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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Oil & Gas Drillers Must Follow New Rules Starting Today

New Drilling Rules Go Into Effect Today
Rules designed to prevent gas migration, pollution of fresh water, and blowout protection, insure proper casing, etc. 


The Environmental Quality Board (Board) amends Chapter 78 (relating to oil and gas wells) to read as set forth in Annex A.

Properly constructed and operated oil and gas wells are critical to protecting water supplies and public safety. If a well is not properly cased and cemented, natural gas in subsurface formations may potentially migrate from the wellbore through bedrock and soil. This stray gas may adversely affect water supplies, as well as accumulate in or adjacent to structures such as residences and water wells. Under certain conditions, stray gas has the potential to cause a fire or explosion. These situations present a serious threat to public health and safety as well as the environment. The purpose of this final-form rulemaking is to improve drilling, casing, cement, testing, monitoring and plugging requirements for oil and gas wells to minimize gas migration and protect water supplies.

The final-form rulemaking differs from the proposed rulemaking in several important respects. The differences reflect the concerns raised by the regulated community and the public, resulting in improved regulations. The changes to the final-form rulemaking strengthen well design requirements to prevent gas migration incidents.

The significant revisions to the final-form rulemaking include the following: the addition of a provision that requires operators to have a pressure barriers plan to minimize well control events; the addition of a provision that requires operators to keep a list of emergency contact phone numbers at the well site; amended provisions that clarify how and when blow-out prevention equipment is to be installed and operated; the addition of a provision that requires operators to condition the wellbore to ensure an adequate bond between the cement, casing and the formation; the addition of provisions that require the use of centralizers to ensure that casings are properly positioned in the wellbore; the addition of a provision that improves the quality of the cement placed in the casing that protects fresh groundwater; the addition of provisions that specify the actions an operator shall take in the event of a gas migration incident; and revisions to the reporting requirements for chemicals used to hydraulically fracture a well.

This order was adopted by the Board at its meeting of October 12, 2010.

A. Effective Date

This final-form rulemaking will go into effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

***The text of the entire regulation was published today in the Pennsylvania Bulletin

You can read the complete regulation in it's entirety HERE.

5 comments :

Anonymous said...

alright this is a good thing...

Anonymous said...

This is good. This is what happens when people stand up and say, "I'm not going to let you just come in here and do what you want - I'm not going to take it!" Speak up, you will be heard.

Anonymous said...

"they" say there has never been an incident of water contamination caused from Marcellus drilling.
If that is so,why would it say this..."several recent incidents of contaminated drinking water caused by traditional and Marcellus Shale wells resulted in the Department's decision to reevaluate the existing well construction requirements."
hmmm

Anonymous said...

This is probably Chapter 12 of Heimels book.

Anonymous said...

I had national fuel stop by and want to lease my land for $2.50 a acre. We live in the land of gas wells and shale.