RAPID/Geothermal/Texas/Exploration

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Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

Texas Geothermal Exploration Permitting(4-TX)

Developers must obtain either a geothermal lease or, absent a geothermal lease, a prospect permit from the Texas General Land Office (GLO) if they seek to conduct geothermal exploration on state lands or lands with state interests. Developers may request immediate issuance of a geothermal lease in lieu of a prospect permit only if geothermal resources have already been discovered on the project site. 31 TAC 155.42. If a prospect permit is required, then developers must submit an Application to Prospect to the GLO along with a filing fee. 31 TAC 155.41(b). Developers will only be issued a permit if the GLO determines that such issuance is in the best interest of the state. If the developer will conduct seismic work on state-owned lands, then they must also obtain a Seismic Permit from the GLO. Developers should contact the GLO for the appropriate Seismic Permit Application. Developers should also be aware that any exploration conducted on Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) land, then special requirements will apply.

Regardless of who owns of the surface rights and mineral rights, a developer is required to obtain a drilling permit from the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) before conducting any exploration drilling.

More Information

Determine Which State and Federal Permits Apply

Use this overview flowchart and following steps to learn which federal and state permits apply to your projects.

Permitting at a Glance

Texas Federal

Pre-Drilling Exploration Permit Agency: Texas General Land Office Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service
Pre-Drilling Exploration Permit: In Texas, geothermal exploration on state lands or lands with state interests require either a Prospect Permit or a Geothermal Lease from the Texas General Land Office (GLO). In addition, a If the developer will conduct seismic work on state lands, then they must also obtain a Seismic Permit from the GLO. Notice of Intent to Conduct Geothermal Resource Exploration Operations (Form 3200-009)
Drilling Exploration Permit Agency: Railroad Commission of Texas Bureau of Land Management
Drilling Exploration Permit: Regardless of who owns of the surface rights and mineral rights, a developer is required to obtain a drilling permit from the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) before conducting any exploration drilling. [1] Notice of Intent to Conduct Geothermal Resource Exploration Operations (Form 3200-009) (Temperature Gradient Well); Geothermal Drilling Permit (Form 3260-002) (All other drilling activities)

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List of Reference Sources

  1. TAC Title 16 Rule 3.79 (2012).
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