[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Columbia as Ch. 5.28 of the 1997 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to drill or commence to drill or to operate a well for oil and gas within the corporate limits of the City, or to work upon or assist in any way in the drilling or operating or the prosecution of work upon any such well, without a permit for such well and for the development and operation thereof having first being secured in accordance with the terms of this chapter.
Within the corporate limits of the City, there shall be issued only one permit for one well in each one-half platted block or one well in any parcel or combination of parcels of land equal in area to no less than one-half of the entire area of the block in which such parcel or parcels of land are situated; provided, however, that in any platted block containing more than four acres, a permit may be granted for an additional well in such block for any additional area containing no less than two acres; and provided, further, that where any block, as platted, is divided by alleys into more than two parts, then a permit for one well may be granted for each and every part of such block; and provided, further, that where more than one well has been heretofore drilled or commenced in any one-half block, then an additional permit or permits may be issued for the drilling of a well or wells to offset the well or wells heretofore so drilled or commenced; provided that such offset well or wells shall be located in the same block as the well or wells to be offset, or within 200 feet of such block; and provided, further, that where more than one well shall be drilled beyond the City limits line, and within 400 feet thereof, on land either immediately adjacent to any platted block or unplatted tract within the City, or separated therefrom by a street, alley or highway, then a permit may be issued for the drilling of an additional well in said block or tract, at a location not more than 200 feet from the City limits line, to offset the additional well or wells that shall be so drilled on said land situated outside the City; and provided, further, that where more than one producing oil or gas sand shall be found in any block, a permit may be granted for one well to each of such sands for the same area or areas as hereinabove defined.
The City Council shall have the right, power and authority to refuse any application for a permit where, by reason of the location of the proposed well and the character and value of the permanent improvements already erected on the block or area of land in question, or adjacent thereto, and the use to which the land and surroundings are adapted, or for sanitary reasons, the drilling of an oil or gas well would, in the judgment of the City Council, be a serious detriment to the City and the welfare of its inhabitants.
In case a permit for the drilling of a well is issued to a person, firm or corporation not holding oil and gas leases or drilling contracts with the owners of all lots within a one-half block or area of land equal thereto, as defined in the section setting forth regulations covering the granting of permits in this chapter, then it shall be a condition of the permit that the permittee, his or its assigns and successors shall deliver to the credit of each of such owners whose land shall not be under lease to such permittee, free of cost in the pipeline to which the well may be connected, a pro-rata share in the royalty of all oil produced and saved from such well, equal to no less than one-eighth royalty, in the proportion that the area of land so owned bears to the entire area of such one-half block or area of land, exclusive of the streets and alleys, and a like proportion of the proceeds of gas and casing head gas produced from the well and used off the premises if such owner or owners desire to have and take the same.
In case there are applications by more than one applicant filed with the City Clerk and pending at the same time for permits to drill in any one-half block, or area of land equal thereto, as defined in the section setting forth regulations covering the granting of permits, in this chapter, that application shall be granted, if otherwise sufficient, which shall be made by the person, firm or corporation holding the greater area of the land in the one-half block or area, by lease or other contract with the owner or owners permitting the drilling thereon for oil and gas; but in case a permit is issued to a person, firm or corporation which does not hold a lease or other valid drilling contract in writing from the owners of all the land within the one-half block or area of land equal thereto, then any owner of the unleased land in the one-half block or area equal thereto, and any person, firm or corporation other than the permittee holding oil and gas leases on land in the one-half block or area equal thereto, shall have the right to share in the ownership and benefits of such oil and gas wells in the proportion that the area of his or its land or lease bears to the area of the one-half block, or area equal thereto, exclusive of streets and alleys; provided that, within 10 days from the date of the issuance of such permit, he or it shall file with the City Clerk his or its election, in writing, to pay to the holder of the permit, or his or its assigns, a like proportion of the total cost and expense of drilling, completing and operating a well and shall, within that time, make and file with the City Clerk a bond with an authorized surety company as surety, and in an amount representing that portion of the estimated maximum cost of the well that the area of ground held or owned under lease by the principal bears to the whole area of the one-half block or area equal thereto, conditioned that the principal in the bond pay to the permittee, and his assigns, such proportion of the cost of drilling and operating of the well from time to time as required in the operations, such bond to be approved by the Mayor and held by the City Clerk for the benefit of all persons interested.
If an application be found by the Council to comply in all respects with the terms of this chapter, the City Council shall be authorized to issue a permit for the drilling of the well applied for. The permit shall specify the particular location of the well to be drilled and it is unlawful for the permittee to drill elsewhere in the block. In case such permit is not granted, the inspection fee filed with the application shall be returned or refunded to the applicant.
