(1) The lessee under any oil and gas lease granted by the state may at the termination of any rental year, by giving to the department 30 days of previous notice in writing, surrender and relinquish to the state any legal subdivision of the lands leased, and be discharged from any obligation not yet accrued as to the lands so surrendered and relinquished, without prejudice to the continuance of the lease as to lands not surrendered or relinquished.

(2) Although no particular form of surrender is required, such surrender must be in writing, must sufficiently identify the lease sought to be surrendered, and must specifically describe the lands to be surrendered, whether all of the lease premises or a portion only.

(3) Such written instrument of surrender and relinquishment must be signed by the owner of the lease as shown by the records of the department. If more than one person owns the working interest in a lease, either all such owners must join in a joint surrender of the lease or each must submit a separate, written surrender.

(4) If operations have been conducted on lands which lessee desires to surrender, the lessee shall also submit with his written instrument of surrender evidence of the proper plugging and abandonment of any hole drilled on the lands, together with evidence that he has restored the premises in accordance with ARM 36.25.217.

(5) If timely notice is given by the lessee of an intent to surrender lands, but the instrument of surrender is inadequate under the rules herein set forth, or if any additional required information is not timely supplied by the lessee, such informal notice of intent to surrender shall be effective to relieve the lessee of any obligation to pay further rental on the acreage to be surrendered, provided that an instrument of surrender and any additional required information is supplied to the department within 60 days after the surrender date as intended and sought by the lessee.

History: 77-3-402, MCA; IMP, 77-3-439, MCA; NEW, Eff. 12/5/75; TRANS, 1996 MAR p. 2384.