(a) If the Regional Supervisor determines that unitization of operations within a proposed unit area is necessary to prevent waste, conserve natural resources of the OCS, or protect correlative rights, including Federal royalty interests, the Regional Supervisor may require unitization.
(b) If you ask MMS to require unitization, you must file a request with the Regional Supervisor. You must include a proposed unit agreement as described in §§ 250.1301(d) and 250.1303(b); a proposed unit operating agreement; a proposed initial plan of operation; supporting geological, geophysical, and engineering data; and any other information that may be necessary to show that unitization meets the criteria of § 250.1300. The proposed unit agreement must include a counterpart executed by each lessee seeking compulsory unitization. Lessees who seek compulsory unitization must simultaneously serve on the nonconsenting lessees copies of:
(1) The request;
(2) The proposed unit agreement with executed counterparts;
(3) The proposed unit operating agreement; and
(4) The proposed initial plan of operation.
(c) If the Regional Supervisor initiates compulsory unitization, MMS will serve all lessees of the proposed unit area with a proposed unitization plan and a statement of reasons for the proposed unitization.
(d) The Regional Supervisor will not require unitization until MMS provides all lessees of the proposed unit area written notice and an opportunity for a hearing. If you want MMS to hold a hearing, you must request it within 30 days after you receive written notice from the Regional Supervisor or after you are served with a request for compulsory unitization from another lessee.
(e) MMS will not hold a hearing under this paragraph until at least 30 days after MMS provides written notice of the hearing date to all parties owning interests that would be made subject to the unit agreement. The Regional Supervisor must give all lessees of the proposed unit area an opportunity to submit views orally and in writing and to question both those seeking and those opposing compulsory unitization. Adjudicatory procedures are not required. The Regional Supervisor will make a decision based upon a record of the hearing, including any written information made a part of the record. The Regional Supervisor will arrange for a court reporter to make a verbatim transcript. The party seeking compulsory unitization must pay for the court reporter and pay for and provide to the Regional Supervisor within 10 days after the hearing three copies of the verbatim transcript.
(f) The Regional Supervisor will issue an order that requires or rejects compulsory unitization. That order must include a statement of reasons for the action taken and identify those parts of the record which form the basis of the decision. Any adversely affected party may appeal the final order of the Regional Supervisor under 30 CFR part 290.
[62 FR 5331, Feb. 5, 1997. Redesignated and amended at 63 FR 29479, 29487, May 29, 1998]
Title 30 published on 2012-07-01
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