The Commissioners of the Texas Railroad Commission recently voted unanimously to amend Rule 3.40, which has to do with the assignment of acreage to pooling and proration units. The current rule provides that “… acreage assigned to a well for drilling and development, or for allocation of allowable, shall not be assigned to any other well or wells completed or projected to be completed in the same field; such duplicate assignment of acreage is not acceptable”. According to the Commission’s press release:
The rule restricted exploration in unconventional fracture treated (UFT) fields when oil and gas mineral ownership is divided at different depths below the surface. A UFT field is a field in which horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing must be used to recover oil and gas. To take advantage of technological advances that can tap into once inaccessible hydrocarbon resources in UFT fields, Commissioners voted to allow assignment of acreage to multiple wells in these fields. This rule revision will further protect mineral owner interest and allow access to additional resources.
The amendment to Rule 3.40 will probably result in increased drilling and production in fields where there is multiple ownership at different depths below the surface of the property. That means there will be increased royalties for mineral interest owners.The amended rule goes into effect on March 3, 2020