Two Changes to Filing Requirements
The Commission is changing two filing requirements. First, the Commission has begun to ask that all operators establish only one drilling unit in each docket number for all newly filed DSU applications. Although the Commission had previously allowed operators to space in a general area, or space numerous formations under one legal description, the management of these DSUs and the subsequent process to approve APDs has become unworkable. As an illustration, in order for the Commission to review a single APD they may have to read through 16+ orders that overlap various DSUs, partially vacate some, partially amend others, and may have changed setbacks several times. This review significantly increases the time to approve an APD and has also caused a large burden on engineers (and operators and attorneys) preparing for hearings.
Secondly, the Commission is amending its filing deadlines for all future applications (excluding UIC). The previous filing deadline required submissions at the latest 60 days prior to the hearing, but is being shortened to 46 days prior to hearing. Applicants are still encouraged to submit applications prior to a hearing month's final submission day. The new application filing deadlines will be posted on the WOGCC website next week under the Hearings tab in "Hearing Docket & Info." The new deadlines are effective for the June 14, 2022 hearings, and applications will be accepted until close of business on Friday April 29, 2022.
Please be advised, that due to the shortened processing time, the Supervisor will not have the ability to grant exception requests to get applications filed late onto an earlier month. Additionally, with the shortened timeline, and under the Commission's Policy memo dated August 3, 2020, all amendments that require the Commission to republish will require a continuance fee and will be continued to the next available hearing month.