Minimizing the Environmental Impact of Oil and Gas Development by Maximizing Production Conservation
David E. Pierce
Washburn University School of Law
North Dakota Law Review, Vol. 85, No. 4, p. 759, 2009
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Keywords: Rule of Capture, Correlative Rights, Conservation Laws, Oil, Gas, Model Oil and Gas Conservation Act, North Dakota Oil and Gas Conservation Act
Date posted: September 22, 2010