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  H.B. No. 630
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to notice to a surface owner by an oil or gas well operator
  of the issuance of a permit for certain oil and gas operations.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 91, Natural Resources Code, is amended
  by adding Subchapter P to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER P.  NOTICE OF PERMIT FOR CERTAIN OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS
         Sec. 91.701.  DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "surface
  owner" means the first person who is shown on the appraisal roll of
  the appraisal district established for the county in which a tract
  of land is located as owning an interest in the surface estate of
  the land at the time notice is required to be given under this
  subchapter.
         Sec. 91.702.  APPLICABILITY. This subchapter applies only
  to the drilling of a new oil or gas well or the reentry of a plugged
  and abandoned oil or gas well. This subchapter does not apply to:
               (1)  the plugging back, reworking, sidetracking, or
  deepening of an existing oil or gas well that has not been plugged
  and abandoned; or
               (2)  the use of a surface location that is the site of
  an existing oil or gas well that has not been plugged and abandoned
  to drill a horizontal oil or gas well.
         Sec. 91.703.  NOTICE REQUIRED. (a)  Not later than the 15th
  business day after the date the commission issues an oil or gas well
  operator a permit to drill a new oil or gas well or to reenter a
  plugged and abandoned oil or gas well, the operator shall give
  written notice of the issuance of the permit to the surface owner of
  the tract of land on which the well is located or is proposed to be
  located.
         (b)  An oil or gas well operator is not required to give
  notice under this subchapter to a surface owner if:
               (1)  the operator and the surface owner have entered
  into an agreement that contains alternative provisions regarding
  the operator's obligation to give notice of oil and gas operations;
  or
               (2)  the surface owner has waived in writing the owner's
  right to notice under this subchapter.
         Sec. 91.704.  ADDRESS FOR NOTICE. The notice must be given
  to the surface owner at the surface owner's address as shown by the
  records of the county tax assessor-collector at the time the notice
  is given.
         Sec. 91.705.  COMMISSION PERMITS AND RIGHTS OF OWNER OF
  MINERAL ESTATE NOT AFFECTED. (a)  This subchapter does not affect
  the status of any rule of law to the effect that the mineral estate
  in land is dominant over the surface estate.
         (b)  Failure to give notice as required by this subchapter
  does not restrict, limit, work as a forfeiture of, or terminate any
  existing or future permit issued by the commission or right to
  develop the mineral estate in land.
         SECTION 2.  The change in law made by this Act applies only
  to oil and gas operations for which a permit is issued on or after
  October 1, 2007. Oil and gas operations for which a permit is
  issued before October 1, 2007, are governed by the law as it existed
  immediately before the effective date of this Act, and that law is
  continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2007.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 630 was passed by the House on April
  13, 2007, by the following vote:  Yeas 143, Nays 0, 2 present, not
  voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 630 was passed by the Senate on May 8,
  2007, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________
                     Date          
   
            _____________________
                   Governor