Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 74.djvu/824

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[74 Stat. 784]
[74 Stat. 784]
PUBLIC LAW 86-000—MMMM. DD, 1960


Authority to alter or modify.

Communiti zation or drilling agreements.

L e a s e term.


PUBLIC LAW 86-705-SEPT. 2, 1960



tion), lessees thereof and their representatives may unite with each other, or jointly or separately with others, in collectively adopting and operating under a cooperative or unit plan of development or operation of such pool, field, or like area, or any part thereof, whenever determined and certified by the Secretary of the Interior to be necessary or advisable in the public interest. The Secretary is thereunto authorized, in his discretion, with the consent of the holders of leases involved, to establish, alter, change, or revoke drilling, producing, rental, minimum royalty, and royalty requirements of such leases and to make such regulations with reference to such leases, with like consent on the part of the lessees, in connection with the institution and operation of any such cooperative or unit plan as he may deem necessary or proper to secure the proper protection of the public interest. The Secretary may provide that oil and gas leases hereafter issued under this Act shall contain a provision requiring the lessee to operate under such a reasonable cooperative or unit plan, and he may prescribe such a plan under which such lessee shall operate, which shall adequately protect the rights of all parties in interest, including the United States. "Any plan authorized by the preceding paragraph which includes lands owned by the United States may, in the discretion of the Secretary, contain a provision whereby authority is vested in the Secretary of the Interior, or any such person, committee, or State or Federal officer or agency as may be designated in the plan, to alter or modify from time to time the rate of prospecting and development and the quantity and rate of production under such plan. All leases operated under any such plan approved or prescribed by the Secretary shall be excepted in determining holdings or control under the provisions of any section of this Act. "When separate tracts cannot be independently developed and operated in conformity with an established well-spacing or development program, any lease, or a portion thereof, may be pooled with other lands, whether or not owned by the United States, under a communitization or drilling agreement providing for an apportionment of production or royalties among the separate tracts of land comprising the drilling or spacing unit when determined by the Secretary of the Interior to be in the public interest, and operations or production pursuant to such an agreement shall be deemed to be operations or production as to each such lease committed thereto. "Any lease issued for a term of twenty years, or any renewal thereof, or any portion of such lease that has become the subject of a cooperative or unit plan of development or operation of a pool, field, or like area, which plan has the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, shall continue in force until the termination of such plan. Any other lease issued under any section of this Act which has heretofore or may hereafter be committed to any such plan that contains a general provision for allocation of oil or gas shall continue in force and effect as to the land committed so long as the lease remains subject to the plan: Provided. That production is had in paying quantities under the plan prior to the expiration date of the term of such lease. Any lease heretofore or hereafter committed to any such plan embracing lands that are in part, within and in part outside of the area covered by any such plan shall be segregated into separate leases as to the lands committed and the lands not committed as of the effective date of unitization: Provided, however. That any such lease as to the nonunitized portion shall continue in force and effect for the term thereof but for not less than two years from the date of such segregation and so lon^ thereafter as oil or gas is produced in paying quantities. The minimum royalty or discovery rental under any lease that has become subject