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After each legislative biennium, there are invariably rule changes that the Division of Oil and Gas works through, and this time is no different. The big ticket item in the proposed 2022 rule changes stem from Senate Bill 2065, which created the ability for the North Dakota Industrial Commission to amalgamate pore space.

“It is a new chapter, so brand new rules for the most part,” Brady Pelton with North Dakota Petroleum Council told the Williston Herald. “For the most part, those rules are going to be mirrored off the carbon dioxide injection and storage. So, not expecting a lot of dis-similarity between the tow, but they will be new, and I’m sure they’ll go through extensive comments.”

North Dakota Petroleum Council will be among groups submitting comments about the rule changes, Pelton said, and the trade organization is gearing up now to hone those comments. They have asked NDPC members to submit their input by Wednesday, Sept. 29. Additionally, the Technical Review Committee will meet the day before to begin an extensive review process of the proposed administrative changes.

There are seven pages worth of changes. Among them, federal forms and other written forms currently provided by the Commission will no longer be available, since the state’s new database through NorthSTAR requires online submittal.

There are also less onerous proving requirements for oil and gas meters in a common ownership facility, and an amendment that clarifies that the principal on a bond covering a facility is the operator, who is responsible for complying with all applicable laws, along with a host of other proposals.

NDPC members who wish to volunteer to serve on the Technical Review Committee can email Pelton at bpelton@ndolil.org to be part of that effort.

Meanwhile, the state’s administrative hearing dates are as follows:

• 8 a.m. Oct. 11 in the Oil and Gas Division’s Office in Bismarck

• 1 p.m. MT Oct. 11 at the Oil and Gas Division Field Office in Dickinson

• 8 a.m. Oct. 12 at Clarion Hotel and Suites in Williston

• 1:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Oil and Gas Division Field Office in Minot.

The public comment period ends 10 days from the final hearing date on Oct. 22.

After that, the final rules will be drafted and sent to the Attorney General for a legal opinion. The rules will then go through an administrative rules committee hearing in March. That timetable puts adoption of the final rules at April 1.

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