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The Oregon Administrative Rules contain OARs filed through November 15, 2014
 
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DEPARTMENT OF GEOLOGY AND MINERAL INDUSTRIES

 

DIVISION 20

GEOTHERMAL REGULATIONS

632-020-0005

Jurisdiction and Authority

(1) ORS Chapter 522 authorizes the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries to control the drilling, redrilling, and deepening of wells for the discovery and production of geothermal resources so that such wells will be constructed, operated, maintained, and abandoned in the manner necessary to safeguard the life, health, property, and welfare of the people of this state and to encourage the maximum economic recovery of geothermal resources therefrom.

(2) In addition to complying with ORS Chapter 522 and these rules, the permittee must comply with applicable laws and rules of the Water Resources Department and the Department of Environmental Quality.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0010

Definitions

The definitions in ORS 522.005 apply to this rule division. In addition, the following definitions apply:

(1) "Abandonment" means the failure to properly plug and decommission a prospect or geothermal well in accordance with the rules in this division.

(2) "Artesian" means the response of water or fluid under natural pressure, whereby it rises above the level where it was originally encountered.

(3) "Blowout" means an uncontrolled escape of a solid, liquid, or gas.

(4) "Contaminate" means any chemical, ion radionuclide, synthetic organic compound, microorganism, waste or other substance that does not occur naturally in groundwater or that occurs naturally but at a lower concentration.

(5) “Contamination” means introduction of a contaminant.

(6) "Fresh Water" means water that is used, or could be used without extraordinary treatment, for irrigation or domestic purposes as determined by the department.

(7) "Observation Status" means that the department has authorized a geothermal well or prospect well to remain unplugged for a specified and extended period to allow the well to be used to collect information about subsurface conditions.

(8) "Owner" means the person who has the right to drill geothermal wells or prospect wells, or to appropriate the production from a completed geothermal well.

(9) "Permittee" means owner or operator.

(10) "Person" means any individual, corporation, company, association of individuals, joint venture, partnership, receiver, trustee, guardian, executor, administrator, personal representative, applicant; or a state, federal, or local agency that is the subject of legal rights and duties under these regulations.

(11) "Pollution" means contamination or other alteration of the physical, chemical, or biological properties of any waters of the state, including change in temperature, taste, color, turbidity, silt, or odor of the waters, or such radioactive or other substance into any waters of the state that either by itself or in connection with any other substance present, will or can reasonably be expected to create a public nuisance or render such waters harmful, detrimental, or injurious to public health, safety, or welfare, or to domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural, recreational, or other legitimate beneficial uses or to livestock, wildlife, fish or other aquatic life, or the habitat thereof.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-30-83; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0015

Inspection and Supervision

The department will inspect and supervise geothermal operations for the purpose of enforcing compliance with the rules and orders promulgated by the board.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0020

General Rules

General rules apply statewide and to all lands within the jurisdiction of the State of Oregon unless otherwise provided or superseded by a special rule.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10

632-020-0025

Supremacy of Special Rules

Special rules will be adopted when required and will prevail as against general rules if in conflict therewith.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0028

Permit Required

No person may construct, drill, redrill, deepen, operate, maintain, plug, or decommission a geothermal or prospect well without first obtaining a permit from the department. No person may construct, drill, operate, or decommission a geothermal or prospect well until the person has received a permit, paid to the department the appropriate nonrefundable fee for each such well pursuant to ORS 522.055 or 522.115, and posted the appropriate bond or other financial security for each such well pursuant to 522.075 or 522.145. Construction includes construction of access roads, well pads and other site disturbances relating to the development of the site. Drilling includes redrilling, deepening, and drilling to set conductor pipe. Operation includes maintaining the well while in use or while production is suspended. Decommissioning includes plugging and restoration of the well site.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented:522.305
Hist.: DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0030

Application for Geothermal or Prospect Well

A geothermal or prospect well permit is required from the department.

(1) A permit required under OAR 632-020-0028 must be obtained before commencing the construction of access roads, well pads, cellar excavations, setting the conductor pipe, drilling, redrilling, deepening or altering the casing of any geothermal or prospect well.

