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Office of Mineral Resources

Leasing Manual

How to Acquire a Mineral Lease on State and State Agency Lands and Water Bottoms in the State of Louisiana

 

Step 2: Pre-Nomination Research

 

C. Availability Research

A party seeking to nominate state or state agency lands or water bottoms for mineral lease shall conduct research prior to nomination to determine and confirm that the state or state agency lands or water bottoms are available for mineral lease. The following conditions indicate when state lands or water bottoms are available for state mineral lease only. Parties researching availability of state agency lands or water bottoms for state agency mineral lease are referred to the public records and the pertinent state agency.

1.         Conditions Indicating Availability for State Mineral Lease

a.

The State Mineral Board has not issued a moratorium against mineral leasing the state lands or water bottoms, e.g. like it has for Lake Pontchartrain.

   
b.

The state lands or water bottoms have not been nominated and approved for advertisement by the State Mineral Board for a future state mineral lease sale.

   
c.

The state lands or water bottoms are not subject to an active or non-released expired/terminated state mineral lease or state operating agreement.

   
i.

The state lands or water bottoms have been fully released according to State Mineral Board instructions from an active state mineral lease or state operating agreement.

   
ii.

The state lands or water bottoms are subject to an expired/terminated state mineral lease or state operating agreement that has been fully released in its entirety according to State Mineral Board instructions.

   
 

Note:  A release is official when it appears on the GIS (Geographic Information System) Interactive Map component of SONRIS, the Department of Natural Resources’s Strategic Online Natural Resources Information System, at www.sonris.com.  (Instructions for releasing acreage from a state mineral lease and a state operating agreement are provided separately.)

   
d.

The state lands or water bottoms are not subject to an active state exclusive geophysical agreement II or III.

   
i. State Exclusive Geophysical Agreement II.  A one-half (½) mile buffer zone is established around existing state mineral leases falling within the geographical area of an existing state EGA II. The state EGA II grantee and the state mineral lessee have the exclusive right to nominate state lands or water bottoms that fall within the one-half (½) mile buffer zone for state mineral lease and the state EGA II grantee has the exclusive right to nominate available state lands or water bottoms that fall outside the one-half (½) mile buffer zone for state mineral lease. LAC 43:V.103(D).
   
ii. State Exclusive Geophysical Agreement III. A one-half (½) mile buffer zone is established around existing state mineral leases falling within the geographical area of an existing EGA III.   The state EGA III grantee and the state mineral lessee have the exclusive right to nominate state lands or water bottoms that fall within the one-half (½) mile buffer zone for state mineral lease and the state EGA III grantee has the exclusive right to select available state lands or water bottoms that fall outside the one-half (½) mile buffer zone for state mineral lease. LAC 43:V.103(E).

2.          Availability Records 

The following public records and publications provide information as to the availability of state lands or water bottoms for state mineral lease.

a.         SONRIS

Many of the public records maintained by the Office of Mineral Resources are freely available online from SONRIS, the Department of Natural Resources’s Strategic Online Natural Resources Information System, at www.sonris.com. Use high-technology tools such as:

a.

Document Access to retrieve and view Office of Mineral Resources document images such as official state mineral lease and state operating agreement file documents, including releases, state agency leases granted by the State Mineral Board, and the official minutes and resolutions from State Mineral Board regular meetings and state mineral lease sales.

   
b.

Database Access to retrieve Office of Mineral Resources database records providing comprehensive information as to the granting and administration of state mineral leases and state operating agreements and the granting of state agency mineral leases by the State Mineral Board, including same-day state mineral lease sale reports.

   
c.

GIS (Geographic Information System) Access to retrieve interactive state mineral leasing map layers sourced by the Office of Mineral Resources that provide data on tracts offered for state and state agency mineral lease and exclusive geophysical agreement at the upcoming two (2) monthly state mineral lease sales; new state mineral leases (appears approximately three (3) weeks after the sale); active state mineral leases and state operating agreements; recent releases; proposed and existing state and state agency exclusive geophysical agreements; and otherwise unavailable acreage.

