The Legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee will introduce a bill that would modify bonds for seismic exploration for oil and gas on private land. If passed, companies doing any seismic exploration would have to put up a $5,000 bond for the first 1,000 acres being explored, with increases for acreage beyond that. The outgoing chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Kermit Brown of Laramie, said there have been complaints about the current regulations.
“They come in two forms. Some people have had seismic activity on their property and they never got adequately compensated for and the bond was insufficient. Other people are concerned about the fact that some seismic companies are going on to the land when they don’t even have a customer and trying to develop data which they then can go sort of prospecting on the property and taking that data and attempting to sell it to somebody.”
Brown says the hope is that the bill will encourage good faith negotiations between land owners and companies wanting to do seismic work. The bill will be voted on during the legislative session that begins next month.