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(1) State lands available for leasing under these rules including any state lands in which the oil and gas rights are not reserved by the United States or other grantor or predecessor in title. Such state lands include those which have been sold but in which oil and gas rights have been reserved, in whole or in part, by the state of Montana, but in such cases where the lands are under lease for grazing, agriculture or similar purposes, care will be taken in issuing the oil and gas lease to protect the rights of the purchaser or surface lessee. Such lands include all lands owned by the state under navigable lakes or streams. Unsurveyed lands, including those under navigable lakes and streams, are available for leasing, provided that any applicant for a lease on such lands shall supply the department with as accurate an estimate of the number of acres to be included under such lease as can be derived from the latest survey, and/or aerial photograph and other information available to the applicant. Further provided, that if and when such lands are leased and oil and/or gas in commercial quantities is produced from the lands, the lessee shall supply the department with a legal description of the lands by courses and distances (metes and bounds) . The department will assume no liability or responsibility for the correctness, completeness or validity of such description.

(2) No lease may embrace more than 640 acres, except that any section surveyed by the United States which contains more than 640 acres may be included under one lease.

(3) The land shall be leased in as compact bodies as the form and areas of the tract held by the state and offered for lease will permit. No lease may embrace noncontiguous subdivisions of lands unless such subdivisions are within an area comprising not more than 1 square mile.

(4) Any person qualified to hold an oil and gas lease on state lands may acquire, receive and hold more than one lease.

History: 77-3-402, MCA; IMP, 77-3-401, 77-3-404, 77-3-405, and 77-3-407, MCA; NEW, Eff. 12/5/75; AMD, Eff. 11/5/76; TRANS, 1996 MAR p. 2384.

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