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Pennsylvania bill-PA SB790  


John Hamilton
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Here is a message I just received from PSLS:

Senate Bill 790 proposes to amend the current law regulating conventional oil and gas wells (Act 13 of 2012). SB 790 removes the requirement that plats accompanying permit applications need to be prepared by a “competent engineer or competent surveyor.” 

In place of a competent engineer or surveyor, SB 790 substitutes “a person trained in the preparation of plats.”  The contents of the plat are spelled out in the bill and clearly require preparation by a competent engineer or competent surveyor. For example, one of the plat components reads as follows:
 
“(vi) the proposed location of the well determined by plat, along with the courses and distances of the location from two or more permanent identifiable points or landmarks on the tract boundary corners;”

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BStrand
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Posted by: @john-hamilton

Here is a message I just received from PSLS:

Senate Bill 790 proposes to amend the current law regulating conventional oil and gas wells (Act 13 of 2012). SB 790 removes the requirement that plats accompanying permit applications need to be prepared by a “competent engineer or competent surveyor.” 

In place of a competent engineer or surveyor, SB 790 substitutes “a person trained in the preparation of plats.”  The contents of the plat are spelled out in the bill and clearly require preparation by a competent engineer or competent surveyor. For example, one of the plat components reads as follows:
 
“(vi) the proposed location of the well determined by plat, along with the courses and distances of the location from two or more permanent identifiable points or landmarks on the tract boundary corners;”

 

I don't even know what that's supposed to mean.

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Bill93
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Posted by: @bstrand
I don't even know what that's supposed to mean.

Sounds to me that it means you don't have to be licensed to do those plats.

It doesn't seem to remove the license requirement for marking the boundary. The tricky part is that this "trained" but unlicensed person will be identifying points with some previous marking as boundary corners.

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A Harris
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@bstrand

One of the main aspects of locating a well is to show where it is in relation to boundary lines.

The location of boundary lines requires a licensed surveyor to decide.

It is the reoccurring conversation I have with clients, title companies and people in real estate.

When a person is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions on a tract of land or an oil well or whatever, why get cheap with any part of it.

It's like getting your brother in law's cousin to come in and install a heater fan combo in your new jacuzzi room and he uses inferior wiring that causes your dream home to burn down. do you really think that your insurance company is going to pay for that, no, they are going to go after the guy that installed the faulty wiring and make them pay and in the end that turns your family of inlaws against you.

0.02

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aliquot
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A win in the battle for the rights of incompetent surveyors and engineers. 

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MightyMoe
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Yikes, cause oil wells don't have ownership rights associated with them.

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holy cow
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@mightymoe

What do you mean exactly by that?

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MightyMoe
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@holy-cow

Holy, I'm being sarcastic.

I have on the wall above my desk a township plat of the area that kicked off the "great powder river basin resurveys".

There was an oil well staked in the incorrect section and it pumped for a number of years before the incorrect location was discovered. So the lawsuits started and even back then it was tens of millions of dollars. 

The township got a dependent resurvey in the mid 1980's and much of the rest of the county it's in was also resurveyed because of that lawsuit and other issues. 

I'm not familiar with Pennsylvania rules with respect to gas/oil wells but I suspect they are complicated like rules in other states. 

Well surveying isn't as simple as putting a stake in the ground and paying the owner of that location if minerals are extracted, there are spacing, offsets, legal "windows", ect. The list goes on and on.

Plus there are sometimes complicated mineral surveys that need to be done, not the type where the purpose is to patent lands from the feds but the kind that you need to do to establish mineral ownership boundaries. It can be simple in PLSS country with a fresh dependent resurvey or very complicated, but it should never be done without a licensed surveyor involved.

Heck here they are tightening up the rules, not relaxing them. From what I've seen from the GISers, mappers, involved in the industry I cringe even thinking about that new statute. 

Much of the geology still today is being done with very outdated information, NAD27 based seismic data, lat/longs on P&A wells from the 50's and 60's that no one has ever visited. Imagine that data driving someone with a handheld GPS staking wells......Yikes!!

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holy cow
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@mightymoe

I thought you might be addressing the differences with mineral rights in differing parts of the country.  In Oklahoma, for example, a major portion of the mineral rights have been severed from the surface rights.  In Kansas it is common for the mineral rights to still be joined with the surface rights.  The researchers for oil and gas companies hate to come to Kansas for this reason.

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