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

Title 30Chapter IISubchapter BPart 250Subpart D → Subject Group


Title 30: Mineral Resources
PART 250—OIL AND GAS AND SULPHUR OPERATIONS IN THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF
Subpart D—Oil and Gas Drilling Operations


Applying for a Permit To Drill

§250.410   How do I obtain approval to drill a well?

You must obtain written approval from the District Manager before you begin drilling any well or before you sidetrack, bypass, or deepen a well. To obtain approval, you must:

(a) Submit the information required by §§250.411 through 250.418;

(b) Include the well in your approved Exploration Plan (EP), Development and Production Plan (DPP), or Development Operations Coordination Document (DOCD);

(c) Meet the oil spill financial responsibility requirements for offshore facilities as required by 30 CFR part 553; and

(d) Submit the following to the District Manager:

(1) An original and two complete copies of Form BSEE-0123, Application for Permit to Drill (APD), and Form BSEE-0123S, Supplemental APD Information Sheet;

(2) A separate public information copy of forms BSEE-0123 and BSEE-0123S that meets the requirements of §250.186; and

(3) Payment of the service fee listed in §250.125.

§250.411   What information must I submit with my application?

In addition to forms BSEE-0123 and BSEE-0123S, you must include the information required in this subpart and subpart G of this part, including the following:

Information that you must include with an APDWhere to find a description
(a) Plat that shows locations of the proposed well,§250.412.
(b) Design criteria used for the proposed well,§250.413.
(c) Drilling prognosis,§250.414.
(d) Casing and cementing programs,§250.415.
(e) Diverter systems descriptions,§250.416.
(f) BOP system descriptions,§250.731.
(g) Requirements for using a MODU, and§250.713.
(h) Additional information.§250.418.

[81 FR 26017, Apr. 29, 2016]

§250.412   What requirements must the location plat meet?

The location plat must:

(a) Have a scale of 1:24,000 (1 inch = 2,000 feet);

(b) Show the surface and subsurface locations of the proposed well and all the wells in the vicinity;

(c) Show the surface and subsurface locations of the proposed well in feet or meters from the block line;

(d) Contain the longitude and latitude coordinates, and either Universal Transverse Mercator grid-system coordinates or state plane coordinates in the Lambert or Transverse Mercator Projection system for the surface and subsurface locations of the proposed well; and

(e) State the units and geodetic datum (including whether the datum is North American Datum 27 or 83) for these coordinates. If the datum was converted, you must state the method used for this conversion, since the various methods may produce different values.

§250.413   What must my description of well drilling design criteria address?

Your description of well drilling design criteria must address:

(a) Pore pressures;

(b) Formation fracture gradients, adjusted for water depth;

(c) Potential lost circulation zones;

(d) Drilling fluid weights;

(e) Casing setting depths;

(f) Maximum anticipated surface pressures. For this section, maximum anticipated surface pressures are the pressures that you reasonably expect to be exerted upon a casing string and its related wellhead equipment. In calculating maximum anticipated surface pressures, you must consider: drilling, completion, and producing conditions; drilling fluid densities to be used below various casing strings; fracture gradients of the exposed formations; casing setting depths; total well depth; formation fluid types; safety margins; and other pertinent conditions. You must include the calculations used to determine the pressures for the drilling and the completion phases, including the anticipated surface pressure used for designing the production string;

(g) A single plot containing curves for estimated pore pressures, formation fracture gradients, proposed drilling fluid weights (surface and downhole), planned safe drilling margin, and casing setting depths in true vertical measurements;

(h) A summary report of the shallow hazards site survey that describes the geological and manmade conditions if not previously submitted; and

(i) Permafrost zones, if applicable.

[76 FR 64462, Oct. 18, 2011, as amended at 81 FR 26017, Apr. 29, 2016; 84 FR 21973, May 15, 2019]

§250.414   What must my drilling prognosis include?

Your drilling prognosis must include a brief description of the procedures you will follow in drilling the well. This prognosis includes but is not limited to the following:

(a) Projected plans for coring at specified depths;

(b) Projected plans for logging;

(c) Planned safe drilling margin that is between the estimated pore pressure and the lesser of estimated fracture gradients or casing shoe pressure integrity test and that is based on a risk assessment consistent with expected well conditions and operations.

(1) Your safe drilling margin must also include use of equivalent downhole mud weight that is:

(i) Greater than the estimated pore pressure; and

(ii) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, a minimum of 0.5 pound per gallon below the lower of the casing shoe pressure integrity test or the lowest estimated fracture gradient.

(2) In lieu of meeting the criteria in paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section, you may use an equivalent downhole mud weight as specified in your APD, provided that you submit adequate documentation (such as risk modeling data, off-set well data, analog data, seismic data) to justify the alternative equivalent downhole mud weight. You may submit such justification in advance of your full APD, and BSEE may consider such justification for approval when submitted. Any such approval will be contingent upon your confirmation in the APD that your plans and the information underlying your approved justification have not changed.

