Winter Storm 2021

Severance/Seal Orders

Among the Commission's other enforcement methods, the Oil & Gas Division has the authority to cancel an operator's Certificate of Compliance and order that production be shut in at the lease or well level for noncompliance with Commission rules, effectively blocking that operator's ability to sell oil and gas from a lease. Before the operator can resume production, it must correct the violation and pay a statutory fee for restoration of the Certificate of Compliance.

 

Severance/Seal Order Definition List

Data as of 08/31/2020
Fiscal Year
(Sept. 1 - Aug. 31)
Notices Issued Resolved
without Order
Resolved
after Order
Unresolved Notices Severance Fee Revenue Issued
by Fiscal Year
2010 24,584 15,513 63.1% 8,320 33.8% 751 3.1% $1,147,375.00 9,077
2011 31,667 20,084 63.4% 10,648 33.6% 935 3.0% $1,261,625.00 11,218
2012 24,083 15,446 64.1% 7,827 32.5% 810 3.4% $1,937,670.00 8,980
2013 32,291 19,905 61.6% 10,600 32.8% 1,786 5.5% $3,058,625.00 11,526
2014 30,378 19,536 64.3% 9,758 32.1% 1,084 3.6% $3,100,525.00 11,539
2015 25,556 16,057 62.8% 8,379 32.8% 1,120 4.4% $2,115,379.50 9,481
2016 21,648 13,459 62.2% 6,520 30.1% 1,669 7.7% $1,619,875.00 8,240
2017 32,522 22,051 67.8% 8,436 25.9% 2,035 6.3% $1,722,908.61 10,284
2018 34,112 23,006 67.4% 8,634 25.3% 2,472 7.2% $2,262,900.00 10,822
2019 28,582 18,449 64.5% 7,533 26.4% 2,600 9.1% $2,121,494.00 10,163
10-Yr Average 28,542 18,351 64.3% 8,666 30.4% 1,526 5.3% $2,034,837.71 10,133
                   
2020 18,480 11,331 61.3% 3,920 21.2% 3,229 17.5% $1,453,250.00 8,074
                   

For the 10-year period 2010-2019, 94.7% of violations managed through this process have been resolved. 64.3% of violations were corrected by the operator promptly upon notice with no further action needed by the Commission; another 30.4% were resolved following issuance of a severance/seal order. Compliance is verified by lease/well inspections in the case of field violations, or file review in the case of reporting violations. Where the violation remains unresolved, the Commission will pursue the matter through other appropriate enforcement action.

Note: beginning with FY2016, certified letter data includes notices of severances issued to operators relating to compliance with the inactive well requirements of Statewide Rule 15. While the data related to severance orders issued (and statistics based on post-severance statuses) will not be affected, the number of certified letters issued and of pre-severance statuses will be higher to accurate reflect those processes.