IN.gov - Skip Navigation

Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Oil & Gas > FAQs FAQs

General

Permitting and Bonding

Drilling units, well spacing and pooling units

Compliance and enforcement

General

Q: What rules must I follow to drill or operate an oil or gas related well in Indiana?
A: The oil and gas rules cover the requirements for drilling and operating a well in Indiana.

Q: How can I obtain forms from the division?
A: Forms may be downloaded from this site by clicking HERE or you may also call the division at (317) 232-4055 or write to the division at 402 W. Washington St., Rm. 293, Indianapolis, IN 46204 to obtain forms.

Q: How do I get information about oil and gas related wells in Indiana?
A: The records in the files of the Division of Oil and Gas contain information about oil and gas wells in Indiana. You can also find well information by contacting the Energy Resources Section of the Indiana Geological Survey which is located in the Geology Bldg. at Indiana University, 611 N. Walnut Grove, Bloomington, IN (812) 855-5412.

Q: Can I keep the information on my well confidential?
A: The division can keep well completion information confidential for a period of one year from the date of completion. At the end of that period the records become public. To obtain confidentiality you must submit a written request with each completion report you wish to keep confidential. Information other than completion information cannot be kept confidential.

Q: What can you tell me about oil and gas leasing?
A: Oil and gas leases are private contracts which are not under the jurisdiction of the Division of Oil and Gas. However, before entering into a lease agreement you may wish to consult an oil and gas attorney. To assist you in finding an attorney, the Evansville Bar Association maintains an attorney referral service. Additional information about leasing can be obtained by reading the brochure Oil and Gas Leasing on Indiana Farmland, 1997, Jerry Harrison, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.

Permitting and Bonding

Q: How long does it take to get a permit?
A: Permit processing times depend upon the type of permit being sought but typically range as follows:

  • Oil, Gas, Gas Storage/ Observation, Non Potable Water Supply, and Geologic or Structure Test permits take about 4-5 working days to process. (Expedited permits in these categories take less than 2 days)
  • Non Commercial Gas permits can be processed in about 22-23 calendar days including a mandatory 18 day public notice period.
  • Class II Injection permits can be processed in about 45-60 calendar days including a mandatory 18 day public notice period.

Q: What should I do if my permit is denied?
A: If your permit was denied for enforcement reasons you should contact the Enforcement Manager jamrhein@dnr.IN.gov for further details. For any other reasons you should contact the Assistant Director, Technical Section

Q: What are the bonding requirements for an oil and gas related well?
A: Each well drilled for oil and gas purposes must have an individual bond in the amount of $2,500 unless you or your company qualify under the Annual Well Fee only program (For more information about this program please call the Assistant Director, Permitting and Compliance at 317-232-6961 or by e-mail at Jim AmRhein jamrhein@dnr.IN.gov). Instead of an individual bond an applicant may maintain a $45,000 blanket bond to cover any number of wells. Bonds must be in one of three forms:

  1. A Surety bond written by a registered insurance company
  2. A cash bond in the form of a Certified check made out to the Department of Natural Resources
  3. An original Certificate of Deposit with the owner or operator named as the purchaser and an original Verification of Certificate form.

Q: Is there a fee for permits?
A: There is a $250 permit fee for all permits. If you request expedited permitting you must submit a $500 fee in addition to the general $250 fee.

Q: How much surface casing should I set?
A: That depends on the location of the well and the depth to the lowest Underground Source of Drinking Water in the area. You should check with the appropriate field inspector for local conditions. For further information on casing requirements please review 312 IAC 16-5-9

Q: If I want to drill or operate wells as a corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability company are there any additional requirements?
A: Yes. These types of organizations must register with the Corporations Division of the Secretary of States office. Further information about registration requirements can be obtained by calling the Corporations Division at (317) 232- 6576.

Q: How long is my drilling and operating permit valid for?
A: Permits are valid for a period of 1 year from the date of issuance unless acted on. If a well is drilled within the year and operated thereafter, the permit is good indefinitely.

