Office of Conservation

DNR reinforces well notification rules

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources’ Office of Conservation has issued a memo to oil and gas operators and water well owners throughout the state re-emphasizing the need to provide the legally required notification to the commissioner of conservation prior to drilling or using water wells for any purposes other than drilling rig supply operations, including hydraulic fracturing of shale formations to retrieve natural gas.

The practice of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracing” a natural gas well is widely used currently in energy development of the Haynesville Shale formation in northwest Louisiana.  The Office of Conservation is required to ensure that notifications for water wells used for this purpose are properly evaluated prior to well installation pursuant to Louisiana Revised Statute 38:3097.3.

Earlier this year, the Commissioner of Conservation provided additional clarification concerning notification requirements for all ground water use at oil and gas exploration and production facilities throughout the state.

Upon receipt of the required water well notification, Office of Conservation staff reviews the submitted information to determine whether the proposed well location and use will pose any significant adverse impacts to the sustainability of an aquifer system or nearby water wells.  During the evaluation process, Conservation staff consults with other local, state and federal agencies as needed.  Should results of the water well evaluation indicate such impacts exist, operational or spacing restrictions will be placed on the proposed water well.

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