairon County
Knox Township
John Smith Residence
please include latitude/longitude of water sample location somewhere on the data
Permit denials
Operators will be notified of inaccurate/ insufficient/incomplete
applications and have 60 days to rectify the situation, or DEP may
deny the application.
After 60 days
Application denied
Special Condition on Permit
• For shale formations with a significant horizontal
well bore through the formation…
• “The permittee shall not withdraw or use water
from water sources within the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania, for well fracing activities, unless
the permittee does so in accordance with a
Water Management plan approved by the
Water Management Plan
An Oil & Gas operator’s plans to withdraw from a
source. The plan includes calculations and
analysis of the environmental impacts associated
with the withdrawal.
DEP will review the plan’s analysis of the
environmental impact and, if in agreement, send
an approval letter stating concurrence with the
conclusions determined by the operator.