Q: If I sell my well do I have to file any paperwork with the division?
A: Yes. In order to transfer a permit you must submit a completed

Application for Permit Transfer form with an appropriate bond.

NOTE: Until the transfer is approved by the division the well remains the responsibility of the current operator.

Q: Can I FAX a permit application to the division?
A: Yes. However, the permit cannot be issued until the division has originals for all forms that require a signature or seal and the permit fee.

Q: What could cause my permit application to be denied or delayed?
A: Any of the following conditions can cause your permit to be denied or delayed:

  1. An incomplete or incorrect application. All applicable areas must be correctly filled out.
  2. Absence of permit fee.
  3. Missing or incorrect original survey (Unless already on file with the division). Note: Seal by registered land surveyor is required.
  4. Missing or incorrect original organizational report.
  5. Enforcement actions or prior permit revocations. Contact Jim AmRhein jamrhein@dnr.IN.gov
  6. Missing or incorrect bond information (If required). Example: A CD that is not accompanied by a Verification of Certificate form.
  7. Missing or incorrect public notice (If required).
  8. Missing or incorrect communitization/pooling agreement information.
  9. Failure to register with the Secretary of State (required for Corporations, Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies) Call the Indiana Secretary of State at 317/232-6576 for further information.

Drilling units, well spacing and pooling units

Q: What is a drilling unit and what are the unit requirements?
A: A drilling unit is the acreage that is assigned to a single well for conservation purposes. The amount of acreage required depends upon the type and depth of the well as follows:

  • Oil wells in sandstone reservoirs require a 10 acre drilling unit consisting of a 1/4,1/4,1/4 section
  • Oil wells in all other types of reservoirs require a 20 acre drilling unit consisting of 1/2 of a 1/4,1/4 section
  • Gas wells shallower than 1000 feet require the same drilling units as oil wells
  • Gas wells deeper than 1000 feet require a 40 acre drilling unit consisting of a 1/4,1/4 section

Q: What is well spacing and what are the spacing requirements?
A: Well spacing is the distance between wells and from a well to an unconsolidated property boundary. Spacing requirements exist to protect the correlative rights of mineral rights owners. The spacing requirements for wells are as follows:

  • Oil wells: 660 feet between wells capable of production from the same zone and 330 feet from lease lines
  • Gas wells shallower than 1000 feet (Same as Oil wells)
  • Gas wells deeper than 1000 feet: 1320 feet between wells capable of production from the same zone and 330 feet from lease lines
  • Non-commercial gas wells: None (Note: Public notice required)
  • Class II injection wells: None (Note: Public notice required)
  • Non potable water supply wells: None
  • Geologic/ structure test wells: None
  • Test holes: None
  • Geophysical surveying shot holes: None(Note: Direct notice to residents with 1 mile required)

Note: Exceptions to the pooling unit or well spacing requirements can be considered at an informal hearing if the applicant submits a petition requesting the exception. To review the format for an exception petition click HERE.

Q: What is a pooling unit?
A: A pooling unit is an agreement in which all of the individual participants agree to combine their acreage into a single unit for operational purposes and to participate in the unit based upon the amount of mineral acreage they hold within the unit. Note: It has no relationship to a drilling unit.

Compliance and enforcement

Q: Who do I contact to report a possible violation of the oil and gas law, a crude oil or saltwater spill, or water well problem which I believe is related to oilfield operations?
A: You may either submit a request for an inspection by e-mail or via telephone. Note: For Northern and Central Indiana you should contact Jim AmRhein at (317) 232-6961 jamrhein@dnr.IN.gov. For Southern Indiana you should contact Kevin York at (812) 853-8640 kyork@dnr.IN.gov.

Q: If I receive an enforcement notice from the division what should I do?
A: The most important step you can take upon receiving an enforcement notice of any kind is to contact the divisions Assistant Director, Permitting and Compliance as soon as possible after receiving the notice. However, it is important to note that the notice may contain a process for obtaining administrative review and that contact with the division does not constitute a formal request for such review.