(2) The application for a geothermal or prospect well permit must include all of the following:

(a) A nonrefundable application fee in accordance with ORS 522.055 or 522.155;

(b) The location(s) and ground elevation(s) of the proposed well(s). The location includes the township, range, section, and the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates system;

(c) Ownership rights or other rights as described in 632-020-0010(8); and

(d) The proposed geologic objectives and proposed well depth for each well.

(e) Other pertinent data as the department may require in a form acceptable to the department.

(3) The department will circulate an application to drill pursuant to ORS 522.125(1) for geothermal wells or 522.065 for prospect wells. The information on the permit application is not confidential.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-30-83; GMI 1-1984, f. & ef. 1-23-84; GMI 1-1991, f. 9-5-91, cert. ef. 9-6-91; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0031

Annual Permit Fees

The permittee of any geothermal well or prospect well permit under which a well has been drilled and not decommissioned, must provide an annual nonrefundable fee in accordance with ORS 522.115 for geothermal wells or 522.055 for prospect wells on or before the anniversary of the issuance date of each active permit issued by the department. As a courtesy, the department may notify the permittee with a notice prior to the anniversary date.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 1-1991, f. 9-5-91, cert. ef. 9-6-91; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0032

Permit Conditions

(1) After consideration of the information supplied by the applicant, the comments supplied by public agencies as provided in ORS 522.065 for prospect wells and 522.125 for geothermal wells, and other relevant information supplied to the department, the department will determine whether to issue the permit with the appropriate conditions to be placed in the permit to ensure compliance with the ORS chapter 522 and this rule division. The conditions placed on the permit may address impacts arising from the construction, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning of the well, including but not limited to the construction of access roads, well pads, and cellar excavations, setting the conductor pipe, drilling, redrilling, or deepening of the well, and altering of well casings.

(2) The department will make its decision on the permit application within the periods established in ORS 522.0065 for prospect wells and 522.135 for geothermal wells.

(3) As established in ORS 522.0065 and 522.135 the department will notify the applicant of its decision within the specified time limits after making the determination described in section (1) of this rule. If a permit is denied, the department will immediately notify the applicant in writing and provide reasons for its determination.

(4) The permit will notify an applicant that, before the applicant may undertake any activities authorized by the permit, the applicant must receive written land use approval, supported by findings, from the affected local government as required under ORS Chapter 197.180 and OAR 632-001-0015(5)(b).

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented:522.305
Hist.: DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0035

Drilling Financial Security

(1) A permit for a prospect well will not be issued until the applicant has complied with the requirements of ORS 522.075 relating to financial security.

(2) A permit for a geothermal well will not be issued until the applicant has complied with the requirements of ORS 522.145 relating to financial security.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-30-83; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0040

Assignment, Transfers of Ownership

A geothermal well or prospect well permit transfer application must include a nonrefundable fee in accordance with ORS 522.055(4) or 522.115(6) and replacement security in accordance with 522.075 and 522.145. Successor must provide all of the following:

(1) Documentation of ownership or rights of the person to whom such rights were sold, leased, assigned, transferred, conveyed, or exchanged;

(2) The date of such sale, lease, assignment, transfer, conveyance, or exchange; and

(3) The API number, company name and location of such well(s) to be transferred, in table or spreadsheet form, and a map of the well location(s).

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-30-83; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0060

Filing of Well Records, Confidentiality

(1) The operator of a geothermal well must keep copies of well records and related information as provided in ORS 522.355 and 522.365. In addition, the operator must:

(a) Record the amount, size, and weight of casing used; and the size, type and depths of perforations; and

(b) File with the department, within 60 days after completion, suspension, or decommissioning of a well, all logs, samples, history, surveys, and other required data.

(2) The operator of a prospect well must keep and provide the department with records including a log describing the type of rocks penetrated, depths of water-bearing formations, bottom hole temperature, and well location.

