FAQ: What are the requirements for drilling an oil or gas well in Kentucky?

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Operator Manual

The Division of Oil and Gas, is the Kentucky agency responsible for regulating oil and gas drilling. All questions on statutory requirements should be addressed to the Division. They may be contacted by e-mail, or inquiries may be sent to the Division at P.O. Box 2244, Frankfort, Kentucky 40602. The phone number is 502-573-0140. If you are an operator, contact the Division and ask for a copy of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Oil and Gas Well Operator's Manual.

In general, a permit is required for drilling, re-opening, or deepening:

An application for a permit must be submitted to the Division. It must be accompanied by a permit application fee, copies of a surveyed well location plat, and a performance bond to ensure proper plugging and abandonment of the well. Contact the Division for details on spacing regulations, bonding requirements, or casing requirements. After a well has been drilled, a well log and completion report must be submitted along with copies of any electrical, nuclear, mechanical, or geophysical surveys run. When a well has been abandoned, an affidavit showing the time and manner of plugging the well must also be submitted. Additional permits may be required from other agencies to operate the well. For example, injection wells are regulated by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4 office, Atlanta, Georgia. These regulations and all current contact information are summarized in the Oil and Gas Well Operator's Manual.

During the 2004 Legislative session, House Bill 577 was adopted and signed into law by Governor Fletcher. This bill creates a new section of the Kentucky Revised Statutes to implement statutes to regulate drilling and production of coalbed methane. A copy of the bill as passed is available in the 2004 Legislative Record, see HB 577.

The Oil and Gas Well Operator's Manual is a 3.34 megabyte Adobe Acrobat pdf file that may require a significant download time depending on the speed of your web connection.

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© 2002 Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky
Created 18-Jul-2002