The Office of Mineral Resources invites the public to use the computers in the public reference area of its Baton Rouge office for high-speed access to SONRIS, as well as to use its guidelines for online access to its database records and document images (provided separately).

b.         Louisiana State Leases CD/ROM

This monthly CD/ROM publication by the Office of Mineral Resources incorporates the GIS data viewer ArcExplorer which allows display, query, retrieval, and download of data provided on tracts offered for state and state agency mineral lease and state exclusive geophysical agreement at the upcoming two (2) monthly state mineral lease sales; new state mineral leases granted at the most recent monthly state mineral lease sale; active state mineral leases and state operating agreements; recent releases; otherwise unavailable acreage; and other geographical reference layers. An annual subscription is available upon request for an annual fee of two hundred dollars ($200.00). LSA-R.S. 30:126(B). A subscription form for the Louisiana State Leases CD/ROM is available online on the OMR Forms page.

c.          Notice of Publication

This monthly publication by the Office of Mineral Resources contains written property descriptions and plats of tracts offered for state and state agency mineral lease and state exclusive geophysical agreement at the monthly state mineral lease sale, as well as any special terms or conditions, bid and sale particulars, and any special notices. The Notice of Publication is distributed approximately 50 days prior to the pertinent lease sale. It is available freely online at the Mineral Board Web site or via annual subscription upon request for an annual fee of one hundred twenty dollars ($120.00). LSA-R.S. 30:126(B). A subscription form for the Notice of Publication is available online on the OMR Forms page.

d.         Official Files

i.

State Mineral Leases. The Office of Mineral Resources, Petroleum Lands Division, Records Management Section, maintains the official state mineral lease files. LSA-R.S. 30:130. Files already imaged are freely available online at www.sonris.com.

   
ii.

State Agency Mineral Leases. (Included for information purposes only.) The Office of Mineral Resources, Petroleum Lands Division, Records Management Section, does not maintain official state agency mineral lease files per se. While an official sequential state lease number is assigned and a mineral lease file created by the section for each state agency mineral lease awarded by the State Mineral Board on behalf of a state agency (no number is assigned to and no mineral lease file is created for state agency mineral leases merely submitted for State Mineral Board approval), generally the only file contents are a copy of the state agency mineral lease awarded and a copy of the cover letter transmitting the state agency mineral lease to the state agency. The state agency itself maintains the official state agency mineral lease file. LSA-R.S. 30:130, 153. Files already imaged are freely available online at www.sonris.com.

   
iii.

State and State Agency Exclusive Geophysical Agreements. (State Agency Exclusive Geophysical Agreement files are referenced for informational purposes only.)  The Office of Mineral Resources, Geological and Engineering Division, maintains the official state exclusive geophysical agreement files, as well as files for any state agency exclusive geophysical agreements processed and issued by the State Mineral Board at the request of state agencies. However, except for the information included in a seismic permit, including the plat showing the geometric polygon of the area on which the seismic is to be shot, these files are confidential and an exception to the public records laws. LSA-R.S. 30:130, 213; LAC 43:V.101(C). Any questions concerning state or state agency exclusive geophysical agreements should be directed to the Division directly, (225) 342-4433.

   
iv.

State Operating Agreement Files. The Office of Mineral Resources, Petroleum Lands Division, Records Management Section, maintains the official state operating agreement files.  LSA-R.S. 30:130.  Files already imaged are freely available online at www.sonris.com.

   
e.

Official State Mineral Board Minute Book

The Office of Mineral Resources, Executive Division, Mineral Board Section, maintains the official Minute Book of the State Mineral Board. This public record contains the minutes and resolutions from the Board’s regular meetings and state mineral lease sales dating from its first meeting in 1937 to the present date. LSA-R.S. 30:130. It is available online via Document Access at www.sonris.com.

f.            Official State and Parish Journals

The State Mineral Board, through the Office of Mineral Resources, publishes an advertisement of the state and state agency tracts it decides to offer for mineral lease and exclusive geophysical agreement in the official journal of the state and official journal(s) of the parish(es) where the lands are located and otherwise at its discretion, not more than sixty (60) days prior to the date for the public opening of bids (generally the state mineral lease sale date).  LSA-R.S. 30:126.

The official state journal is The Advocate newspaper published in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A party interested in subscribing to this newspaper may contact the Circulation Department at (225) 388-0200 or via e-mail at subscriptions@theadvocate.com.

Pursuant to LSA-R.S. 43:150 and 43:174, the Secretary of State's office maintains a list of the official parish journals as appointed for one-year terms (fiscal year beginning July 1st) by the parish governing authorities. The list includes the name, address, and telephone number of the newspaper, and the expiration date of the appointment. The list of official parish journals may be viewed online at The Secretary of State's Official Parish Journals listing.