(3) Records filed with the department pursuant to ORS 522.365 and sections (1) and (2) above will not be disclosed to the public for four years from the date of completion, suspension, or abandonment of the well, whichever occurs first. After four years, the records will be available for public inspection under the provisions of 192.410 to 192.505. If an operator claims that any record continues to be exempt from disclosure as a trade secret under 192.501, the operator must notify the department and explain the basis for its claim at least 30 days before the end of the four-year period.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-30-83; GMI 1-1984, f. & ef. 1-23-84; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0065

Applications to Modify

(1) The permittee of a geothermal prospect well must submit a written application for a permit modification to change plans previously approved by the department unless otherwise directed. The application must set forth in detail the proposed work to be completed and the department must approve the application before work begins.

(2) A detailed report of the work accomplished and the methods employed, including all dates and the results of such work, must be filed within 60 days after completion of the work.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-30-83; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0070

Well Designations

Every person drilling any well for geothermal resources or operating, owning, or controlling or in possession of any well drilled for geothermal resources, must paint or stencil and post and keep posted in a conspicuous place near the well, the name of the person drilling, operating, owning, or controlling the well, the name of the lease, the number of the well, and the number of the permit for the well, together with the longitude and latitude, section, township, and range.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0090

Noise Abatement

The method and degree of noise abatement must comply with the pertinent rules adopted by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0095

Casing Requirements

(1) The permittee of any geothermal well or prospect well must properly case the well with adequate grade casing and cement the casing where necessary to provide adequate anchor for blowout preventers. Casing design must take into account stress imposed by the maximum expected temperature and the physical effects of produced fluids and gases on casing durability. Surface casing for any well with a proposed depth of more than 500 feet must be set at a depth of at least ten percent of the proposed total depth of the well, or at least 25 feet into consolidated, competent rock, whichever is deeper, unless otherwise approved by the department. In areas with no nearby drilling history, surface casing must be set to a minimum of 300 feet into consolidated, competent rock or confining clay layer, unless otherwise approved by the department.

(2) The permittee of a geothermal or prospect well must prevent commingling of fluids. The permittee of a geothermal or prospect well that penetrates a fresh water aquifer must set casing or tubing through this formation and cement such casing or tubing from bottom to top unless the department approves a different program.

(3) Casing and casing seals used for prospect wells, where the temperature of groundwater does not exceed 250°F, must comply with the general standards for the construction and maintenance of water wells set by the State Water Resources Department.

(4) Each fluid-bearing zone above the producing horizon in a geothermal resources well must be cased and sealed off to prevent the migration of formation fluids to other areas. Such casing and sealing off must be completed and tested using the methods and means prescribed by the department.

(5) Cements used in cementing casing and sealing formations must be of a grade and type best suited for expected reservoir temperature, formation water chemistry and bonding properties. Cements acceptable for use in high-temperature holes include Modified Type A or G, Alumina Silica Flour, Phosphate Bonded Glass, or other equivalent high-temperature design cement.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-30-83; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0100

Removal of Casings

No person may remove a casing, or any part of a casing, from any geothermal well or prospect well without applying in advance and obtaining approval in writing from the department.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-30-83; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0105

Directional Drilling

(1) The maximum point at which a well penetrates the producing formation must not vary from the vertical drawn from the center of the hole at the surface by more than 5 degrees. Deviation is permitted without special permission for short distances to straighten the hole, sidetrack junk, or to correct other mechanical difficulties.

(2) Except for the purposes of straightening the hole, sidetracking junk, or correcting mechanical difficulties as provided in this rule, an operator may not drill a well that deviates from vertical unless the operator first files an application and obtains a permit from the department. If drilling is in progress, the operator must notify the department immediately of the deviation of the hole and file a written request with the department for approval, as required. If the department does not approve, the permittee must set a cement plug at the point of deviation from vertical and complete the well as originally approved or plug the well.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0110

