Board debates raising bond requirements for gas and oil drillers

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – A state board is weighing whether to raise bonding requirements for natural gas and oil drillers.

The Board of Minerals and Environment is considering the increase as the state pursues a $15.5 million lawsuit against a Texas-based company for abandoning gas wells in western South Dakota.

Spyglass Cedar Creek drilled 40 natural gas wells near Buffalo then abandoned them after natural gas prices plummeted.

Board members called the Spyglass saga a “perfect storm.”

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Minerals and Mining program administrator Mike Lees says the state has not had similar issues with other oil and gas developers in the state.