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

Title 30Chapter IISubchapter BPart 250Subpart H → §250.869


Title 30: Mineral Resources
PART 250—OIL AND GAS AND SULPHUR OPERATIONS IN THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF
Subpart H—Oil and Gas Production Safety Systems


§250.869   General platform operations.

(a) Surface or subsurface safety devices must not be bypassed or blocked out of service unless they are temporarily out of service for startup, maintenance, or testing. You may take only the minimum number of safety devices out of service. Personnel must monitor the bypassed or blocked-out functions until the safety devices are placed back in service. Any surface or subsurface safety device which is temporarily out of service must be flagged. A designated visual indicator must be used to identify the bypassed safety device. You must follow the monitoring procedures as follows:

(1) If you are using a non-computer-based system, meaning your safety system operates primarily with pneumatic supply or non-programmable electrical systems, you must monitor bypassed safety devices by positioning monitoring personnel at either the control panel for the bypassed safety device, or at the bypassed safety device, or at the component that the bypassed safety device would be monitoring when in service. You must also ensure that monitoring personnel are able to view all relevant essential operating conditions until all bypassed safety devices are placed back in service and are able to initiate shut-in action in the event of an abnormal condition.

(2) If you are using a computer-based technology system, meaning a computer-controlled electronic safety system such as supervisory control and data acquisition and remote terminal units, you must monitor bypassed safety devices by maintaining instantaneous communications at all times among remote monitoring personnel and the personnel performing maintenance, testing, or startup. Until all bypassed safety devices are placed back in service, you must also position monitoring personnel at a designated control station that is capable of the following:

(i) Displaying all relevant essential operating conditions that affect the bypassed safety device, well, pipeline, and process component. If electronic display of all relevant essential conditions is not possible, you must have field personnel monitoring the level gauges (sight glass) and pressure gauges in order to know the current operating conditions. You must be in communication with all field personnel monitoring the gauges;

(ii) Controlling the production process equipment and the entire safety system;

(iii) Displaying a visual indicator when safety devices are placed in the bypassed mode; and

(iv) Upon command, overriding the bypassed safety device and initiating shut-in action in the event of an abnormal condition.

(3) You must not bypass for startup any element of the emergency support system or other support system required by API RP 14C, Appendix C (incorporated by reference as specified in §250.198) without first receiving BSEE approval to depart from this operating procedure. These systems include, but are not limited to:

(i) The ESD system to provide a method to manually initiate platform shutdown by personnel observing abnormal conditions or undesirable events. You do not have to receive approval from the District Manager for manual reset and/or initial charging of the system;

(ii) The fire loop system to sense the heat of a fire and initiate platform shutdown, and other fire detection devices (flame, thermal, and smoke) that are used to enhance fire detection capability. You do not have to receive approval from the District Manager for manual reset and/or initial charging of the system;

(iii) The combustible gas detection system to sense the presence of hydrocarbons and initiate alarms and platform shutdown before gas concentrations reach the lower explosive limit;

(iv) Adequate ventilation;

(v) The containment system to collect escaped liquid hydrocarbons and initiate platform shutdown;

(vi) Subsurface safety valves, including those that are self-actuated (subsurface-controlled SSSVs) or those that are activated by an ESD system and/or a fire loop (surface-controlled SSSV). You do not have to receive approval from the District Manager for routine operations in accordance with §250.817;

(vii) The pneumatic supply system; and

(viii) The system for discharging gas to the atmosphere.

(4) In instances where components of the ESD, as listed in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, are bypassed for maintenance, precautions must be taken to provide the equivalent level of protection that existed prior to the bypass.

(b) When wells are disconnected from producing facilities and blind flanged, or equipped with a tubing plug, or the master valves have been locked closed, you are not required to comply with the provisions of API RP 14C (incorporated by reference as specified in §250.198) or this regulation concerning the following:

(1) Automatic fail-close SSVs on wellhead assemblies, and

(2) The PSH and PSL sensors in flowlines from wells.

(c) When pressure or atmospheric vessels are isolated from production facilities (e.g., inlet valve locked closed or inlet blind-flanged) and are to remain isolated for an extended period of time, safety device testing in accordance with API RP 14C (incorporated by reference as specified in §250.198), or this subpart is not required, with the exception of the PSV, unless the vessel is open to the atmosphere.

(d) All open-ended lines connected to producing facilities and wells must be plugged or blind-flanged, except those lines designed to be open-ended such as flare or vent lines.

(e) On all new production safety system installations, component process control devices and component safety devices must not be installed utilizing the same sensing points.

(f) All pneumatic control panels and computer based control stations must be labeled according to API RP 14C nomenclature.

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