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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXVIII
NATURAL RESOURCES; CONSERVATION, RECLAMATION, AND USE
Chapter 377
ENERGY RESOURCES
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F.S. 377.40
377.40 Negligently permitting gas and oil to go wild or out of control.
(1) In order to protect further the gas fields and oil fields in the state, it is hereby declared to be unlawful for any person to permit negligently any gas or oil well to go wild or to get out of control. The owner of any such well shall, after 24 hours’ written notice by the division given to the owner or the person in possession of such well, make reasonable effort to control such well.
(2) In the event of the failure of the owner of such well, within 24 hours after service of notice above provided for, to control the same, if such can be done within the period or to begin, in good faith upon service of such notice, operations to control such well, or upon failure to prosecute diligently such operations, then the division shall have the right to take charge of the work of controlling such well, and it shall have the right to proceed, through its own agents or by contract with a responsible contractor, to control the well or otherwise to prevent the escape or loss of gas or oil from such well, all at the reasonable expense of the owner of the well. In order to secure the division in the payment of the reasonable cost and expense of controlling or plugging of such well, the division shall retain the possession of the same and shall be entitled to receive and retain the rents, revenues and income therefrom until the costs and expenses incurred by the division shall be repaid. When all such costs and expenses have been repaid, the division shall restore possession of such well to the owner; provided, that in the event the income received by the division shall not be sufficient to reimburse the division, as provided for in this section, the division shall have lien or privilege upon all of the property of the owner of such well, except such as is exempt by law, and the division shall proceed to enforce such lien or privilege by suit brought in any court of competent jurisdiction, the same as any other like civil action, and the judgment so obtained shall be executed in the same manner now provided by law for execution of judgments. Any excess over the amount due the division which the property seized and sold may bring, after payment of court costs, shall be paid over to the owner of such well.
History.s. 36, ch. 22819, 1945; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 631, ch. 95-148.