An operator should provide more details than simply providing the cost, the date, and whether the expenditure was for tangible or intangible costs. The best practice for an operator would be to provide the date of writing the activity, a vendor name, invoice number, and a brief description of the service or parts provided. The requirement that the report be itemized has not been directly discussed by the courts, however, the United States court for the western District of louisiana,. Appx 459 (2013 provided the itemization requirement strongly suggests that the louisiana legislature intended the statute to do more than simply notify the unleased mineral owner of the drilling costs. Operators should refrain from simply listing costs as a lump sum. The best practice would be to attempt to break down and list each individual cost and description in the most specific way possible. Lastly, the report must be sent using certified mail.
A statement is either sworn or it is not. Xxi oil gas, llc. Hilcorp Energy., 124.3d 530 (2013). The simplest way to comply with the sworn requirement is to submit the report in affidavit form. The report must be detailed in that the report has to relate the cost to the benefit; it must tell the unleased mineral owner what it is getting essays for its money. Brannon Properties, llc. Chesapeake operating, Inc., 514 Fed.
Substantive requirements for a 103.1 report? If an unleased owner effectively requests a 103.1 report, an operator needs to timely respond in compliance with 103.1 to avoid the harsh penalty. When responding to such a request, there are numerous potential pitfalls that an operator must avoid. According to the statute, the report must be sworn, detailed, and itemized. The initial report must contain the costs of drilling, completing and equipping the well. The quarterly reports must contain the total amount of oil, gas, or other hydrocarbons produced form the lands during the previous quarter, the price received from any purchaser of unit production, quarterly operating costs, and any additional funds expended to enhance or restore the production. The statute requires that reports must be sworn, detailed, and itemized. The requirement that the statement be sworn invites no inquiry into the intent and purpose of the statute.
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In, xxi oil gas,. Hilcorp Energy., 206.3d 885 (La. 2016 the Third Circuit court of Appeals recently addressed whether a movement non-operator lessee of lands included within a commissioners unit may utilize 103.1 and 103.2 to trigger reporting obligations and the accompanying penalty for non-compliance. Hilcorp, as operator, had recompleted a unit well drilled by a prior operator. Xxi oil gas held various leases within the unit and requested reports under 103.1. Hilcorp sent an afe that contained certain cost estimates, but did not contain a sworn, detailed itemized statement of costs.
The court found Hilcorps response was not in compliance with 103.1. The question before the court was whether such noncompliance resulted in Hilcorp forfeiting the right to deduct operating costs under 103.2. Although 103.2 provides for the forfeiture of the right to demand contribution from the owner or owners of the unleased oil and gas interests, the court determined that unleased oil and gas interests included interests that were leased to a lessee other than the operator. The court disagreed with Hilcorps argument that unleased oil and gas interests does not include interests that are leased to someone other than the operator. Therefore following this decision, lessees holding leases in a unit, other than the operator, may request a 103.1 report, and, if the operator fails to comply, the operator will forfeit the right to deduct operating costs out of the lessees proportionate share of production.
30:103.1 et seq., as the penalty for non-compliance can be severe. 103.2 provides that when an operator does not meet the reporting requirements within ninety days of completing a well and thirty additional days after receiving written notice by certified mail of its failure to comply with section 103.1, it cannot deduct drilling costs from the. Necessary description of unleased interest for request for reports under 103.1. The statute provides that the written request shall contain the unleased landowners name and address, but does not address what other information that should be included with the request. J-w operating., 2017 wl 3261113 (W.D. 7/28/2017 the United States District court for the western District of louisiana was faced with a request which contained the owners name and address, but did not include any description of the unleased owners interests or name the exact well at issue.
The owner filed suit, arguing that, under 103.2, the operator had forfeited the right to withhold operating costs due to its failure to comply with the reporting requirements under 103.1. The issue before the court was whether the owners letter that was sent as certified mail, including her name and address, was sufficient to trigger the reporting obligations when the letter did not contain a property description or a reference to a particular unit well. The court concluded that the unleased owner was in a much better position than the operator to know what land she owns. Further, the court identified that the landowners proposed rule-that an operator must undertake a title search for anyone claiming to be an unleased owner-would lead to absurd results. Thus, the court concluded that the unleased owner bore the burden of identifying the unleased property she owned within the operators unit, such that her demand letters omitting such information were insufficient to trigger the operators reporting obligations under. Caon-operator lessee reap the benefit of 103.1 and 103.2?
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Tyler Franklin) Image Photo of tub of beer for sale at Pope's house. Recently, louisiana state and federal courts have had occasion to address various issues with respect. 30:103.1 and 103.2, dealing with obligations under certain circumstances for operators of commissioners units to provide statements of well costs. 103.1 imposes a writing duty on such unit operators to provide reports to owners of lands producing oil or gas upon which the operator has no valid oil, gas, or mineral lease. This is to provide access to information that would otherwise be unavailable to certain owners of mineral interests that are not leased by the unit operator. Since unleased owners normally do not participate in production until after the payment of drilling and operating costs attributable to their interest, these reporting needed obligations afford unleased mineral interest owners a mechanism to monitor the costs of drilling the well, amount of unit production, the. It is important for operators to comply with.
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