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

Title 30Chapter IISubchapter BPart 250Subpart G → Subject Group

Title 30: Mineral Resources
Subpart G—Well Operations and Equipment

Well Operations

§250.720   When and how must I secure a well?

(a) Whenever you interrupt operations, you must notify the District Manager. Before moving off the well, you must have two independent barriers installed, at least one of which must be a mechanical barrier, as approved by the District Manager. You must install the barriers at appropriate depths within a properly cemented casing string or liner. Before removing a subsea BOP stack or surface BOP stack on a mudline suspension well, you must conduct a negative pressure test in accordance with §250.721.

(1) The events that would cause you to interrupt operations and notify the District Manager include, but are not limited to, the following:

(i) Evacuation of the rig crew;

(ii) Inability to keep the rig on location;

(iii) Repair to major rig or well-control equipment;

(iv) Observed flow outside the well's casing (e.g., shallow water flow or bubbling); or

(v) Impending National Weather Service-named tropical storm or hurricane.

(2) The District Manager may approve alternate procedures or barriers, in accordance with §250.141, if you do not have time to install the required barriers or if special circumstances occur.

(3) If you unlatch the BOP or LMRP:

(i) Upon relatch of the BOP, you must test according to §250.734(b)(2), or

(ii) Upon relatch of the LMRP, you must test according to §250.734(b)(3); and

(iii) You must submit a revised permit with a written statement from an independent third party certifying that the previous certification under §250.731(c) remains valid and receive District Manager approval before resuming operations.

(b) Before you displace kill-weight fluid from the wellbore and/or riser, thereby creating an underbalanced state, you must obtain approval from the District Manager. To obtain approval, you must submit with your APD or APM your reasons for displacing the kill-weight fluid and provide detailed step-by-step written procedures describing how you will safely displace these fluids. The step-by-step displacement procedures must address the following:

(1) Number and type of independent barriers, as described in §250.420(b)(3), that are in place for each flow path that requires such barriers;

(2) Tests you will conduct to ensure integrity of independent barriers;

(3) BOP procedures you will use while displacing kill-weight fluids; and

(4) Procedures you will use to monitor the volumes and rates of fluids entering and leaving the wellbore.

(c) For Arctic OCS exploratory drilling operations, in addition to the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section:

(1) If you move your drilling rig off a well prior to completion or permanent abandonment, you must ensure that any equipment left on, near, or in a wellbore that has penetrated below the surface casing is positioned in a manner to:

(i) Protect the well head; and

(ii) Prevent or minimize the likelihood of compromising the down-hole integrity of the well or the effectiveness of the well plugs.

(2) In areas of ice scour you must use a well mudline cellar or an equivalent means of minimizing the risk of damage to the well head and wellbore. BSEE may approve an equivalent means that will meet or exceed the level of safety and environmental protection provided by a mudline cellar if the operator can show that utilizing a mudline cellar would compromise the stability of the rig, impede access to the well head during a well control event, or otherwise create operational risks.

(d) You must have the equipment used solely for intervention operations (e.g., tree interface tools) identified, readily available, properly maintained, and available for BSEE inspection upon request. This equipment is required for subsea completed wells with a tree installed, that meet the following conditions:

(1) Have a shut-in tubing pressure that is greater than the hydrostatic pressure of the water column, or

(2) Are not capable of having the annulus monitored.

[81 FR 26022, Apr. 29, 2016, as amended at 81 FR 46563, July 15, 2016; 84 FR 21976, May 15, 2019]

§250.721   What are the requirements for pressure testing casing and liners?

(a) You must test each casing string that extends to the wellhead according to the following table:

Casing typeMinimum test pressure
(1) Drive or Structural,Not required.
(2) Conductor, excluding subsea wellheads,250 psi.
(3) Surface, Intermediate, and Production,70 percent of its minimum internal yield.

(b) You must test each drilling liner and liner-top to a pressure at least equal to the anticipated leak-off pressure of the formation below that liner shoe, or subsequent liner shoes if set. You must conduct this test before you continue operations in the well.

(c) You must test each production liner and liner-top to a minimum of 500 psi above the formation fracture pressure at the casing shoe into which the liner is lapped.

(d) The District Manager may approve or require other casing test pressures as appropriate under the circumstances to ensure casing integrity.

(e) If you plan to produce a well, you must:

(1) For a well that is fully cased and cemented, pressure test the entire well to maximum anticipated shut-in tubing pressure, not to exceed 70% of the burst rating limit of the weakest component before perforating the casing or liner; or

(2) For an open-hole completion, pressure test the entire well to maximum anticipated shut-in tubing pressure, not to exceed 70% of the burst rating limit of the weakest component before you drill the open-hole section.

(f) You may not resume operations until you obtain a satisfactory pressure test. If the pressure declines more than 10 percent in a 30-minute test, or if there is another indication of a leak, you must submit to the District Manager for approval your proposed plans to re-cement, repair the casing or liner, or run additional casing/liner to provide a proper seal. Your submittal must include a PE certification of your proposed plans.

(g) You must perform a negative pressure test on all wells that use a subsea BOP stack or wells with mudline suspension systems.

(1) You must perform a negative pressure test on your final casing string or liner. This test must be conducted after setting your second barrier just above the shoe track, but prior to conducting any completion operations.

(2) You must perform a negative pressure test prior to unlatching the BOP at any point in the well. The negative pressure test must be performed on those components, at a minimum, that will be exposed to the negative differential pressure that will occur when the BOP is disconnected.

(3) The District Manager may require you to perform additional negative pressure tests on other casing strings or liners (e.g., intermediate casing string or liner) or on wells with a surface BOP stack as appropriate to demonstrate casing or liner integrity.

