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Alternative Agreements to the Form 610 Operating Agreement

Joseph D. Henry, Oil and Gas Joint Operating Agreement (1990)

The purpose of this paper is to identify some of the situations where the Model Form Operating Agreement, AAPL Form 610-1989 (Form 610 agreement) is not suited for certain types of oil and gas operations. We will address the reasons for the incompatibility and discuss some of the provisions in the alternative agreement that are not readily adaptable for inclusion in the Form 610 agreement. We will also note the differences in organizational structure among the agreements.

For the reasons that will be obvious when operations are considered, the Form 610 is not adaptable to a field-wide unitization. In those instances where the unit operation is applicable primarily to private and state lands, the generally accepted form is the Model Form of Unit Operating Agreement for Statutory Unitization published by the American Petroleum Institute, Division of Production (API Form). The first edition of this agreement was published in March, 1974, and is an adaptation from an earlier non-statutory form of API Unit Operating Agreement that dates back to the mid 1950's. The API Form agreement is included in the Appendix. This Form is currently under revision by the API, Division of Production.

For similar reasons, the Form 610 Operating Agreement is lacking provisions required for the establishment of a Federal Exploratory Unit. The form of operating agreement utilized for t