Serving Orders

When the department gives any written direction concerning the drilling, testing, or other operations conducted with respect to any geothermal well or prospect well drilled, in the process of being drilled, redrilled, deepened, altered, or in the process of being decommissioned, and the operator, owner, or designated agent of either, serves written notice, either personally or by mail, addressed to the department, requesting that a definite order be made upon such subject, the department will, within a reasonable time after receipt of the notice, deliver a final written order on the subject matter. Any such final written order of the department may be appealed to the board and further redress may be sought in the manner provided in ORS Chapter 183 for appeals from final orders in contested cases.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-30-83; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0115

Measurement of Geothermal Resources

The operator must measure or gauge all production from each well in accordance with methods approved by the department or may arrange with the department for other acceptable methods of measuring and recording production. The quantity and quality of all production must be determined in accordance with the standard practices, procedures, and specifications generally used in the industry. For wells on federal land, the department will establish acceptable methods in concert with the responsible federal agency.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0117

Spacing Plan

The board may, on its own motion, or at the request of any interested party, hold a hearing to determine the maximum efficient rate at which any geothermal well in the state can produce a geothermal resource without waste. After the hearing, the board may set production rates by order.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: DGMI 2-1999, f. & cert. ef. 8-30-99; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0120

Production Reports

The owner or operator of any well producing geothermal resources must file with the department, before the 20th day of each month, a statement of the geothermal resources production from the well during the preceding calendar month. The report must be in a form acceptable to the department.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10

632-020-0125

Proper Completion, Plugging, and Decommissioning

(1) A well is properly completed when the well and casing has been installed in accordance with the well drilling permit and master valves and well control equipment have been installed, and well is secured.

(2) Proper completion and decommissioning requires adequate protection of the environment and of aesthetic qualities of the surface in the area of operation.

(3) A geothermal well or prospect well is considered properly plugged and decommissioned, for the purpose of this chapter, when the conditions of ORS 522.005 to 522.990 and these rules are fulfilled and the person has shown to the satisfaction of the department that all proper steps have been taken to protect groundwater and surface water from contamination resulting from the drilling or drilling related activities and to prevent the comingling of fluids between zones or to surface.

(4) A well or hole must be plugged and all related disturbance must be reclaimed in accordance with these rules as soon as practical. A hole may not be left unplugged for longer than 30 days from the completion of operations without prior written approval from the department.

(5) The drilling or operation of a well can be suspended only as provided in ORS 522.215.

(6) Plugging Methods and Procedure, Geothermal Wells or Prospect Wells.

(a)The well must be filled with mud-laden fluid from bottom to top consisting of mud weighing 15.0 pounds per gallon of not less than a viscosity of 36 (API Full Funnel Method), with the exception of intervals required to be plugged with cement. Other fluids may be used upon approval of the department.

(b) At the top of each producing formation, or fluid zone at greater than hydrostatic pressure, a cement plug must be placed which extends either from the bottom of the well or from a point at least 50 feet below the top of each such producing formation or fluid zone to a point at least 50 feet above each producing formation or fluid zone.

(c) If a well is uncased through a freshwater zone, a cement plug must extend from at least 50 feet below the bottom of the water-bearing zone to at least 50 feet above the water zone.

(d) If the surface string of casing is set below the deepest freshwater-bearing formation, and the well is uncased below this point, a cement plug must be placed in the well extending from a point at least 50 feet below the base of the surface casing and at least 50 feet into the bottom of the casing.

(e) In wells where artesian water is encountered, the well must be plugged with cement from bottom to top, unless otherwise approved by the department.

(f) The top of all casing strings must be cut off at least 4 feet below ground surface in such a manner as not to interfere with soil cultivation and casing and all annuli must be plugged with cement to a depth of at least ten feet.

(g) Cement grout used as a sealing material must be placed or forced upward from the bottom of the hole in one continuous operation without significant interruption. If temporary outer surface casing is used in the construction of the hole, it must be withdrawn as the grout is placed.

(7) The operator must provide sumps of adequate capacity and design to retain all fluid material during drilling and other operations.

(8) The affected surface lands must be restored to a pre-exploration and/or beneficial use acceptable to the department, after consultation with the surface owner. Reclamation activities may include, but are not limited to replanting or reseeding of affected land for return to secondary beneficial use that is compatible with the land-use designation.

