Below is a list of completed state reviews sorted alphabetically by state. Reviews are listed in descending chronological order for each state. You can open a review by clicking on the review date to the right of the state name. You will need to have Adobe Acrobat or the Adobe Reader on your computer to open a review. You can click the icon below to obtain a free copy of the Adobe Reader.
|California Reviews||December 2002|
|The 2002 California review includes a follow-up review of the progress made by several California state agencies since the original assessment which was published in May 1993.|
|Indiana Reviews||April 2005|
|Kentucky Reviews||August 2006|
|Louisiana Reviews||March 2011|
|The 2004 Louisiana review was conducted against the standards of the 2000 Guidelines. The report consists of six main sections according to the structure of the 2000 Guidelines.|
|Michigan Reviews||July 2003|
|The 2003 Michigan review was conducted against the standards of the 2000 Guidelines. It consists of six main sections according to the structure of the 2000 Guidelines.|
|New Mexico Reviews||August 2001|
|The 2001 New Mexico review is presented in two parts. Part 1 contains findings and recommendations of the initial review, the New Mexico OCD responses and the follow-up finding of the Review Team. Part 2 presents findings of the Review Team with respect to those aspects of the New Mexico program governed by Standards established in 2000 Guidelines.|
|New York Reviews|
|North Dakota Reviews|
|Ohio Reviews||January, 2011|
|Oklahoma Reviews||January 2011|
|Pennsylvania Reviews||September 2010|
|Tennessee Reviews||September 2007|
|Texas Reviews||August 2003|
|The 2003 Texas review is a follow-up and supplemental review of the Texas program. The initial Texas review was conducted during calendar year 1992 and published in April 1993.|
|Virginia Reviews||April 2004|
|The 2004 review was conducted against the standards of the 2000 Guidelines. It consists of six main sections according to the structure of the 2000 Guidelines.|
|West Virginia Reviews||January 2003|
|The 2003 West Virginia review consists of two parts. A follow-up review of the progress made since the 1993 Review and a supplemental review of the aspects of West Virginia’s program not covered by the IOGCC Guidelines, but which are addressed in the 2000 Guidelines.|
|Electronic versions of all state reviews are posted above.|
Split Estate Information
Property Rights Are either Unified or Split
The "bundle of sticks" analogy is often used when discussing property rights. These sticks include the right to use the surface, the right to lease your property, the right to lease the minerals, the right to use the timber, and all other specific rights associated with a property. Each right associated with a property is also called an estate. If a person owns the whole bundle of sticks associated with a property, they have a unified estate that is often referred to as "fee simple" title to a property. When a property transaction removes one of the sticks, or estates, from the bundle and gives it to another person, the estates are then split between two or more owners.
How Mineral Rights Are Severed
Anyone can reserve a right associated with property they sell or lease. Mineral reservations are a common way to "split" an estate, and all references to split estate in the remainder of this document refer to a mineral estate that is split from the surface estate. Sometimes the mineral estate itself is further split into oil and gas, coal, phosphate, or other commodities. Most mineral reservations are by the state or federal government, as described below, but private land owners in Idaho have also created split estate properties.
State Mineral Ownership
Since 1923, state law has required the state to reserve the mineral rights when state land is sold. Some exceptions have been added to this law, but most sales of state land continue to have a state mineral reservation. Idaho Code § 47-701, § 47-711, and § 47-712 currently contain the mineral reservation requirement. Approximately 850,000 acres of state owned split estate are present in Idaho. When added to the 2.5 million acres of state land ownership, a total of approximately 3.3 million acres of state mineral ownership are present in Idaho.
Federal Mineral Ownership
The Federal government reserved mineral ownership under several homestead or land entry acts. These include some Carey Act, Stock Raising Homestead Act, and others. A total of approximately 58 million acres of federal split estate are present across the western United States. The federal government also reserved phosphate on several thousand acres of endowment lands granted to Idaho. The remainder of the mineral estate on these lands is owned by the state.
