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e-CFR data is current as of August 5, 2020

Title 30Chapter IISubchapter BPart 250Subpart D → §250.459

Title 30: Mineral Resources
Subpart D—Oil and Gas Drilling Operations

§250.459   What are the safety requirements for drilling fluid-handling areas?

You must classify drilling fluid-handling areas according to API RP 500, Recommended Practice for Classification of Locations for Electrical Installations at Petroleum Facilities, Classified as Class I, Division 1 and Division 2 (as incorporated by reference in §250.198); or API RP 505, Recommended Practice for Classification of Locations for Electrical Installations at Petroleum Facilities, Classified as Class 1, Zone 0, Zone 1, and Zone 2 (as incorporated by reference in §250.198). In areas where dangerous concentrations of combustible gas may accumulate, you must install and maintain a ventilation system and gas monitors. Drilling fluid-handling areas must have the following safety equipment:

(a) A ventilation system capable of replacing the air once every 5 minutes or 1.0 cubic feet of air-volume flow per minute, per square foot of area, whichever is greater. In addition:

(1) If natural means provide adequate ventilation, then a mechanical ventilation system is not necessary;

(2) If a mechanical system does not run continuously, then it must activate when gas detectors indicate the presence of 1 percent or more of combustible gas by volume; and

(3) If discharges from a mechanical ventilation system may be hazardous, then you must maintain the drilling fluid-handling area at a negative pressure. You must protect the negative pressure area by using at least one of the following: a pressure-sensitive alarm, open-door alarms on each access to the area, automatic door-closing devices, air locks, or other devices approved by the District Manager;

(b) Gas detectors and alarms except in open areas where adequate ventilation is provided by natural means. You must test and recalibrate gas detectors quarterly. No more than 90 days may elapse between tests;

(c) Explosion-proof or pressurized electrical equipment to prevent the ignition of explosive gases. Where you use air for pressuring equipment, you must locate the air intake outside of and as far as practicable from hazardous areas; and

(d) Alarms that activate when the mechanical ventilation system fails.

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