(9) Affidavit on completion: Within 45 days after a Geothermal Well or Prospect well is plugged, the operator must file a written statement with the department certifying that the well was properly plugged and decommissioned.

(10) Wells Used for Fresh Water:

(a) When the well to be decommissioned may safely be used as a freshwater well and this use is desired by the land owner, the well need not be filled above the required sealing plug set below fresh water, provided authorization for use of any such well is first obtained from the Water Resources Department;

(b) Application for leaving the well partially unplugged as a freshwater well must be made to the department by the land owner, accompanied by his affidavit as to his need of water and the intended use of the well, together with a copy of the Water Resources Department's order or permit authorizing such use; and

(c) The operator must leave the fresh water well in a condition approved by the department.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.175, 522.305 & 522.245
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-30-83; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 2-1999, f. & cert. ef. 8-30-99; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0130

Subsequent Decommissioning Report

The operation of a well can be suspended only as provided in ORS 522.225.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.175 & 522.305, & 522.245
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-30-83; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0134

Naming of Fields

The board, on its own or upon request of any interested person, may, after a public hearing, name a geothermal field and set the boundaries of the field. Using the same procedure, the board may later change the boundaries of a field.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-30-83; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95

632-020-0135

Well Spacing

The board will approve proposed well-spacing programs for geothermal wells in a field or prescribe such modifications to the programs as it determines necessary for proper development. The board may do this by rule or order. In determining well spacing, the board will consider such factors as:

(1) Topographic characteristics of the area;

(2) Hydrologic and geologic conditions in the reservoir;

(3) Minimum number of wells required for adequate development; and

(4) Protection of the environment.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-30-83; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0138

Unit Agreements

(1) When voluntary unitization occurs under ORS 522.405 to 522.545, the unit operator must pay a fee to the department for the administration of the unit. The amount of the fee will be determined by the board on a case-by-case basis. The unit operator must collect equitable shares of this fee from all persons, or state or local governing bodies, special districts, or agencies with a royalty interest in the unitized development.

(2) When the board requires the development of a unit agreement under ORS 522.405 to 522.545, the unit operator must pay a fee to the department for the creation and administration of the unit. The amount of the fee will be determined by the board on a case-by-case basis, for creation and administration of the unit. The unit operator must collect equitable shares of this fee from all persons, or state or local governing bodies, special districts, or agencies with a royalty interest in the unitized development.

(3) The department will review voluntary unit agreements governing production of geothermal resources to ensure compliance with the provisions of ORS 522.405 to 522.545.

(4) The operator or person proposing a board-initiated unit agreement must make application to the board.

(5) The department shall enforce, when necessary, board-approved or initiated unit agreements.

(6) The board may change or approve proposed changes in the boundaries of a unit area upon application by the unit operator or interested person. Such changes shall not jeopardize pre-existing contractual relationships between participating parties.

(7) The board may levy fees upon any operator, person, state or local governing body, special district, or agency that holds a royalty interest in a unit area to cover reasonable costs associated with the development and administration of a unit agreement. If such a fee is not paid when due, the board may require the fee to be paid from proceeds of the sale of the unit production.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305 & 522.405
Hist.: GMI 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-30-83; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0140

Commingling Production

(1) As part of a unit agreement, the department will require the operator to commingle the production from different wells or leases or both with the production of other operators subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.

(2) The operator must not commingle the production form different geothermal aquifers without prior approval from the department.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0145

Pits or Sumps

(1) Materials and fluids necessary for the drilling, production, or other operations may be discharged or placed in pits and sumps only with the approval of the department and the Department of Environmental Quality. The operator must not allow the contents of the pit to:

(a) Contaminate streams, artificial canals or waterways, groundwater, lakes, or rivers;

(b) Adversely affect the environment, persons, plants, fish, and wildlife and their populations; or

(c) Damage the aesthetic values of the property or adjacent properties.

