MINES AND MINING
OIL AND GAS WELLS — GEOLOGIC INFORMATION, AND PREVENTION OF WASTE
47-320. Integration of tracts — Orders of department. (1) When two (2) or more separately owned tracts are embraced within a spacing unit, or when there are separately owned interests in all or a part of a spacing unit, the interested persons may integrate their tracts or interests for the development and operation of the spacing unit. In the absence of voluntary integration, the department, upon the application of any owner in that proposed spacing unit, shall order integration of all tracts or interests in the spacing unit for drilling of a well or wells, development and operation thereof and for the sharing of production therefrom. The department, as a part of the order establishing a spacing unit or units, may prescribe the terms and conditions upon which the royalty interests in the unit or units shall, in the absence of voluntary agreement, be deemed to be integrated without the necessity of a subsequent separate order integrating the royalty interests. Each such integration order shall be upon terms and conditions that are just and reasonable.
(2) All operations, including, but not limited to, the commencement, drilling, or operation of a well upon any portion of a spacing unit for which an integration order has been entered, shall be deemed for all purposes the conduct of such operations upon each separately owned tract in the spacing unit by the several owners thereof. That portion of the production allocated to a separately owned tract included in a spacing unit shall, when produced, be deemed, for all purposes, to have been actually produced from such tract by a well drilled thereon.
(3) Each such integration order shall authorize the drilling, equipping and operation, or operation, of a well on the spacing unit; shall designate an operator for the integrated unit; shall prescribe the time and manner in which all the owners in the spacing unit may elect to participate therein; and shall make provision for the payment by all those who elect to participate therein of the reasonable actual cost thereof, plus a reasonable charge for supervision and interest. Each such integration order shall provide for the four (4) following options:
(a) Working interest owner. An owner who elects to participate as a working interest owner shall pay the proportionate share of the actual costs of drilling and operating a well allocated to the owner’s interest in the spacing unit. Working interest owners who share in the costs of drilling and operating the well are entitled to their respective shares of the production of the well. The operator of the integrated spacing unit and working interest owners shall enter into a joint operating agreement approved by the department in the integration order.
(b) Nonconsenting working interest owner. An owner who refuses to share in the risk and actual costs of drilling and operating the well, but desires to participate as a working interest owner, is a nonconsenting working interest owner. The operator of the integrated spacing unit shall be entitled to recover a risk penalty of up to three hundred percent (300%) of the nonconsenting working interest owner’s share of the cost of drilling and operating the well under the terms set forth in the integration order. After all the costs have been recovered by the consenting owners in the spacing unit, the nonconsenting owner is entitled to his respective shares of the production of the well, and shall be liable for his pro rata share of costs as if the nonconsenting owner had originally agreed to pay the costs of drilling and operating the well. The operator of the integrated spacing unit and nonconsenting working interest owners shall enter into a joint operating agreement approved by the department in the integration order.
(c) Leased. An owner may enter into a lease with the operator of the integrated spacing unit under the terms and conditions in the integration order. The owner shall receive no less than one-eighth (1/8) royalty. The operator of an integrated spacing unit shall pay a leasing owner the highest bonus payment per acre that the operator paid to another owner in the spacing unit prior to the filing of the integration application.
(d) Deemed leased. If an owner fails to make an election within the election period set forth in the integration order, such owner’s interest will be deemed leased under the terms and conditions in the integration order. The owner shall receive one-eighth (1/8) royalty. The operator of an integrated spacing unit shall pay a leasing owner the highest bonus payment per acre that the operator paid to another owner in the spacing unit prior to the filing of the integration application.
(4) An application for an order integrating the tracts or interests in a spacing unit shall substantially contain and be limited to only the following:
(a) The applicant’s name and address;
(b) A description of the spacing unit to be integrated;
(c) A geologic statement concerning the likely presence of hydrocarbons;
(d) A statement that the proposed drill site is leased;
(e) A statement of the proposed operations for the spacing unit, including the name and address of the proposed operator;
(f) A proposed joint operating agreement and a proposed lease form;
(g) A list of all uncommitted owners in the spacing unit to be integrated under the application, including names and addresses;
(h) An affidavit indicating that at least sixty-seven percent (67%) of the mineral interest acres in the spacing unit support the integration application by leasing or participating as a working interest owner;
(i) An affidavit stating the highest bonus payment paid to a leased owner in the spacing unit being integrated prior to filing the integration application; and
(j) A resume of efforts documenting the applicant’s good faith efforts on at least two (2) separate occasions within a period of time no less than sixty (60) days to inform uncommitted owners of the applicant’s intention to develop the mineral resources in the proposed spacing unit and desire to reach an agreement with uncommitted owners in the proposed spacing unit. Provided however, if any owner requests no further contact from the applicant, the applicant will be relieved of further obligation to attempt contact to reach agreement with that owner. At least one (1) contact must be by certified U.S. mail sent to an owner’s last known address. If an owner is unknown or cannot be found, the applicant must publish a legal notice of its intention to develop and request that the owner contact the applicant in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the proposed spacing unit is located. The resume of efforts should indicate the applicant has made reasonable efforts to reach an agreement with all uncommitted owners in the proposed spacing unit. Reasonable efforts are met by complying with this subsection.
(5) At the time the integration application is filed with the department, the applicant shall certify that, for uncommitted owners who are unknown or cannot be found, a notice of the application was published in a newspaper in the county where the proposed spacing unit is located. Each published notice shall include notice to the affected uncommitted owner of the opportunity to respond to the application, and the deadline by which a response must be filed with the department.
(6) An operator who has not been able to obtain consent from sixty-seven percent (67%) of the mineral interest acres in the spacing unit may nevertheless apply for an integration order under this section if all of the conditions set forth in this subsection have been met. The department shall issue an integration order, which shall affect only the unit area described in the application, if it finds that the operator has met all of the following conditions:
(a) The operator has obtained consent from at least fifty-five percent (55%) of mineral interest acres;
(b) The operator has negotiated diligently and in good faith for a period of at least one hundred twenty (120) days prior to his application for an integration order; and
(c) The uncommitted owners in the affected unit shall receive from the operator mineral lease terms and conditions that are no less favorable to the lessee than those set forth in section 47-331(2), Idaho Code.
(7) An application for integration shall be subject to the procedures set forth in section 47-328, Idaho Code.
[(47-320) 47-322, added 1963, ch. 148, sec. 8, p. 433; am. 2016, ch. 48, sec. 5, p. 135; am. 2017, ch. 121, sec. 2, p. 281; am. and redesig. 2017, ch. 271, sec. 13, p. 690.]