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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


Site Clearance for Wells, Platforms, and Other Facilities

§250.1740   How must I verify that the site of a permanently plugged well, removed platform, or other removed facility is clear of obstructions?

Within 60 days after you permanently plug a well or remove a platform or other facility, you must verify that the site is clear of obstructions by using one of the following methods:

(a) For a well site, you must either:

(1) Drag a trawl over the site;

(2) Scan across the location using sonar equipment;

(3) Inspect the site using a diver;

(4) Videotape the site using a camera on a remotely operated vehicle (ROV); or

(5) Use another method approved by the District Manager if the particular site conditions warrant.

(b) For a platform or other facility site in water depths less than 300 feet, you must drag a trawl over the site.

(c) For a platform or other facility site in water depths 300 feet or more, you must either:

(1) Drag a trawl over the site;

(2) Scan across the site using sonar equipment; or

(3) Use another method approved by the Regional Supervisor if the particular site conditions warrant.

§250.1741   If I drag a trawl across a site, what requirements must I meet?

If you drag a trawl across the site in accordance with §250.1740, you must meet all of the requirements of this section.

(a) You must drag the trawl in a grid-like pattern as shown in the following table:

For a .  .  .You must drag the trawl across a .  .  .
(1) Well site,300-foot-radius circle centered on the well location.
(2) Subsea well site,600-foot-radius circle centered on the well location.
(3) Platform site,1,320-foot-radius circle centered on the location of the platform.
(4) Single-well caisson, well protector jacket, template, or manifold,600-foot-radius circle centered on the structure location.

(b) You must trawl 100 percent of the limits described in paragraph (a) of this section in two directions.

(c) You must mark the area to be cleared as a hazard to navigation according to USCG requirements until you complete the site clearance procedures.

(d) You must use a trawling vessel equipped with a calibrated navigational positioning system capable of providing position accuracy of ±30 feet.

(e) You must use a trawling net that is representative of those used in the commercial fishing industry (one that has a net strength equal or greater than that provided by No. 18 twine).

(f) You must ensure that you trawl no closer than 300 feet from a shipwreck, and 500 feet from a sensitive biological feature.

(g) If you trawl near an active pipeline, you must meet the requirements in the following table:

For .  .  .You must trawl .  .  .And you must .  .  .
(1) Buried active pipelines,First contact the pipeline owner or operator to determine the condition of the pipeline before trawling over the buried pipeline.
(2) Unburied active pipelines that are 8 inches in diameter or larger,no closer than 100 feet to the either side of the pipeline,Trawl parallel to the pipeline Do not trawl across the pipeline.
(3) Unburied smaller diameter active pipelines in the trawl area that have obstructions (e.g., pipeline valves) present,no closer than 100 feet to either side of the pipeline,Trawl parallel to the pipeline. Do not trawl across the pipeline.
(4) Unburied active pipelines in the trawl area that are smaller than 8 inches in diameter and have no obstructions present,parallel to the pipeline,

(h) You must ensure that any trawling contractor you may use:

(1) Has no corporate or other financial ties to you; and

(2) Has a valid commercial trawling license for both the vessel and its captain.

§250.1742   What other methods can I use to verify that a site is clear?

If you do not trawl a site, you can verify that the site is clear of obstructions by using any of the methods shown in the following table:

If you use .  .  .You must .  .  .And you must .  .  .
(a) Sonar,cover 100 percent of the appropriate grid area listed in §250.1741(a),Use a sonar signal with a frequency of at least 500 kHz.
(b) A diver,ensure that the diver visually inspects 100 percent of the appropriate grid area listed in §250.1741(a),Ensure that the diver uses a search pattern of concentric circles or parallel lines spaced no more than 10 feet apart.
(c) An ROV (remotely operated vehicle),ensure that the ROV camera records videotape over 100 percent of the appropriate grid area listed in §250.1741(a),Ensure that the ROV uses a pattern of concentric circles or parallel lines spaced no more than 10 feet apart.

§250.1743   How do I certify that a site is clear of obstructions?

(a) For a well site, you must submit to the appropriate District Manager within 30 days after you complete the verification activities a form BSEE-0124, Application for Permit to Modify, to include the following information:

(1) A signed certification that the well site area is cleared of all obstructions;

(2) The date the verification work was performed and the vessel used;

(3) The extent of the area surveyed;

(4) The survey method used;

(5) The results of the survey, including a list of any debris removed or a statement from the trawling contractor that no objects were recovered; and

(6) A post-trawling job plot or map showing the trawled area.

(b) For a platform or other facility site, you must submit the following information to the appropriate Regional Supervisor within 30 days after you complete the verification activities:

(1) A letter signed by an authorized company official certifying that the platform or other facility site area is cleared of all obstructions and that a company representative witnessed the verification activities;

(2) A letter signed by an authorized official of the company that performed the verification work for you certifying that it cleared the platform or other facility site area of all obstructions;

(3) The date the verification work was performed and the vessel used;

(4) The extent of the area surveyed;

(5) The survey method used;

(6) The results of the survey, including a list of any debris removed or a statement from the trawling contractor that no objects were recovered; and

(7) A post-trawling job plot or map showing the trawled area.

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