Both the surface and mineral estate owners on split estate lands have property rights. Since minerals have no value unless they can be accessed and mined, the mineral estate owner has the right to enter onto the surface estate to access the minerals. As a result, the mineral estate is often referred to as the dominant estate. The right of access exists with or without a surface owner’s permission, subject to state or local ordinances. Responsible mineral developers will contact the surface owner prior to any entry for mineral purposes and negotiate access. Provisions are included in both federal and state law to protect and or compensate surface owners for damage to the surface. This encourages the mineral owner or lessee to only occupy as much surface as is reasonably needed to develop the mineral estate. 2
Rights of Surface Estate in Idaho
The rights of the surface estate overlying state split estate ownership are described in Idaho Code § 47-708. The mineral lessee is required to get written consent of the surface owner, or pay for damage to the surface, or post a bond with the state to cover damage to the surface estate.
Idaho does not have an overriding law governing the interactions between surface and mineral estate owners. Several other states have Surface Damage Acts, or SDAs, that more fully address the rights of surface owners when mineral owners wish to extract oil and gas or other minerals.
Rights of Surface Estate on Federal Land (BLM)
The information given below is only a brief summary. For complete information, visit the BLM link at the end of this section.
Planning and Leasing Activities
The BLM implemented a set of notification standards in 2007 governing exploration and development on federal split estate lands. These standards include four steps when split estate lands are included in oil and gas development:
1. Public education regarding split estate. This education consists of: a. A BLM brochure that describes split estate rights, responsibilities, and opportunities.
b. Auction notices include a link to their split estate website.
c. Links to the BLM split estate website in each state office website.
d. Including split estate information in all responses to public information requests regarding oil and gas leasing.
2. Notifying surface owners about oil and gas development in the land use planning stages. This is done by: a. Contacting local government officials prior to the planning process to develop additional ways of informing potentially affected surface owners. Consistent rapport with these local officials will continue through the planning process.
b. Contacting land owner groups, public meetings, and target media outreach during scoping.
c. Including split estate management in issues to be addressed in all legal notices and public outreach materials regarding land use planning.
d. Making the split estate brochure available at all scoping and planning meetings.
3. Informing surface owners when parcels are offered for lease by: a. Using newspaper or other widespread media to inform the public of lease sale information on BLM websites.
b. Using local forums to maintain a dialogue on local leasing activity.
c. Including web site addresses with split estate and leasing information in all Auction Notices.
d. Posting maps of parcels to be auctioned on the local BLM website.
4. Notifying affected surface owners after leases are issued. This notification includes who purchased the lease and the stipulations attached to the lease. This is done by: a. Providing auction results on external websites for viewing by the public.
b. Distributing public notices, news releases, articles and brochures that announce where the auction results are found.
c. Ensuring auction results are distributed to the field offices for posting.
Drilling and Development of Leases
BLM’s 2007 Surface Operating Standards and Guidelines for Oil and Gas Exploration and Development require an operator and BLM to do several things for split estate land on federal leases.
1. The operator must make a good faith effort to notify the surface owner before entry to stake a well location or access road, or to conduct cultural or biological surveys. Each application for new surface disturbing activities must contain the name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address (if available), of the surface owner.
2. Before applying to BLM for surface disturbing activities, the operator must negotiate a surface use agreement in good faith with the surface owner. This provides an opportunity for the surface owner to suggest modifications that would lessen surface impacts and thereby likely decrease the reclamation and surface damage costs. The agreement is confidential, but the operator’s application must conform to the agreement and satisfy BLM’s requirements.
3. If they do not reach an agreement, the operator must file a bond with the BLM ($1,000 minimum) for the benefit of the surface owner. This bond covers reasonable and foreseeable loss of crops and damages to tangible improvements. The surface owner can object to the bond amount and request that BLM make a final decision on the bond amount. Either party can then appeal that decision.
