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e-CFR data is current as of August 6, 2020

Title 30Chapter IISubchapter BPart 250Subpart Q → Subject Group


Title 30: Mineral Resources
PART 250—OIL AND GAS AND SULPHUR OPERATIONS IN THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF
Subpart Q—Decommissioning Activities


Temporary Abandoned Wells

§250.1721   If I temporarily abandon a well that I plan to re-enter, what must I do?

You may temporarily abandon a well when it is necessary for proper development and production of a lease. To temporarily abandon a well, you must do all of the following:

(a) Submit form BSEE-0124, Application for Permit to Modify, and the applicable information required by §250.1712 to the appropriate District Manager and receive approval;

(b) Adhere to the plugging and testing requirements for permanently plugged wells listed in the table in §250.1715, except for §250.1715(a)(8). You do not need to sever the casings, remove the wellhead, or clear the site;

(c) Set a bridge plug or a cement plug at least 100-feet long at the base of the deepest casing string, unless the casing string has been cemented and has not been drilled out. If a cement plug is set, it is not necessary for the cement plug to extend below the casing shoe into the open hole;

(d) Set a retrievable or a permanent-type bridge plug or a cement plug at least 100 feet long in the inner-most casing. The top of the bridge plug or cement plug must be no more than 1,000 feet below the mud line. BSEE may consider approving alternate requirements for subsea wells case-by-case;

(e) Identify and report subsea wellheads, casing stubs, or other obstructions that extend above the mud line according to U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) requirements;

(f) Except in water depths greater than 300 feet, protect subsea wellheads, casing stubs, mud line suspensions, or other obstructions remaining above the seafloor by using one of the following methods, as approved by the District Manager or Regional Supervisor:

(1) A caisson designed according to 30 CFR 250, subpart I, and equipped with aids to navigation;

(2) A jacket designed according to 30 CFR 250, subpart I, and equipped with aids to navigation; or

(3) A subsea protective device that meets the requirements in §250.1722.

(g) Submit certification by a Registered Professional Engineer of the well abandonment design and procedures and that all plugs meet the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section. In addition to the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, the Registered Professional Engineer must also certify the design will include two independent barriers, one of which must be a mechanical barrier, in the center wellbore as described in §250.420(b)(3). The Registered Professional Engineer must be registered in a State of the United States and have sufficient expertise and experience to perform the certification. You must submit this certification with your APM (Form BSEE-0124) required by §250.1712 of this part.

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

§250.1722   If I install a subsea protective device, what requirements must I meet?

If you install a subsea protective device under §250.1721(f)(3), you must install it in a manner that allows fishing gear to pass over the obstruction without damage to the obstruction, the protective device, or the fishing gear.

(a) Use form BSEE-0124, Application for Permit to Modify to request approval from the appropriate District Manager to install a subsea protective device.

(b) The protective device may not extend more than 10 feet above the seafloor (unless BSEE approves otherwise).

(c) You must trawl over the protective device when you install it (adhere to the requirements at §250.1741(d) through (h)). If the trawl does not pass over the protective device or causes damage to it, you must notify the appropriate District Manager within 5 days and perform remedial action within 30 days of the trawl;

(d) Within 30 days after you complete the trawling test described in paragraph (c) of this section, submit a report to the appropriate District Manager using form BSEE-0125, End of Operations Report (EOR) that includes the following:

(1) The date(s) the trawling test was performed and the vessel that was used;

(2) A plat at an appropriate scale showing the trawl lines;

(3) A description of the trawling operation and the net(s) that were used;

(4) An estimate by the trawling contractor of the seafloor penetration depth achieved by the trawl;

(5) A summary of the results of the trawling test including a discussion of any snags and interruptions, a description of any damage to the protective covering, the casing stub or mud line suspension equipment, or the trawl, and a discussion of any snag removals requiring diver assistance; and

(6) A letter signed by your authorized representative stating that he/she witnessed the trawling test.

(e) If a temporarily abandoned well is protected by a subsea device installed in a water depth less than 100 feet, mark the site with a buoy installed according to the USCG requirements.

(f) Provide annual reports to the Regional Supervisor describing your plans to either re-enter and complete the well or to permanently plug the well.

(g) Ensure that all subsea wellheads, casing stubs, mud line suspensions, or other obstructions in water depths less than 300 feet remain protected.

(1) To confirm that the subsea protective covering remains properly installed, either conduct a visual inspection or perform a trawl test at least annually.

(2) If the inspection reveals that a casing stub or mud line suspension is no longer properly protected, or if the trawl does not pass over the subsea protective covering without causing damage to the covering, the casing stub or mud line suspension equipment, or the trawl, notify the appropriate District Manager within 5 days, and perform the necessary remedial work within 30 days of discovery of the problem.

(3) In your annual report required by paragraph (f) of this section, include the inspection date, results, and method used and a description of any remedial work you will perform or have performed.

(h) You may request approval to waive the trawling test required by paragraph (c) of this section if you plan to use either:

(1) A buoy with automatic tracking capabilities installed and maintained according to USCG requirements at 33 CFR part 67 (or its successor); or

(2) A design and installation method that has been proven successful by trawl testing of previous protective devices of the same design and installed in areas with similar bottom conditions.

[76 FR 64462, Oct. 18, 2011, as amended at 84 FR 21985, May 15, 2019]

§250.1723   What must I do when it is no longer necessary to maintain a well in temporary abandoned status?

If you or BSEE determines that continued maintenance of a well in a temporary abandoned status is not necessary for the proper development or production of a lease, you must:

(a) Promptly and permanently plug the well according to §250.1715;

(b) Remove any casing stub or mud line suspension equipment and any subsea protective covering. You must submit a request for approval to perform such work to the appropriate District Manager using form BSEE-0124, Application for Permit to Modify; and

(c) Clear the well site according to §§250.1740 through 250.1742.

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