Legislative Affairs June 2011

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE REPORT

The following legislative report is submitted by Blaine Dyer and Ryan Cole, Co-Chairs of the OCAPL Legislative Affairs Committee. If you would like to discuss how a particular bill might impact your business and operations, you may contact Blaine (Blaine@thedyerlawfirm.com; 405.831.1145) or Ryan (rcole@maproyalty.com) at your convenience.

If you are interested in a specific bill indicated below, you may obtain a copy of the full text of the bill by calling the Senate Bill Distribution, Room 310 at the State Capitol (405-521-5514). Copies may also be downloaded from the Legislative Services Bureau web site http://www.lsb.state.ok.us.

The first session of the 53rd Oklahoma Legislature concluded at the end of May. Below is a list of bills recently signed into laws which are particularly relevant to the oil and gas industry.

Blaine M. Dyer, Esq. ~ Legislative Affairs Committee

 

HB1909 Oil & Gas-Advanced Horizontal Drilling and Spacing Law

  • Sponsor: Representative Jackson & Senator Branan
  • Approved by Governor on April 13, 2011.
  • “2011 Shale Reservoir Development Act” With the advancement in horizontal drilling techniques, the new law updates state law as to unit spacing and seeks to give the Corporation Commission the authority to authorize units beyond the historical statutory spacing scheme found in Okla. Stat. 52 §§ 87.1, 287.1 through 287.15. Each unit shall be two governmental sections. However, the Commission may expand the size of the unit by including additional governmental sections up to a maximum unit size of four governmental sections. 

 

HB1564 Real Property: Creating the Airspace Severance Restriction Act.

  • Sponsor: Representative Jordan & Senator Schultz
  • Approved by Governor on April 13, 2011
  • New law amends Okla. Stat. 60 § 820.1, which restricts the permanent severing of the airspace over any real property for the purpose of developing and operating commercial wind or solar energy conversion systems.

 

HB1821 Wind Energy: Exploration Rights Act of 2011

  • Sponsor: Representative Trebilcock & Senator Marlatt
  • Approved by Governor on May 10, 2011
  • The measure specifies a mineral owner’s rights with regard to the surface estate, and stipulates that certain parties may not unreasonably interfere with the mineral owner’s right to make reasonable use of the surface estate. The measure also requires a wind energy developer to provide a notice of intent at least 30 days prior to beginning construction of wind energy facility; the required contents of the notice and publication dates are specified for wind energy facilities constructed on or after November 1, 2011.

 

SB124    Eminent domain: Amending Okla. Stat. 27 § 7

  • Sponsor: Senator Justice & Representative Newell
  • Approved by Governor on May 10, 2011
  • The measure amends the existing statute to prohibit the use of governmental eminent domain power for the development of wind farms or wind turbines on private property.

 

SB521    Nontestamentary Transfer of Property (Transfer on Death Deed)

  • Senator Crain & Representative Sherrer
  • Approved by Governor on May 26, 2011
  • The measure modifies Okla. Stat. 58 § 1252 to apply to the surface, minerals, structures and fixtures. Further, unless the named grantee beneficiary records an affidavit accepting the property under the deed within 9 months of the death of the owner, the estate shall revert to the deceased grantor’s estate.

 

SB277    Material man’s Liens: Modifying procedures for pre-line notices.

  • Sponsor: Senator Anderson & Representative Sullivan
  • Approved by Governor on April 6, 2011.
  • The new law modifies Okla. Stat. 42 § 142.6 to state that a materialman’s lien filed against an occupied dwelling will not be valid unless it is proceeded by a pre-lien notice is given to a contractor and an owner of said dwelling within 75 days of the last furnishing of materials, services or labor by the claimant.

 

HB1594 Real Property – Prohibiting Transfer Fee Covenants.

  • Sponsor: Representative Steve Martin & Senator Crain
  • Approved by Governor on May 20, 2011.
  • The measure establishes Okla. Stat. 60 § 350, prohibiting the establishment and/or enforcement of developer created transfer fee covenants.

 

SB102    Liens: Oklahoma Energy Independence Act; Amending Okla. Stat. 19 § 460.5

  • Senator Aldridge & Representative Schwartz
  • Approved by Governor on May 19, 2011
  • The amendments allow for loans to be granted for energy conservation upgrades to existing structures and liens attached to the subject property in the same manner as mortgages.