2011 ORS § 522.405¹
Unitization
  • development of unit agreement
  • rules

(1) When two or more separately owned tracts of land are within an area under which a reservoir is located or reasonably believed to be located, or when there are separately owned interests in all or part of such an area, the governing board of the State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, upon its own motion may or upon the application of an interested person or state or local governmental governing body, special district or agency, shall review the need for unitization of the area. The board by rule or order may require the development of a unit agreement for the geothermal resource area if it finds:

(a) Unitized management, operation and development of the geothermal resources in a reservoir is necessary to increase the ultimate recovery of the resources;

(b) The application of unitized methods of operation will prevent waste and aid efficient production and utilization of the resource; or

(c) Unitization and the unitized method of operation are in the public interest and reasonably necessary to protect the correlative rights of owners.

(2) When the board requires the development of a unit agreement under this section, it shall encourage the development of a voluntary agreement between the affected parties. In the absence of a voluntary agreement, the board shall itself develop or cause to be developed a unit agreement that satisfies the provisions of ORS 273.775 (Definitions for ORS 273.775 to 273.790), 308A.050 (Legislative intent) to 308A.128 (Certain district assessments inapplicable to exclusive farm use zone farmland), 522.005 (Definitions), 522.015 (Policy), 522.405 (Unitization) to 522.545 (Rulemaking authority), 522.815 (Rules by board) and 522.990 (Penalties). In adopting a rule or entering an order for a unit agreement, the board shall consider any plant dedicated area agreement in effect and shall not contravene or interfere with that agreement unless it finds that a term or condition of that agreement violates the policies stated in ORS 522.015 (Policy). The board shall require the development of the resource in accordance with a proposed unit agreement if it finds that the agreement conforms with the provisions of ORS 273.775 (Definitions for ORS 273.775 to 273.790), 308A.050 (Legislative intent) to 308A.128 (Certain district assessments inapplicable to exclusive farm use zone farmland), 522.005 (Definitions), 522.015 (Policy), 522.405 (Unitization) to 522.545 (Rulemaking authority), 522.815 (Rules by board) and 522.990 (Penalties).

(3) The development of a unit agreement under subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall be conducted as a rulemaking proceeding in accordance with ORS chapter 183 unless an interested party requests that it be conducted as a contested case in accordance with ORS chapter 183. In either event, notice shall be given in accordance with the applicable provisions of ORS chapter 183.

(4) As used in this section, plant dedicated area agreement means a contractual relationship in geothermal energy development between a geothermal resource owner and a customer which makes a specific surface area and related resource base available exclusively to that customer. [1981 c.588 §8; 1999 c.314 §75]