News & Alerts
May 19, 2022 COGCC FILES NOTICE OF ORPHAN WELL MITIGATION FEE RULEMAKING
On May 18, 2022, the COGCC filed a notice of rulemaking with the Colorado Secretary of State to amend portions of COGCC Rule 205 to incorporate provisions from the recently passed SB 22-198. In Rule 205.c, the Commission created a new pooled fund to address orphaned wells. The Commission adopted a new annual registration fee, which is intended to raise $10,000,000 in each of the first two years the fee is collected. The fees will be deposited into the pooled fund and may be used by the Director solely to address orphaned sites. On May 10, 2022, the Colorado Legislature adopted SB 22-198, the “Orphaned Oil and Gas Well Enterprise” bill. SB 22-198 creates an orphaned wells mitigation enterprise and provides that on or before August 1, 2022, and on or before April 30, 2023, and on or before April 30 of each year thereafter, each oil and gas operator in the State of Colorado will pay a mitigation fee to the enterprise for each well of an operator that has been spud but is not yet plugged and abandoned. SB 22-198 further directs the Commission to promulgate rules implementing the assessment of the mitigation fee. The proposed amendments to Commission Rule 205, and conforming changes to definitions and other rules, incorporate SB 22-198’s provisions for payment of the mitigation fee to the enterprise. Requests for party status are due no later than Thursday, June 16, 2022, 5:00 p.m. The Commission will host a virtual stakeholder meeting on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. More information on the orphan well mitigation fee rulemaking can be found on the COGCC website: https://cogcc.state.co.us/#/home.