Regulators want bonding increased for oil, gas drillers

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota regulators will ask the Legislature to require bigger financial guarantees for oil and gas wells in response to a failed 40-well natural gas project in the northwest part of the state.

State minerals and mining administrator Mike Lees says the the department will ask for changes to the bonding requirements when legislators meet again this winter.

His comments came last week during a meeting of the state Board of Minerals and Environment.

Lees says the department will propose that all oil and gas drillers be required to post bonds of either $50,000 per well, or a $100,000 blanket bond for an unlimited number of wells, regardless of depth.

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