(3) When determining the pore pressure and lowest estimated fracture gradient for a specific interval, you must consider related off-set and analogous well behavior observations, if available.

(d) Estimated depths to the top of significant marker formations;

(e) Estimated depths to significant porous and permeable zones containing fresh water, oil, gas, or abnormally pressured formation fluids;

(f) Estimated depths to major faults;

(g) Estimated depths of permafrost, if applicable;

(h) A list and description of all requests for using alternate procedures or departures from the requirements of this subpart in one place in the APD. You must explain how the alternate procedures afford an equal or greater degree of protection, safety, or performance, or why the departures are requested;

(i) Projected plans for well testing (refer to §250.460);

(j) The type of wellhead system and liner hanger system to be installed and a descriptive schematic, which includes but is not limited to pressure ratings, dimensions, valves, load shoulders, and locking mechanisms, if applicable; and

(k) Any additional information required by the District Manager needed to clarify or evaluate your drilling prognosis.

[76 FR 64462, Oct. 18, 2011, as amended at 81 FR 26017, Apr. 29, 2016; 84 FR 21973, May 15, 2019]

§250.415   What must my casing and cementing programs include?

Your casing and cementing programs must include:

(a) The following well design information:

(1) Hole sizes;

(2) Bit depths (including measured and true vertical depth (TVD));

(3) Casing information, including sizes, weights, grades, collapse and burst values, types of connection, and setting depths (measured and TVD) for all sections of each casing interval; and

(4) Locations of any installed rupture disks (indicate if burst or collapse and rating);

(b) Casing design safety factors for tension, collapse, and burst with the assumptions made to arrive at these values;

(c) Type and amount of cement (in cubic feet) planned for each casing string;

(d) In areas containing permafrost, setting depths for conductor and surface casing based on the anticipated depth of the permafrost. Your program must provide protection from thaw subsidence and freezeback effect, proper anchorage, and well control;

(e) A statement of how you evaluated the best practices included in API RP 65, Recommended Practice for Cementing Shallow Water Flow Zones in Deep Water Wells (as incorporated by reference in §250.198), if you drill a well in water depths greater than 500 feet and are in either of the following two areas:

(1) An “area with an unknown shallow water flow potential” is a zone or geologic formation where neither the presence nor absence of potential for a shallow water flow has been confirmed.

(2) An “area known to contain a shallow water flow hazard” is a zone or geologic formation for which drilling has confirmed the presence of shallow water flow; and

(f) A written description of how you evaluated the best practices included in API Standard 65—Part 2, Isolating Potential Flow Zones During Well Construction, Second Edition (as incorporated by reference in §250.198). Your written description must identify the mechanical barriers and cementing practices you will use for each casing string (reference API Standard 65—Part 2, Sections 4 and 5).

[76 FR 64462, Oct. 18, 2011, as amended at 77 FR 50891, Aug. 22, 2012; 81 FR 26018, Apr. 29, 2016]

§250.416   What must I include in the diverter description?

You must include in the diverter description:

(a) A description of the diverter system and its operating procedures;

(b) A schematic drawing of the diverter system (plan and elevation views) that shows:

(1) The size of the element installed in the diverter housing;

(2) Spool outlet internal diameter(s);

(3) Diverter-line lengths and diameters; burst strengths and radius of curvature at each turn; and

(4) Valve type, size, working pressure rating, and location.

[81 FR 26018, Apr. 29, 2016]

§250.417   [Reserved]

§250.418   What additional information must I submit with my APD?

You must include the following with the APD:

(a) Rated capacities of the drilling rig and major drilling equipment, if not already on file with the appropriate District office;

(b) A drilling fluids program that includes the minimum quantities of drilling fluids and drilling fluid materials, including weight materials, to be kept at the site;

(c) A proposed directional plot if the well is to be directionally drilled;

(d) A Hydrogen Sulfide Contingency Plan (see §250.490), if applicable, and not previously submitted;

(e) A welding plan (see §§250.109 to 250.113) if not previously submitted;

(f) In areas subject to subfreezing conditions, evidence that the drilling equipment, BOP systems and components, diverter systems, and other associated equipment and materials are suitable for operating under such conditions;

(g) A request for approval, if you plan to wash out or displace cement to facilitate casing removal upon well abandonment. Your request must include a description of how far below the mudline you propose to displace cement and how you will visually monitor returns;

(h) Certification of your casing and cementing program as required in §250.420(a)(7); and

(i) Such other information as the District Manager may require.

(j) For Arctic OCS exploratory drilling operations, you must provide the information required by §250.470.

[76 FR 64462, Oct. 18, 2011, as amended at 77 FR 50892, Aug. 22, 2012; 81 FR 26018, Apr. 29, 2016; 81 FR 46561, July 15, 2016]

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