- Planning: The guidelines provide a check list of items that must be considered before moving the rig and other completions equipment into place. Operators need to consider regulatory requirements, traffic, lighting, noise, water management and recycling, erosion and sediment controls and secondary containment.
- Health and Safety: Operators must ensure that all personnel are properly trained.
- Well Control: Two mechanical barriers in the flow path should be used during all phases of drilling and completions operations when feasible. The mechanical barrier equipment would include blow-out preventers which must be carefully tested, inspected and maintained.
- High Pressure Equipment must be routinely tested and inspected to ensure proper operation.
- Drilling Operations: Operators should identify the depth of groundwater aquifers and other oil and gas wells within 1000 feet of the surface location and 500 feet of the horizontal portion of the wellbore.
- Hydraulic Fracturing and Flow Back Operations: “Operators should commit to transparency in their operations by disclosing the composition of hydraulic fracturing fluid additives to the extent permitted by suppliers, while respecting related intellectual property rights, and proprietary and confidential business information.” Operators should monitor adjacent oil and gas wells during the fracturing process. During flow back operations, operators should minimize the release of produced gases and contain produced liquids through capture or temporary flaring. Venting is discouraged.
This post was written by Barclay Nicholson (firstname.lastname@example.org or 713.651.3662) from Norton Rose Fulbright's Energy Practice Group.