At the same time, the land office said it has filed nine cleanup compliance lawsuits against oil and gas lease holders, a saltwater disposal well operator and other.
Efforts are aimed at holding oilfield companies responsible for spills of oil, natural gas, polluted or brackish water used in the drilling process as well as abandoned drilling platforms, liquid reservoirs, pipelines and roads. .
State Commissioner for Land Ownership Stephanie Garcia Richard said the effort “was about accountability and law enforcement, as well as addressing the requirements in the legal contract that (the leaseholders) have entered into with us and ensure that they are properly observed.
The State Land Office collects up to $ 1 billion per year in revenue from various business activities on land in state trust for the benefit of public schools, hospitals and other institutions.
Oil and gas development is the agency’s largest source of revenue. The wind power project and cattle grazing are also part of the mix.
In addition, the land office examines the appropriateness of bonding requirements that help ensure that companies complete their environmental restoration efforts.
“We’re also embarking on this new world of high-resolution satellite imagery to allow us to look at intrusions, spills – things like that – on our 13 million acres of state-owned land,” Garcia said. Richard.