4. The operator must make a good faith effort to provide a copy of applications for surface disturbing activities to the surface owner. The BLM must consider the needs of the surface owner when reviewing the application.
5. Following application approval, the operator must provide a copy of the Conditions of Approval to the surface owner.
6. The BLM must consider the needs of the surface owner when approving final abandonment and reclamation. The BLM will invite the surface owner to participate in the inspections. The BLM can only require the same level of surface protection provided on federal land.
Rights of Surface Estate in Other States
The information given below is just a brief summary of each state’s requirements. For complete information, visit the state links given.
On state owned mineral resources, the operator must pay for all damages to the surface estate before starting any operations. If the parties cannot agree on the amount of damages, the state agency may determine a suitable bond amount. The parties may go to court to determine suitable surface damages.
The operator must return the surface to a reasonable condition after the drilling and production has ceased. Damages must be discussed between the parties, and court action is the only recourse for a dissatisfied surface owner.
The operator must compensate the surface owner if crop losses or surface damage is unreasonable. A surface damage bond is required prior to the start of operations.
The operator must notify the surface owner at least 10 days prior to drilling. The operator must compensate the surface owner for damages to growing crops, trees, shrubs, fences, roads, structures, improvements and livestock caused by exploration and production. The operator will also compensate for any acts of negligence that measurably impair soil productivity. If the parties do not reach an agreement, the operator may proceed and the surface owner must undertake legal action for compensation.
Operator is required to restore the surface as nearly as practicable to pre-drilling conditions after completion and/or plugging. Bonds are required, but bonds are used to clean up environmental issues. They do not cover damages to crops, improvements, or livestock.
The operator must notify the surface owner at least 10 days prior to drilling. The operator must compensate the surface owner for damages to growing crops, trees, shrubs, fences, roads, structures, improvements and livestock caused by exploration and production. The operator will also compensate for any acts of negligence that measurably impair soil productivity, and may not use more of the surface than is reasonably necessary. If the parties do not reach an agreement, the operator may proceed and the surface owner must undertake legal action for compensation.
Operators on state owned minerals must compensate a surface owner for any damages to the surface from the operations.
The operator must notify the surface owner at least 20 days prior to drilling. The operator must compensate the surface owner for damages due to lost agricultural income, land value, and value of improvements directly caused by exploration and production. The two parties must agree on the amount of damages.
The operator must give notice to the surface owner at least 20 days prior to starting operations. The operator must pay the surface owner damages for lost agricultural income, lost land value, lost use of and access to land, and lost value of improvements caused by drilling. The operator must also pay for damages to livestock or irrigation water supplies within one-half mile of drilling operations. Damages may be determined by an agreement, or the surface owner can take the operator to court.
Prior to entering a site with heavy equipment, the operator must negotiate with the surface owner for the payment of damages that may be caused by a drilling operation. If agreement is not reached, the district court will appoint appraisers to make recommendations to the parties concerning the amount of damages. The parties must split the cost of appraiser fees and court costs.
The operator must provide the surface owner a copy of the drill application. The operator may object to the application and call for a conference with the operator and the Department of Environmental Protection. Notifications are also required for all water well owners within 1,000 feet of the proposed oil and gas well. If water wells develop problems within 6 months of oil and gas drilling, the drilling is presumed to be the source of the problem. This presumption may be rebutted by facts supplied by the operator.
Operator must pay the surface owner for damages due to lost agricultural production, lost land value, and lost value of improvements caused by drilling. The damages may be determined by agreement between the parties. Operators are also responsible for all damages due to their negligence, but the surface owner must notify the operator of the damages within two years.
Tennessee Operator must pay surface owners for damages due to lost use of land or for operations which prohibit access to the land for a preexisting use. Operators must also pay for the market value of crops destroyed, damaged, or prevented from reaching market; damage to a water supply; cost of repair to personal property; and the diminution of value after surface disturbance. The surface owner must notify the operator of the damages within 3 years after the injury occurs. The surface owner may bring an action in court or request binding arbitration for compensation.