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(1) No person shall commence the drilling of an oil or gas well or stratigraphic test well or core hole without filing an application for permit to drill on Form No. 22 and obtaining a drilling permit from the board. If the proposed well or hole is not located within the boundaries of a delineated field for which, after public hearing, an order has been entered by the board that drilling permits may issue for locations within that field without further public hearing, the applicant must:

(a) At its own expense, cause publication of notice in a format prescribed by the board in one issue of a newspaper in general circulation in Helena and a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the proposed well or hole is located; and

(b) File proof of such publication in the form of a copy of the page on which the ad appears showing the ad and the date of publication or an affidavit of the publisher.

(2) Prior to the commencement of recompletion operations on any oil or gas well, notice shall be delivered to the board of such intention on Form No. 2, and approval shall be obtained.

(3) When a permit is sought for a 320 acre drilling or spacing unit, Form No. 22 as filed with the board shall include a description of the lands to be included.

(4) The staff of the board shall refer an application for permit to drill to the board for notice and public hearing if:

(a) An interested person shall, as to any application for permit to drill for which published notice is required, file in the form hereinafter set forth a written demand for an opportunity to be heard concerning such application; or

(b) The staff determines that a person applying for a drilling permit or approval of recompletion operations is not in substantial compliance with the board's rules governing the applicant's operations in Montana; or

(c) The planned drilling operations require further environmental review.

(5) In those instances where such requests for a permit to drill have been the subject of notice and public hearing, the board shall, after such hearing, either:

(a) Enter its order granting such permit under such conditions as the board shall find proper and necessary; or

(b) Enter its order denying the application for the permit.

(6) A demand for opportunity to be heard concerning any application for permit to drill for which published notice is required must:

(a) Be in writing; and

(b) Set forth the name, address, and telephone number of each party making the demand, and their ownership interest, if any, in the lands surrounding the drill site; and

(c) Set forth the specific reasons why the party requests a hearing regarding the issuance of the proposed drilling permit; and

(d) Be received by the board no later than ten (10) days after the date of the publication of the notice. Where the notice is not published on the same day in the newspapers specified in paragraph (1) (a) of this rule, the deadline for receiving demands for hearing will be measured by the later publication date. Service of such demand may be made on the board personally, by mail, or by FAX transmission; and

(e) Be simultaneously served upon the applicant for the permit by written copy mailed or FAX transmitted to the address or number set forth in the published notice. A certificate of such service must accompany the demand as filed with the board.

(7) Surface owner concerns which are subject to the provision of 82-10-504 , MCA (Surface Damage and Disruption Payments) will not be the subject of a public hearing before the board.

History: Sec. 82-11-111, MCA; IMP, Sec. 82-11-122, MCA; Eff. 12/31/72; AMD, Eff. 6/4/77; AMD, 1982 MAR p. 1398, Eff. 7/16/82; AMD, 1983 MAR p. 82, Eff. 1/28/83; AMD, 1990 MAR. p. 305, Eff. 2/9/90.

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