(4) You must submit for approval with your APD or APM, test procedures and criteria for a successful negative pressure test. If any of your test procedures or criteria for a successful test change, you must submit for approval the changes in a revised APD or APM.

(5) You must document all your test results and make them available to BSEE upon request.

(6) If you have any indication of a failed negative pressure test, such as, but not limited to, pressure buildup or observed flow, you must immediately investigate the cause. If your investigation confirms that a failure occurred during the negative pressure test, you must:

(i) Correct the problem and immediately notify the appropriate District Manager; and

(ii) Submit a description of the corrective action taken and receive approval from the appropriate District Manager for the retest.

(7) You must have two barriers in place, as described in §250.420(b)(3), at any time and for any well, prior to performing the negative pressure test.

(8) You must include documentation of the successful negative pressure test in the End-of-Operations Report (Form BSEE-0125).

§250.722   What are the requirements for prolonged operations in a well?

If wellbore operations continue within a casing or liner for more than 30 days from the previous pressure test of the well's casing or liner, you must:

(a) Stop operations as soon as practicable, and evaluate the effects of the prolonged operations on continued operations and the life of the well. At a minimum, you must:

(1) Evaluate the well casing with a pressure test, caliper tool, or imaging tool. On a case-by-case basis, the District Manager may require a specific method of evaluation of the effects on the well casing of prolonged operations; and

(2) Report the results of your evaluation to the District Manager and obtain approval of those results before resuming operations. Your report must include calculations that indicate the well's integrity is above the minimum safety factors, if an imaging tool or caliper is used. District Manager approval is not required to resume operations if you conducted a successful pressure test as approved in your permit. You must document the successful pressure test in the WAR.

(b) If well integrity has deteriorated to a level below minimum safety factors, you must:

(1) Obtain approval from the District Manager to begin repairs or install additional casing. To obtain approval, you must also provide a PE certification showing that he or she reviewed and approved the proposed changes;

(2) Repair the casing or run another casing string; and

(3) Perform a pressure test after the repairs are made or additional casing is installed and report the results to the District Manager as specified in §250.721.

[81 FR 26022, Apr. 29, 2016, as amended at 84 FR 21977, May 15, 2019]

§250.723   What additional safety measures must I take when I conduct operations on a platform that has producing wells or has other hydrocarbon flow?

You must take the following safety measures when you conduct operations with a rig unit on or jacked-up over a platform with producing wells or that has other hydrocarbon flow:

(a) The movement of rig units and related equipment on and off a platform or from well to well on the same platform, including rigging up and rigging down, must be conducted in a safe manner;

(b) You must install an emergency shutdown station for the production system near the rig operator's console;

(c) You must shut-in all producible wells located in the affected wellbay below the surface and at the wellhead when:

(1) You move a rig unit or related equipment on and off a platform. This includes rigging up and rigging down activities within 500 feet of the affected platform;

(2) You move or skid a rig unit between wells on a platform; or

(3) A MODU moves within 500 feet of a platform. You may resume production once the MODU is in place, secured, and ready to begin operations.

(d) All wells in the same well-bay which are capable of producing hydrocarbons must be shut-in below the surface with a pump-through-type tubing plug and at the surface with a closed master valve prior to moving rig units and related equipment, unless otherwise approved by the District Manager.

(1) A closed surface-controlled subsurface safety valve of the pump-through-type may be used in lieu of the pump-through-type tubing plug provided that the surface control has been locked out of operation.

(2) The well to which a rig unit or related equipment is to be moved must be equipped with a back-pressure valve prior to removing the tree and installing and testing the BOP system.

(3) The well from which a rig unit or related equipment is to be moved must be equipped with a back pressure valve prior to removing the BOP system and installing the production tree.

(e) Coiled tubing units, snubbing units, or wireline units may be moved onto and off of a platform without shutting in wells.

[81 FR 26022, Apr. 29, 2016, as amended at 84 FR 21977, May 15, 2019]

§250.724   What are the real-time monitoring requirements?

(a) When conducting well operations with a subsea BOP or with a surface BOP on a floating facility, or when operating in an high pressure high temperature (HPHT) environment, you must gather and monitor real-time well data using an independent, automatic, and continuous monitoring system capable of recording, storing, and transmitting data regarding the following:

(1) The BOP control system;

(2) The well's active fluid circulating system; and

(3) The well's downhole conditions with the bottom hole assembly tools (if any tools are installed).

(b) You must transmit these data as they are gathered, barring unforeseeable or unpreventable interruptions in transmission, and have the capability to monitor the data, using qualified personnel in accordance with a real-time monitoring plan, as provided in paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) You must develop and implement a real-time monitoring plan. Your real-time monitoring plan, and all real-time monitoring data, must be made available to BSEE upon request. Your real-time monitoring plan must include the following:

(1) A description of your real-time monitoring capabilities, including the types of the data collected;

(2) A description of how your real-time monitoring data will be transmitted during operations, how the data will be labeled and monitored by qualified personnel, and how the data will be stored as required in §§250.740 and 250.741;

(3) A description of your procedures for providing BSEE access, upon request, to your real-time monitoring data;

(4) The qualifications of the personnel monitoring the data;

(5) Your procedures for, and methods of, communication between rig personnel and the monitoring personnel; and

(6) Actions to be taken if you lose any real-time monitoring capabilities or communications between rig personnel and monitoring personnel, and a protocol for how you will respond to any significant and/or prolonged interruption of monitoring capabilities or communications, including your protocol for notifying BSEE of any significant and/or prolonged interruptions.

[84 FR 21977, May 15, 2019]

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