(2) When no longer needed, pits and sumps are to be filled and covered and the premises restored to a near natural state.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0150

Disposal of Solid and Liquid Wastes

Injection of geothermal fluids must not pollute waters of the state, create a public nuisance, impair beneficial uses of waters, or degrade the biologic habitat of aquatic life and domestic and wild animals. Permits for prospect and geothermal wells will be issued in accordance with ORS 522.019, 522.025, and 522.135. The department will coordinate with the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Water Resources to ensure that permit conditions are consistent and protective of natural resources and the environment.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0151

Handling of Test Fluids

Prior to conducting formation and production tests, the operator must provide adequate storage for anticipated volumes of formation fluids and drilling mud. Arrangements for ultimate disposal of waste fluids must be made with the department and the Department of Environmental Quality.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; DGMI 2-1999, f. & cert. ef. 8-30-99; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10

632-020-0154

Injection and Conservation

Injection is the required method for handling geothermal fluids derived from geothermal resources to conserve natural heat energy and to maintain reservoir temperature and pressure. This rule applies to fluids derived from geothermal wells as defined in ORS 522.005(12) that are subject to departmental regulation under ORS 522.025, unless otherwise approved by the department.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-30-83; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0155

Application to Inject

(1) The provisions of this rule apply to applications for geothermal wells intended for the injection of geothermal fluids, and are in addition to the requirements of ORS 522.019.

(2) An application for a permit to inject geothermal fluid into any underground reservoir must include, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) A plan of injection explaining the proposed system including facilities other than the injection well necessary to conduct the operations;

(b) A map of adequate scale (preferably 1:24,000, but not less than 1:62,500 or 1" = 1 mile) to show all existing and proposed wells, pipelines, and other surface facilities. All wells must be distinguished by type;

(c) The injection fluid characteristics such as quality, quantity, source, chemical analysis, chemical reactivity, toxicity, temperature, and any additives such as but not limited to pH control, anti-scaling, or biocides;

(d) The characteristics of the proposed injection zone including: volume capacity of the zone, geologic formation and structure, porosity, permeability, chemical analysis of zonal water, static formation pressures and temperatures, anticipated zonal fluid reactivity to the injected fluids, any previous history of injection operations into the same or similar formations, any injectivity tests which may have been conducted, and other pertinent data;

(e) Description of the hydrology of the surrounding area, including groundwater quality, quantities, and analyses, and the predicted effects of the injected fluids on the existing surface and groundwater;

(f) Subsurface maps and cross sections of the producing and injecting zone structure and lithology and any available logs or histories of a well or other wells penetrating the injection zone that have not been previously submitted.

(g) Description of the effects of injection on such factors as potable water, seismicity, and local tectonic conditions;

(h) Representative injection well drilling program;

(i) Proposed downhole and surface injection equipment and metering facilities with capacity, design capabilities, and design safety factors in sufficient detail to enable adequate environmental analysis. Construction and engineering design plans should be included; and

(j) Proposed injectivity surveys, seismic surveys, seismic monitoring, and other means to monitor injection.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.019 & 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0156

Permit for Injection

(1) The department will issue a permit for injection of geothermal fluids after finding that the injection plan is consistent with the purposes set forth in ORS 468A.010, 468B.015, 468B.030, 537.525, 522 and these rules.

(2) Appropriate approval must be obtained from the Department of Environmental Quality before re-injection is commenced. Issuance of a geothermal well permit allowing for reinjection does not relieve any person from any obligation to register or to obtain a permit under ORS 468B.050 or 468B.195 to 468B.197 (Department of Environmental Quality).

(3) The department will not issue a permit for injection of geothermal fluids until the operator has financial security in compliance with OAR 632-020-0035.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-30-83; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 2-1999, f. & cert. ef. 8-30-99; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0157

Injection Well Construction, Protection and Mechanical Integrity

(1) Injection wells must be constructed in compliance with the standards set in OAR 632-020-0095 and 632-020-0125.

(2) Special standards may be required by the department to allow for corrosive effects of injected fluids, precipitation of dissolved minerals, more extensive cementing of casings, specifications for tubing packers and casing packers, or other construction practices generally accepted by the industry.

