Originally part of the Arizona State Land Department, the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (OGCC) was established as a stand-alone agency in 1959. Statutory authority for the OGCC is found at A.R.S. Title 27, Chapter 4, with specific powers and duties outlined in A.R.S.§27-515.
The OGCC administers and enforces state laws relating to conservation of oil, natural gas, helium, carbon dioxide and geothermal resources and may enter into cooperative agreements with the federal government, state agencies and Indian tribes in order to protect fresh water supplies from contamination or pollution related to drilling a well. The OGCC is authorized to: issue permits for oil, gas and geothermal wells; monitor and inspect facilities for compliance with agency rules; issue subpoenas; maintain data related to drilling and production; publish geologic studies; and provide information related to exploration and development of resources.
The OGCC is composed of five members, appointed by the Governor to five-year terms. The State Land Commissioner serves as an ex-officio member.
Originally part of the Arizona State Land Department, the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission was established as a stand-alone agency in 1959. Related responsibilities were transferred to the OGCC from the State Land Department. See Laws 1959, Chapter 112.
Laws 1973, Chapter 43 required notice to OGCC when a well or land with a well was sold, transferred or conveyed. The measure also allowed the OGCC to collect fees to cover the cost of services for copies, forms and maps.
Laws 1988, Chapter 67 established an OGCC publication revolving fund.
Laws 1989, Chapter 142 expanded requirements for posting a bond to drill a well, allowed emergency orders to be issued without having to meet the notice requirements of A.R.S. Title 41, Chapter 6 (Arizona Administrative Procedure laws) and established a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for violations of OGCC laws.
Pursuant to legislation enacted in 1991 designed to reduce general fund expenditures, the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) was authorized to provide administrative and staff support to the OGCC. The measure eliminated the authority for the OGCC to employ personnel and appoint an executive director, transferring those duties to the state geologist. See Laws 1991, Chapter 265.
Laws 2000, Chapter 219 required the OGCC to provide 60 days notice to an operator before records could be inspected. The measure also addressed the period of time that drilling information would be considered to be confidential.
Until 2016, the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) provided administrative and staff support to the OGCC. Laws 2016, Chapter 128 transferred that responsibility to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). The measure authorized ADEQ to appoint a person to act on behalf of the OGCC to administer and enforce provisions of law relating to the OGCC. Monies collected by the OGCC from the sale of maps and reports will be deposited in the ADEQ Permit Administration Fund (rather than the OGCC Publication Revolving Fund) and used to cover the cost of additional OGCC publications.
Arizona Revised Statutes
- Laws 1959, Chapter 112
- Laws 1973, Chapter 43
- Laws 1988, Chapter 67
- Laws 1989, Chapter 142
- Laws 1991, Chapter 265
- Laws 2000, Chapter 219
- Laws 2016, Chapter 128
Oil and Gas Conservation Commission www.azogcc.az.gov
Sunset Review of the Arizona Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, submitted to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, December 16, 2005. azmemory.azlibrary.gov
Related collections at Arizona State Archives
RG 67 – Arizona Geological Survey, Oil and Gas Commission