(a)General. All tubing installations open to hydrocarbon-bearing zones shall be equipped with subsurface safety devices that will shut off the flow from the well in the event of an emergency unless, after application and justification, the well is determined by the District Manager to be incapable of natural flowing. These devices may consist of a surface-controlled subsurface safety valve (SSSV), a subsurface-controlled SSSV, an injection valve, a tubing plug, or a tubing/annular subsurface safety device, and any associated safety valve lock or landing nipple.
(b)Specifications for SSSVs. Surface-controlled and subsurface-controlled SSSVs and safety valve locks and landing nipples installed in the OCS shall conform to the requirements in § 250.806 of this part.
(c)Surface-controlled SSSVs. All tubing installations open to a hydrocarbon-bearing zone which is capable of natural flow shall be equipped with a surface-controlled SSSV, except as specified in paragraphs (d), (f), and (g) of this section. The surface controls may be located on the site or a remote location. Wells not previously equipped with a surface-controlled SSSV and wells in which a surface-controlled SSSV has been replaced with a subsurface-controlled SSSV in accordance with paragraph (d)(2) of this section shall be equipped with a surface-controlled SSSV when the tubing is first removed and reinstalled.
(d)Subsurface-controlled SSSVs. Wells may be equipped with subsurface-controlled SSSVs in lieu of a surface-controlled SSSV provided the lessee demonstrates to the District Manager's satisfaction that one of the following criteria are met:
(1) Wells not previously equipped with surface-controlled SSSVs shall be so equipped when the tubing is first removed and reinstalled,
(2) The subsurface-controlled SSSV is installed in wells completed from a single-well or multiwell satellite caisson or seafloor completions, or
(3) The subsurface-controlled SSSV is installed in wells with a surface-controlled SSSV that has become inoperable and cannot be repaired without removal and reinstallation of the tubing.
(e)Design, installation, and operation of SSSVs. The SSSVs shall be designed, installed, operated, and maintained to ensure reliable operation.
(1) The device shall be installed at a depth of 100 feet or more below the seafloor within 2 days after production is established. When warranted by conditions such as permafrost, unstable bottom conditions, hydrate formation, or paraffins, an alternate setting depth of the subsurface safety device may be approved by the District Manager.
(2) Until a subsurface safety device is installed, the well shall be attended in the immediate vicinity so that emergency actions may be taken while the well is open to flow. During testing and inspection procedures, the well shall not be left unattended while open to production unless a properly operating subsurface-safety device has been installed in the well.
(3) The well shall not be open to flow while the subsurface safety device is removed, except when flowing of the well is necessary for a particular operation such as cutting paraffin, bailing sand, or similar operations.
(4) All SSSVs must be inspected, installed, maintained, and tested in accordance with American Petroleum Institute Recommended Practice 14B, Recommended Practice for Design, Installation, Repair, and Operation of Subsurface Safety Valve Systems (as specified in § 250.198).
(f)Subsurface safety devices in shut-in wells.
(1) New completions (perforated but not placed on production) and completions shut in for a period of 6 months shall be equipped with either—
(i) A pump-through-type tubing plug;
(ii) A surface-controlled SSSV, provided the surface control has been rendered inoperative; or
(iii) An injection valve capable of preventing backflow.
(2) The setting depth of the subsurface safety device shall be approved by the District Manager on a case-by-case basis, when warranted by conditions such as permafrost, unstable bottom conditions, hydrate formations, and paraffins.
(g)Subsurface safety devices in injection wells. A surface-controlled SSSV or an injection valve capable of preventing backflow shall be installed in all injection wells. This requirement is not applicable if the District Manager concurs that the well is incapable of flowing. The lessee shall verify the no-flow condition of the well annually.
(h)Temporary removal for routine operations.
(1) Each wireline- or pumpdown-retrievable subsurface safety device may be removed, without further authorization or notice, for a routine operation which does not require the approval of a Form BSEE-0124, Application for Permit to Modify, in § 250.601 of this part for a period not to exceed 15 days.
(2) The well shall be identified by a sign on the wellhead stating that the subsurface safety device has been removed. The removal of the subsurface safety device shall be noted in the records as required in § 250.804(b) of this part. If the master valve is open, a trained person shall be in the immediate vicinity of the well to attend the well so that emergency actions may be taken, if necessary.
(3) A platform well shall be monitored, but a person need not remain in the well-bay area continuously if the master valve is closed. If the well is on a satellite structure, it must be attended or a pump-through plug installed in the tubing at least 100 feet below the mud line and the master valve closed, unless otherwise approved by the District Manager.
(4) The well shall not be allowed to flow while the subsurface safety device is removed, except when flowing the well is necessary for that particular operation. The provisions of this paragraph are not applicable to the testing and inspection procedures in § 250.804 of this part.
(i)Additional safety equipment. All tubing installations in which a wireline- or pumpdown-retrievable subsurface safety device is installed after the effective date of this subpart shall be equipped with a landing nipple with flow couplings or other protective equipment above and below to provide for the setting of the SSSV. The control system for all surface-controlled SSSVs shall be an integral part of the platform Emergency Shutdown System (ESD). In addition to the activation of the ESD by manual action on the platform, the system may be activated by a signal from a remote location. Surface-controlled SSSVs shall close in response to shut-in signals from the ESD and in response to the fire loop or other fire detection devices.
(j)Emergency action. In the event of an emergency, such as an impending storm, any well not equipped with a subsurface safety device and which is capable of natural flow shall have the device properly installed as soon as possible with due consideration being given to personnel safety.
Title 30 published on 2013-07-01
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