78.52.001  <<  78.52.010 >>   78.52.025


For the purposes of this chapter, unless the text otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) "Certificate of clearance" means a permit prescribed by the department for the transportation or the delivery of oil, gas, or product.
(2) "Department" means the department of natural resources.
(3) "Development unit" means the maximum area of a pool which may be drained efficiently and economically by one well.
(4) "Division order" means an instrument showing percentage of royalty or rental divisions among royalty owners.
(5) "Fair and reasonable share of the production" means, as to each separately-owned tract or combination of tracts, that part of the authorized production from a pool that is substantially in the proportion that the amount of recoverable oil or gas under the development unit of that separately-owned tract or tracts bears to the recoverable oil or gas or both in the total of the development units in the pool.
(6) "Field" means the general area which is underlaid by at least one pool and includes the underground reservoir or reservoirs containing oil or gas, or both. The words "field" and "pool" mean the same thing when only one underground reservoir is involved; however, "field," unlike "pool," may relate to two or more pools.
(7) "Gas" means all natural gas, all gaseous substances, and all other fluid or gaseous hydrocarbons not defined as oil in subsection (12) of this section, including but not limited to wet gas, dry gas, residue gas, condensate, and distillate, as those terms are generally understood in the petroleum industry.
(8) "Illegal oil" or "illegal gas" means oil or gas that has been produced from any well within the state in violation of this chapter or any rule or order of the department.
(9) "Illegal product" means any product derived in whole or part from illegal oil or illegal gas.
(10) "Interested person" means a person with an ownership, basic royalty, or leasehold interest in oil or gas within an existing or proposed development unit or unitized pool.
(11) "Lessee" means the lessee under an oil and gas lease, or the owner of any land or mineral rights who has the right to conduct or carry on any oil and gas development, exploration and operation thereon, or any person so operating for himself, herself, or others.
(12) "Oil" means crude petroleum, oil, and all hydrocarbons, regardless of gravity, that are in the liquid phase in the original reservoir conditions and are produced and recovered at the wellhead in liquid form.
(13) "Operator" means the person who operates a well or unit or who has been designated or accepted by the owners to operate the well or unit, and who is responsible for compliance with the department's rules and policies.
(14) "Owner" means the person who has the right to develop, operate, drill into, and produce from a pool and to appropriate the oil or gas that he or she produces therefrom, either for that person or for that person and others.
(15) "Person" means any natural person, corporation, association, partnership, receiver, trustee, executor, administrator, guardian, fiduciary, or representative of any kind and includes any governmental or political subdivision or any agency thereof.
(16) "Pool" means an underground reservoir containing a common accumulation of oil or gas, or both. Each zone of a structure which is completely separated from any other zone in the same structure such that the accumulations of oil or gas are not common with each other is considered a separate pool and is covered by the term "pool" as used in this chapter.
(17) "Pooling" means the integration or combination of two or more tracts into an area sufficient to constitute a development unit of the size for one well as prescribed by the department.
(18) "Product" means any commodity made from oil or gas.
(19) "Protect correlative rights" means that the action or regulation by the department should afford a reasonable opportunity to each person entitled thereto to recover or receive without causing waste his or her fair and reasonable share of the oil and gas in this tract or tracts or its equivalent.
(20) "Royalty" means a right to or interest in oil or gas or the value from or attributable to production, other than the right or interest of a lessee, owner, or operator, as defined herein. Royalty includes, but is not limited to the basic royalty in a lease, overriding royalty, and production payments. Any such interest may be referred to in this chapter as "royalty" or "royalty interest." As used in this chapter "basic royalty" means the royalty reserved in a lease. "Royalty owner" means a person who owns a royalty interest.
(21) "Supervisor" means the state oil and gas supervisor.
(22) "Unitization" means the operation of all or part of a field or reservoir as a single entity for operating purposes.
(23) "Waste" in addition to its ordinary meaning, means and includes:
(a) "Physical waste" as that term is generally understood in the petroleum industry;
(b) The inefficient, excessive, or improper use of, or unnecessary dissipation of, reservoir energy, and the locating, spacing, drilling, equipping, operating, or producing of any oil or gas well in a manner which results or is probable to result in reducing the quantity of oil or gas to be recovered from any pool in this state under operations conducted in accordance with prudent and proper practices or that causes or tends to cause unnecessary wells to be drilled;
(c) The inefficient above-ground storage of oil, and the locating, spacing, drilling, equipping, operating, or producing of any oil or gas well in a manner causing or tending to cause unnecessary or excessive surface loss or destruction of oil or gas;
(d) The production of oil or gas in such manner as to cause unnecessary water channeling, or coning;
(e) The operation of an oil well with an inefficient gas-oil ratio;
(f) The drowning with water of any pool or part thereof capable of producing oil or gas, except insofar as and to the extent authorized by the department;
(g) Underground waste;
(h) The creation of unnecessary fire hazards;
(i) The escape into the open air, from a well producing oil or gas, of gas in excess of the amount which is reasonably necessary in the efficient development or production of the well;
(j) The use of gas for the manufacture of carbon black, except as provided in RCW 78.52.140;
(k) Production of oil and gas in excess of the reasonable market demand;
(l) The flaring of gas from gas wells except that which is necessary for the drilling, completing, or testing of the well; and
(m) The unreasonable damage to natural resources including but not limited to the destruction of the surface, soils, wildlife, fish, or aquatic life from or by oil and gas operations.


SeverabilityHeadings and captions not lawEffective date1994 sp.s. c 9: See RCW 18.79.900 through 18.79.902.
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