Oil And Gas Law Alert: In A Victory For The State's Oil And Gas Industry, North Dakota Senate Defeats Well Setback Rule

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The North Dakota State Senate bill proposing that all oil and gas well setbacks be extended from 500 feet to 750 feet for single-well pads and to 1,000 feet for pads with multiple wells was defeated yesterday, February 6, by a decisive vote of 30-17.

Sen. Stan Lyson (R-Williston), chairman of the Senate's Natural Resources Committee, said a major reason for defeating the bill was that larger setbacks would impact more land. A 500-foot setback creates roughly 18 acres of unrecoverable oil and gas property, which would rise to 72 acres with a setback of double the size. It was also noted that no other state in the U.S. has a setback of more than 500 feet.