30 CFR § 250.1715 - How must I permanently plug a well?

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§ 250.1715 How must I permanently plug a well?

(a) You must permanently plug wells according to the table in this section. The District Manager may require additional well plugs as necessary.

Permanent Well Plugging Requirements

If you have . . . Then you must use . . .
(1) Zones in open hole, Cement plug(s) set from at least 100 feet below the bottom to 100 feet above the top of oil, gas, and fresh-water zones to isolate fluids in the strata
(2) Open hole below casing, (i) A cement plug, set by the displacement method, at least 100 feet above and below deepest casing shoe;
(ii) A cement retainer with effective back-pressure control set 50 to 100 feet above the casing shoe, and a cement plug that extends at least 100 feet below the casing shoe and at least 50 feet above the retainer; or
(iii) A bridge plug set 50 feet to 100 feet above the shoe with 50 feet of cement on top of the bridge plug, for expected or known lost circulation conditions
(3) A perforated zone that is currently open and not previously squeezed or isolated, (i) A method to squeeze cement to all perforations;
(ii) A cement plug set by the displacement method, at least 100 feet above to 100 feet below the perforated interval, or down to a casing plug, whichever is less; or
(iii) If the perforated zones are isolated from the hole below, you may use any of the plugs specified in paragraphs (a)(3)(iii)(A) through (E) of this section instead of those specified in paragraphs (a)(3)(i) and (a)(3)(ii) of this section.
(A) A cement retainer with effective back-pressure control set 50 to 100 feet above the top of the perforated interval, and a cement plug that extends at least 100 feet below the bottom of the perforated interval with at least 50 feet of cement above the retainer;
(B) A casing bridge plug set 50 to 100 feet above the top of the perforated interval and at least 50 feet of cement on top of the bridge plug;
(C) A cement plug at least 200 feet in length, set by the displacement method, with the bottom of the plug no more than 100 feet above the perforated interval;
(D) A through-tubing basket plug set no more than 100 feet above the perforated interval with at least 50 feet of cement on top of the basket plug; or
(E) A tubing plug set no more than 100 feet above the perforated interval topped with a sufficient volume of cement so as to extend at least 100 feet above the uppermost packer in the wellbore and at least 300 feet of cement in the casing annulus immediately above the packer.
(4) A casing stub where the stub end is within the casing, (i) A cement plug set at least 100 feet above and below the stub end;
(ii) A cement retainer or bridge plug set at least 50 to 100 feet above the stub end with at least 50 feet of cement on top of the retainer or bridge plug; or
(iii) A cement plug at least 200 feet long with the bottom of the plug set no more than 100 feet above the stub end.
(5) A casing stub where the stub end is below the casing, A plug as specified in paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section, as applicable.
(6) An annular space that communicates with open hole and extends to the mud line, A cement plug at least 200 feet long set in the annular space. For a well completed above the ocean surface, you must pressure test each casing annulus to verify isolation.
(7) A subsea well with unsealed annulus, A cutter to sever the casing, and you must set a stub plug as specified in paragraphs (a)(4) and (a)(5) of this section.
(8) A well with casing, A cement surface plug at least 150 feet long set in the smallest casing that extends to the mud line with the top of the plug no more than 150 feet below the mud line.
(9) Fluid left in the hole, A fluid in the intervals between the plugs that is dense enough to exert a hydrostatic pressure that is greater than the formation pressures in the intervals.
(10) Permafrost areas, (i) A fluid to be left in the hole that has a freezing point below the temperature of the permafrost, and a treatment to inhibit corrosion; and
(ii) Cement plugs designed to set before freezing and have a low heat of hydration.
(11) Removed the barriers required in § 250.420(b)(3) for the well to be completed Two independent barriers, one of which must be a mechanical barrier, in the center wellbore as described in § 250.420(b)(3) once the well is to be placed in a permanent or temporary abandonment.

(b) You must test the first plug below the surface plug and all plugs in lost circulation areas that are in open hole. The plug must pass one of the following tests to verify plug integrity:

(1) A pipe weight of at least 15,000 pounds on the plug; or

(2) A pump pressure of at least 1,000 pounds per square inch. Ensure that the pressure does not drop more than 10 percent in 15 minutes. The District Manager may require you to tests other plug(s).

[76 FR 64462, Oct. 18, 2011, as amended at 77 FR 50900, Aug. 22, 2012; 81 FR 26038, Apr. 29, 2016]