Senate passes seismic exploration bill

Feb 1, 2013

The Wyoming Senate defeated a bill dealing with seismic exploration, reconsidered it, and then passed it. 

Supporters say that the goal of the legislation is to set tiered bonding for seismic exploration. 

Wyoming Stockgrowers Association Executive Vice President Jim Magagna says the bonding will be based on the size of the acreage being accessed.   He says that the bill was amended to say that when seismic

work is being done on split estate land, you either must have authorization from the surface owner or permission from the mineral rights holder.  So if the surface owner does not give permission, bonding can be used to gain access to the land.

“The way it’s been applied at times in the past is that the Oil and Gas Commission ignored whether the seismic company had an authorization from the mineral interest owner,” Magagna said. “And this will put them in the position where they have to see that before they allow a bonding on.”

Senators who support the bill say it will keep seismic operators from trespassing on private land.  Oil and Gas companies think the bill can slow down energy development.  It heads to the House for further debate.