Oil-and-gas rules classes underway

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

The first of class on federal rule revisions for Osage County oil and gas producers was to be held Wednesday afternoon and six more are planned over the next eight days.

Wah-Zha-Zhi Cultural Center, 1449 W. Main, is hosting the classes, which are being offered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Osage Agency Superintendent Robin Phillips said the revised regulations are a result of negotiations between the BIA and the Osage Tribal Trust. The revisions were developed during a three-year process that started with the U.S. Government’s 2011 settlement with the Osage Nation over the management of tribal members’ trust accounts.

The updated oil and gas regulations are to go into effect in Osage County on July 10 and these training sessions are aimed at familiarizing the producers with their new requirements.

As part of the Osage Tribal Trust Settlement, the tribe and U.S. Department of the Interior agreed to engage in negotiated rulemaking to revise oil and gas regulations governing Osage County.

In a recent letter mailed to producers, Phillips said the rule update “strengthens reporting and inspection requirements, provides more specificity regarding a lessee’s obligations with respect to mining operations and adjusts royalty rate calculations and bonding amounts, in order to protect the best interests of the Osage mineral estate, ensures safety and discourages future regulatory violations.”

BIA officials scheduled the free four-hour training sessions “in order to assist lessees to meet the requirements and learn about the new rule.” The class started at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Following is a list of remaining sessions:

10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.on Thursday, June 18; 5-9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23; 1-5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24, and 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 25.