1501:9-1-04 Spacing of wells.

(A) General spacing rules:

(1) The division of mineral resources management shall not issue a permit for the drilling of a new well, the reopening of an existing well, or the deepening or plugging back of an existing well to a different pool for the production of oil and gas unless the proposed well location and spacing substantially conform to the requirements of this rule.

(2) This rule shall not apply to any wells drilled in areas under special order from the chief for pool spacing pursuant to section 1509.25 of the Revised Code. The chief shall grant an exception to the requirements of any special order from the chief for pool spacing pursuant to section 1509.25 of the Revised Code, if an applicant can demonstrate that such exception will protect correlative rights and/or promote conservation by permitting oil and/or gas to be produced which could not otherwise be produced.

(3) Upon receipt of an application by the division, the chief shall determine if the proposed total depth is reasonable to penetrate the objective geological formation or geological zone. If the chief determines that the proposed total depth is insufficient to penetrate the proposed geological formation or zone and that, because of the insufficient proposed total depth, the spacing and acreage requirements as per paragraph (C) of this rule are not fulfilled the permit shall be denied. In any event, no well shall be drilled deeper than the proposed total depth without prior permission from the chief.

(4) A permit shall not be issued unless the proposed well satisfies the acreage requirements for the greatest depth anticipated. If oil or gas is produced at a lesser depth than the geological formation or zone for which the permit was issued, the acreage requirements may be changed to conform with paragraph (C) of this rule by application to the chief.

(B) Scope:

Paragraph (C) of this rule, location of wells, shall apply to the drilling of a new well, the reopening of an existing well, and the deepening or plugging back of an existing well regardless of its depth or the producing geological horizon or zone except in areas under temporary minimum well spacing orders of the chief pursuant to paragraph (D) of this rule.

(C) Location of wells:

(1) No permit shall be issued to drill, deepen, reopen, or plug back a well for the production of oil and gas from pools from zero to one thousand feet in depth unless the proposed well is located:

(a) Upon a tract or drilling unit containing not less than one acre;

(b) Not less than two hundred (200) feet from any well drilling to, producing from, or capable of producing from the same pool;

(c) Not less than one hundred (100) feet from any boundary of the subject tract or drilling unit.

(2) No permit shall be issued to drill, deepen, reopen, or plug back a well for the production of oil or gas from pools from one thousand feet to two thousand feet in depth unless the proposed well is located:

(a) Upon a tract or drilling unit containing not less than ten acres;

(b) Not less than four hundred sixty (460) feet from any well drilling to, producing from, or capable of producing from the same pool;

(c) Not less than two hundred thirty (230) feet from any boundary of the subject tract or drilling unit.

(3) No permit shall be issued to drill, deepen, reopen, or plug back a well for the production of oil or gas from pools from two thousand to four thousand feet unless the proposed well is located:

(a) Upon a tract or drilling unit containing not less than twenty (20) acres;

(b) Not less than six (600) hundred feet from any well drilling to, producing from, or capable of producing from the same pool;

(c) Not less than three hundred (300) feet from any boundary of the subject tract or drilling unit.

(4) No permit shall be issued to drill, deepen, reopen, or plug back a well for the production of the oil or gas from pools from four thousand (4000) feet or deeper unless the proposed well is located:

(a) Upon a tract or drilling unit containing not less than forty (40) acres;

(b) Not less than one thousand (1000) feet from any well drilling to, producing from, or capable of producing from the same pool;

(c) Not less than five hundred (500) feet from any boundary of the subject tract or drilling unit.

(5) For new applications to drill wells in urbanized areas, the proposed wellhead location shall be no closer than seventy five (75) feet to any property not within the subject tract or drilling unit. Locating the wellhead closer than seventy five (75) feet to a property not within the subject tract or drilling unit may be approved by the chief if the owner and resident of the property in question, in writing, approves of the proposed wellhead location, or the chief waives the seventy five (75) foot requirement.

(6) Wells drilled, deepened, reopened, reworked, or plugged back for purposes other than the production of oil and gas will be considered as special situations, and each will be evaluated in accordance with the issues of conservation of natural resources and of safety. Decisions as to spacing of such wells will be determined after evaluation of the special circumstances. Rules may be promulgated for some specific types of these wells.

(D) Temporary minimum well spacing in the vicinity of discovery wells:

(1) For the purpose of orderly development of a pool until such time as ultimate spacing is determined, the chief on his own motion or upon consideration of an application by an owner in an affected area, and with approval of the technical advisory council, may order temporary well spacing for wells to be drilled, deepened, reopened or plugged back to a particular pool or field in an area in the vicinity of a discovery well. Such order shall contain the following:

(a) Description of the area covered by the order;

(b) Identification of the pool, field or horizons covered by the order;

(c) Minimum distance wells may be drilled from the tract or drilling unit boundaries;

(d) Minimum distance between wells;

(e) Minimum acreage for tracts or drilling units; and may contain other requirements deemed necessary by the chief to accomplish the purpose of paragraph (D) of this rule.

(2) An order of the chief for temporary minimum well spacing in the vicinity of a discovery well shall be effective on the date the order is made and shall continue in effect until it is either rescinded or amended by the chief or until such time as an order for special drilling unit requirements is made by the chief after hearing pursuant to section 1509.25 of the Revised Code.

(3) No well shall be drilled, deepened, reopened, or plugged back to or below the particular pool or field located in the area covered by an order of the chief under paragraph (D) of this rule unless the requirements of such order are met. Permits issued prior to the effective date of such order for wells to be located in the area and to or below the pool covered by such order which do not comply with the requirements of the order and where actual drilling operations have not commenced, shall be revoked.

(E) Offset wells - spacing exception:

(1) The chief shall grant an exception to the requirements of paragraph (C) of this rule to an applicant who demonstrates that the well proposed for production of oil or gas will be an offset to a well drilled or commenced before the effective date of paragraph (C) of this rule, and which is producing or may be capable of producing on an adjacent tract, and which is so located on said adjacent tract as not to comply with any one or more of the requirements of paragraph (C) of this rule.

(2) The chief shall grant an exception to the requirements of paragraph (C) of this rule if an applicant can demonstrate that such exception will protect correlative rights and/or promote conservation by permitting oil and gas to be produced which could not otherwise be produced.

(3) A well proposed to be drilled pursuant to such exceptions shall, nevertheless, be subject to the requirements of rule 1501:9-1-05 of the Administrative Code.

Effective: 08/11/2005
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 05/05/2005 and 08/11/2010
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 1509.03 , 1509.23 , 1509.24
Rule Amplifies: 1509.02 , 1509.23 , 1509.24 , 1509.03
Prior Effective Dates: 2/10/71, 1/31/83, 4/15/04