Code Section Group

Code of Civil Procedure - CCP

PART 2. OF CIVIL ACTIONS [307 - 1062.20]

  ( Part 2 enacted 1872. )

TITLE 10. ACTIONS IN PARTICULAR CASES [725a - 871.7]

  ( Title 10 enacted 1872. )

CHAPTER 4.5. Special Actions and Proceedings to Clear Title [770.010 - 772.060]

  ( Chapter 4.5 added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 44, Sec. 16. )

ARTICLE 3. Right of Entry or Occupation of Surface Lands Under Oil or Gas Lease [772.010 - 772.060]
  ( Article 3 added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 44, Sec. 16. )

772.010.
  

This article applies only to lands within a city in any county with a population exceeding 4,000,000, or with a population of more than 700,000 and less than 710,000 as determined by the 1960 Federal Decennial Census.

(Added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 44, Sec. 16.)

772.020.
  

As used in this article:

(a) “Surface zone” means the zone which lies above a plane which is 500 feet below the surface of the land.

(b) “Subject land” means that area occupied by the particular described surface and surface zone for which plaintiff seeks to terminate the leasehold right of entry and occupation.

(c) “Lease facilities” means storage tanks, wash tanks, separators, heaters, and other facilities reasonably necessary for the production of oil or gas, including secondary recovery operations.

(Added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 44, Sec. 16.)

772.030.
  

(a) If a mining rights lease, including a community lease, exists for the production of oil, gas, or other hydrocarbons, and a right of entry or occupation provided by the lease encumbers all or part of the surface or surface zone of the leasehold lands, any person who owns a fee interest in the surface of the leasehold lands may bring an action in the superior court to terminate the right of entry or occupation as to all or some described portion of the surface and surface zone of the leasehold lands in which the person owns an interest.

(b) No judgment rendered pursuant to this article shall change or affect the terms or operation of any valid unit agreement or valid operating agreement which comes within the provisions of Section 3301 or 3321 of the Public Resources Code.

(Added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 44, Sec. 16.)

772.040.
  

The court may render a judgment terminating the lessee’s right of entry or occupation of the surface and surface zone, subject to such conditions as the court deems fair and equitable, if the evidence shows each of the following:

(a) The document that created the leasehold interest was originally executed more than 20 years prior to filing the action under this article regardless of any amendments to the document. However, if any amendment was entered into expressly for the purpose of waiving, limiting, or rearranging surface rights of entry and occupation by the lessee, the 20-year period shall be computed as if the document were originally executed on the date of execution of the amendment.

(b) The subject land is not presently occupied by any of the following:

(1) A producing oil or gas well or well bore.

(2) A well or well bore being utilized for injection of water, gas, or other substance into geologic substrata as an aid to oil or gas production or to ameliorating subsidence.

(3) A well or well bore being utilized for the disposal injection of waste oil well brine and byproducts.

(4) A well or well bore being utilized for the production of water for use in oil field injection, waterflood, and pressure maintenance programs.

(c) Termination of the right of entry or occupation within the subject land in the manner requested by the plaintiff, or subject to such conditions as the court may impose pursuant to this section, will not significantly interfere with the right of the lessee, under the lease, to continue to conduct operations for the continued production of oil from leasehold strata beneath the surface zone in a practical and economic manner, utilizing such production techniques as will be appropriate to the leasehold area, consistent with good oilfield practice, and to gather, transport, and market the oil.

(Added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 44, Sec. 16.)

772.050.
  

(a) The court may qualify the judgment terminating the surface and surface zone right of entry or occupation so as to provide for limited surface and surface zone easements that the lessee may continue to enjoy within the subject land.

(b) A judgment may be conditioned upon the relocation of pipelines, roadways, equipment, or lease facilities in such manner as will most effectively free the subject land for surface use while safeguarding continued oil and gas operations in a practical and economic manner. Any such condition of the judgment shall require the plaintiff to pay the costs of the relocation. However, the plaintiff shall be entitled to a setoff against the costs to the extent of any benefit to the lessee resulting from the installation of new equipment or material. The plaintiff has the burden of proving any benefit accruing to the lessee.

(Added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 44, Sec. 16.)

772.060.
  

It is against public policy for any oil or gas lease, at its inception, to provide for the waiver of any rights created by this article, or for such rights to be waived by amendment to any oil or gas lease within 20 years of the date of its execution by a plaintiff or the plaintiff’s predecessor in interest.

(Added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 44, Sec. 16.)

CCPCode of Civil Procedure - CCP3.