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55-177. Removal of structures and abutments from lands after abandoning wells; exception. (a) Leaving the surface of lands with a part of the operating structure or other equipment intact after abandoning oil or gas wells is against public policy, and constitutes a public nuisance, and shall be hereafter prohibited. Whenever any lease operator abandons any oil or gas well, the lease operator, within six months thereafter, shall remove any rig, derrick or other operating structure, and all abutments and other obstacles of every kind or size used in the operation of such oil or gas lease, from the land upon which the well was theretofore operated, and shall grade the surface of the soil in such manner as to leave the land, as nearly as practicable, in the same condition after the removal of such structures, equipment and obstacles as it was before such structures and abutments were placed thereon, unless the owner of the land and the abandoning party have entered into a contract providing otherwise.

(b) Any person, firm, association, partnership or corporation violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500.

History: L. 1986, ch. 201, ยง 29; July 1.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"Recent Developments in Kansas Oil and Gas Law (1983-1988)," Phillip E. DeLaTorre, 37 K.L.R. 907, 916 (1989).

"Incorporating a Century of Oil and Gas Jurisprudence Into the Modern Oil and Gas Lease," David E. Pierce, 33 W.L.J. 786, 792 (1994).

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