No permit shall be granted or issued for the drilling of a well except upon ground held by the applicant under an oil and gas lease or drilling contract from the owner, giving the owner's permission to drill the well; and when a permit shall have been issued, the same shall terminate and become inoperative without any action on the part of the Council unless, within 30 days from the date of issue, actual drilling of the well shall have commenced; and the cessation for a like period of the drilling operations, or the cessation of production of oil or gas from the well after production shall have commenced, shall operate or terminate and cancel the permit, and the well shall be considered as abandoned for all purposes of this chapter, and it shall be unlawful thereafter to continue the operation or drilling of such well without the issuance of another permit.
Every person, firm or corporation securing a permit under the provisions of this chapter for the drilling and operating of any well or wells shall pay to the owner or owners of any buildings, improvements, goods or chattels so located that the insurance rates or premium have been increased by reason of maintaining or operating of such well or wells any extra cost of fire insurance on such property caused by the operations carried on under and by virtue of any such permit, and shall pay also any and all damages suffered by any person as to property within the City from fire, over and above insurance collected thereon, or damages from oil, gas or water caused by originating from the operation connected with such well or wells.
It is unlawful to drill any oil or gas well within any of the streets or alleys of the City, or to block or encumber or close up any street or alley in any drilling or production operation, except through a special permit by order of the City Council, and then only temporarily.
No tanks or other facilities for the storage of oil produced from any well or wells within the City shall be kept, erected or maintained within the limits of the City having a capacity in excess of 500 barrels; and no wooden tanks for such purpose shall be erected or maintained within the City.
Neither this chapter nor any permit issued hereunder shall be interpreted to grant any right or license to the permittee to enter upon or occupy in any respect, in drilling or production operations, any land, except upon the written consent of the owners; nor shall it limit or prevent the free right of any property owner to contract for the amount of royalties to be paid with respect to his own land or for damages, rights or privileges with respect thereto.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
In operating by virtue of any permit issued under this chapter or amendments thereto, all oil, gas or water produced or arising from such operations shall be piped or otherwise conveyed or removed from the corporate limits of the City, except in connection with the ordinary use of a slush pit. No waste or sludge water shall be permitted to empty into any sanitary sewer. All excavations in or use of the streets or alleys under such operations shall be under the direction of the Department of Public Works, and done without obstruction of the streets, or without cost or expense to the City.
Within 30 days after any oil or gas well within the limits of the City shall have been completed for production of oil or gas, or within 30 days after the same shall have been completed in cases where the same is abandoned for the reason that a dry hole is found, the slush pit shall be filled with dirt and leveled off.
Any officer or employee of the City, designated for that purpose, shall have the right and privilege at any time to enter upon the premises covered by any permits issued under this chapter, for the purpose of making inspections to determine if the requirements of this chapter are being complied with, or the requirements of any other code of the City relating to the health and safety of persons or property within the City.
Any person, firm or corporation desiring to obtain a permit for the drilling or operating of any oil or gas well within the City shall make written application therefor to the City Council and file the same with the City Clerk, which application shall be accompanied by a deposit in an amount set from time to time by City ordinance, payable in cash or by certified check for said amount as an inspection fee, in case the permit is granted. All such applications shall be made upon forms prescribed and provided for such purpose by the City, and each such application shall be duly signed, and executed by the applicant and shall be verified under oath by the applicant or by some person duly authorized on behalf of the applicant.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
A separate application shall be made and filed as to each well proposed to be drilled, and every such application shall, among other things, show the lot and particular point where the proposed well is to be located, and in addition shall have attached to it or be accompanied by copies of all oil and gas leases or other drilling contracts which the applicant may have with the owners of land within the block and also a map covering the platted block or the tract of land where the proposed well is to be located, indicating thereon the lots or land covered by such leases or contracts and the particular point where such well is to be drilled.
The application shall also be accompanied by, or show that the applicant has on file in the office of the City Clerk, a duly executed and approved bond given by the applicant as principal and a surety company authorized to do business in the State of Illinois, as surety, running to the City for the benefit of the City and all persons, firms and corporations concerned, duly conditioned that if the permit be granted, the applicant and his or its assigns will comply with the terms and conditions of this chapter in the drilling of the well, as herein provided; that the applicant will restore the streets and sidewalks and other public places of the City which may be disturbed in the operations to their former condition, will clear the block and lots of all litter, machinery, derricks, buildings, oil and other substance erected, used or allowed in the drilling or producing operations, whenever the well shall be abandoned or the operations thereof shall be discontinued; and will pay the City for any and all damages done to the trees, sidewalks, paving or other public property, and will also pay to the City any increase in cost of insurance on any building, improvements, goods or chattels owned by the City and so located that the insurance rates or premium will be increased by reason of the drilling, maintaining or operating of such well or wells; and will hold the City harmless from any and all liability growing out of the granting of such permit. Such bond shall be in the sum of $5,000 and shall be approved by the Mayor and filed with the City Clerk, and shall be kept in force and effect as long as such well or wells are continued in operation.