From my observations a company will decide to drill a well so a Pre-Application Notice is sent to parties with invested interest or near invested interest.  After that the company will send a Hearing Application to the state.  The state will set a hearing date.  

My questions are:

Is there a way to see what the ruling was on the application?  I can not find this on the LA DNR website.  Only the court cases.

How long is the hearing decision good for until the well must be permitted?  I know that once it is permitted the Sonris process begins tracking the well activity and that the permit is only good for 6 months or 1 year depending on what the company requested unless the well is brought online.  So permits do expire if the well is not drilled.

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In the case of horizontal wells, an application is asking the state to approve the location, lateral path and spacing as to any adjoining wells or unit boundaries.  The Interested Party list that is used to send out notices consists of all those mineral and surface interests within the unit boundary and immediately adjacent to a distance of 1000'.  This is not a well permit.  When approved, the application results in a Field Order and is listed in the SONRIS database as such. Field Orders are effectively indefinitely until such time as they may be dissolved by subsequent application.  A Field Order does not include a requirement that the approved well spacing actually gets drilled.  For horizontal wells an operator must have the spacing approval of a Field Order before applying for a Permit To Drill.  There is no notice to Interested Parties required for this permit.  The Permit to Drill can be for six months or twelve months and like the spacing approval comes with no requirement to drill.  If not drilled under an original permit, that number is retired and the operator may re-permit the well under a new serial number.

Go to Document Access and scroll down to Field Orders, input the four digit field code and you can pull up the Field Order.  Be advised, it looks identical to the original application.  The Commissioner approves about 99% of applications. 

Thank you Skip.  I am trying to pass down my knowledge to my heirs and getting the fuzzy areas cleaned up.  They need to be able to track the mineral interests.  With the long lateral wells being drilled just looking at the invested sections and the next adjoining section is not enough.  Everything I have learned is self taught hard knocks or from this forum.

Good for you, Greg.  I work with a lot of mineral owners to create a means to hand down the basic information on mineral ownership and royalty revenue to the next generations.  SONRIS tips:  In search by section-township-range, do not enter a section number, leave that box blank.  This will pull up all the wells by section in the township.  In the age of horizontal wells, the surface location for a well producing from your section could be in any of the adjoining sections.  Even better, go to the unit well (first well drilled, horizontal but not a cross unit HC well) and get the LUW code.  Then search by LUW using the unit option to see all wells producing from a section/unit without needing to look my surface location.  SONRIS is set up to group wells by surface location because it predates the advent of horizontal development.  With the exception of some "directional" wells the vast majority of vertical wells were drilled from surface locations over the intended formation target.

 Let me know if you need any further pointers.

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