Minimizing the Environmental Impact of Oil and Gas Development by Maximizing Production Conservation

21 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2010  

David E. Pierce

Washburn University School of Law

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

One oil and gas well results in less environmental impact and surface disruption than two wells. The number of wells required to efficiently develop an oil and gas reservoir can be significantly reduced, while increasing the ultimate recovery of the oil and gas resource, if the reservoir can be developed without regard for the rule of capture. Current oil and gas "conservation" regulation is built around the rule of capture, which creates the legal necessity to be associated with an oil and gas well in order to secure rights in the oil and gas. By shifting the focus of rights in oil and gas reservoirs away from capture rights and toward correlative rights, state oil and gas conservation commissions can better manage development of the oil and gas resource, allowing all interested parties to maximize recovery of their oil and gas resources while minimizing the impact on surface and other natural resources.

Keywords: Rule of Capture, Correlative Rights, Conservation Laws, Oil, Gas, Model Oil and Gas Conservation Act, North Dakota Oil and Gas Conservation Act

Suggested Citation

Pierce, David E., Minimizing the Environmental Impact of Oil and Gas Development by Maximizing Production Conservation (2009). North Dakota Law Review, Vol. 85, No. 4, p. 759, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1680918

David E. Pierce (Contact Author)

Washburn University School of Law ( email )

1700 College Avenue
Topeka, KS 66621
United States

HOME PAGE: http://washburnlaw.edu/faculty/pierce-david.php

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