36 CFR § 9.118 - What additional operating standards apply to drilling, stimulation, and production operations?

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§ 9.118 What additional operating standards apply to drilling, stimulation, and production operations?

If you conduct drilling, stimulation, and production operations, you must meet all of the standards in this section.

(a)Drilling.

(1) You must use containerized mud circulation systems for operations.

(2) You must not create earthen pits for any use. Earthen pits used solely for secondary containment on sites existing before December 5, 2016 may continue in use; however, the Superintendent may require such structures to be lined or removed depending on site-specific operational and environmental conditions.

(3) You must take all necessary precautions to keep your wells under control at all times, use only contractors or employees trained and competent to drill and operate the wells, and use only oil field equipment and practices generally used in the industry.

(4) You must design, implement, and maintain integrated casing, cementing, drilling fluid, completion, stimulation, and blowout prevention programs. These programs must be based upon sound engineering principles to prevent escape of fluids to the surface and to isolate and protect usable water zones throughout the life of the well, taking into account all relevant geologic and engineering factors.

(b)Stimulation operations including hydraulic fracturing.

(1) You must not begin injection activities before you demonstrate the mechanical integrity of all surface and downhole tubulars and equipment to differential pressures equal to at least those calculated at the maximum anticipated treating pressure.

(2) You must continuously monitor and record the treating pressures and all annular pressures before, during, and after the treatment to ensure that treatment materials are directed to the intended zone.

(3) If mechanical integrity is lost during the treatment, you must immediately cease the operation and notify the Superintendent as soon as feasible, but no later than 24 hours after the incident. Within 15 days after the occurrence, you must submit to the Superintendent a report containing all details pertaining to the incident, including corrective actions taken.

(c)Production.

(1) You must monitor producing conditions in order to maintain the mechanical integrity of both surface and subsurface equipment.

(2) You must maintain your well to prevent escape of fluids to the surface and to isolate and protect usable water zones throughout the life of the well, taking into account all relevant geologic and engineering factors.

(3) You must identify wells and related facilities by a sign, which must remain in place until the well is plugged and abandoned and the related facilities are closed. The sign must be of durable construction, and the lettering must be legible and large enough to be read under normal conditions at a distance of at least 50 feet. Each sign must show the name of the well, name of the operator, and the emergency contact phone number.

(4) You must remove all equipment and materials that are no longer needed for a particular phase of your operation.

(5) You must plug all wells to:

(i) Prevent a pathway of migration for fluids along any portion of the bore; and

(ii) Leave the surface in a clean and safe condition that will not impede surface reclamation or pose a hazard to human health and safety.