(3) All wells for injection must be tested for mechanical integrity at least once every five years to determine that there is no leak in the casing and that there is no fluid movement into an underground source of water other than that from which the fluid was produced, unless otherwise approved by the department.

(4) Acceptable tests include pressure build-up profiles, pressure testing, and casing thickness logs to demonstrate integrity of the casing.

(5) The department may, on a case-by-case basis, approve tracer surveys, noise logs, temperature logs, spinner surveys, or other methods to detect water movement adjacent to the wellbore and seismic monitoring.

(6) The department must be notified two weeks before any mechanical integrity test. The results must be submitted within 60 days.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0158

Wellhead Equipment, Injection Wells

Adequate wellhead equipment must be installed to control expected pressures. Where underground conditions are unknown, the same equipment must be used as required for exploration holes.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10

632-020-0159

Monitoring Injection

(1) The department requires monitoring of injection operations to ensure that there is no escape of geothermal fluids from the casings or through the annular space between casings and open hole except in the zone for which injection is permitted.

(2) Monitoring required by the department may include gauging pressure between casings, periodic testing for casing leaks, surveys to detect movement of fluid in adjacent rock formations, cement bond logs, temperature measurements, analyses of water chemistry, special wellhead equipment or other methods employed by industry to monitor re-injection operations.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0165

Judicial Review of Board Actions

Any person adversely affected by any rule or order by the board may obtain judicial review thereof pursuant to ORS Chapter 183.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-30-83; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95

632-020-0170

Environmental Protection

In conducting operations under this chapter, the permittee or operator must not pollute or otherwise damage land, water or air resources. The operator must comply with all federal and state air and water quality standards and requirements. Plans for the disposal of well effluents must be approved by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and department before any disposal actions are taken.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.305
Hist.: GMI 4, f. 7-20-72, ef. 8-1-72; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

Geothermal Blowout Prevention

632-020-0175

Blowout Prevention for Geothermal Wells and Prospect Wells 2,000 Feet or More in Depth

(1) Cementing of Casing. All casing strings must be cemented with a quantity of cement sufficient to fill the annular space back to the surface.

(a) The intermediate casing string must be cemented to fill the annular space back to the surface unless otherwise approved by the department.

(b) Casing must be:

(A) Cemented with a high temperature resistant cement, unless waived by the department and must be cemented in a manner necessary to exclude, isolate, or segregate overlying formation fluids from the geothermal resources zone and to prevent the movement of fluids into possible fresh water zones; and

(B) Cemented back to the surface or to the top of the inner casing. A temperature or cement bond log may be required by the department after setting and cementing the production casing and after all primary cementing operations if an unsatisfactory cementing job is indicated.

(c) Proposed well cementing techniques differing from the requirements of this paragraph will be considered by the department on an individual well basis.

(2) Pressure Testing.

(a) All blowout preventers and related equipment that may be exposed to well pressure must be tested first to a low pressure and then to a high pressure:

(A) A pressure decline of 10 percent or less in 30 minutes is for the low pressure test considered satisfactory prior to initiating the high-pressure test;

(B) When performing the low-pressure test, it is not acceptable to apply a higher pressure and bleed down to the low test pressure;

(C) The high-pressure test must be to the rated working pressure of the ram type blowout prevention equipment and related equipment, or to the rated working pressure of the wellhead on which the stack is installed, whichever is lower. A pressure decline of 10 percent or less in 30 minutes is considered satisfactory;

(D) Annular blowout prevention equipment must be high-pressure tested to 50 percent of the rated working pressure;

(E) Manual adjustable chokes not designed for complete shut off (CSO) must be pressure tested only to the extent of determining the integrity of the internal seating components to maintain back pressure; and

(F) Hydraulic chokes designed for CSO must be pressure tested to 50 percent of the rated working pressure.

(b) All casing below the conductor pipe must be pressure tested to 0.22 psi per foot or 1,500 psi, whichever is greater, but not to exceed 70 percent of the minimum internal yield strength of the casing. Higher pressures, using a test plug in the casing head, may be required by the department on a case-by-case basis.

(c) During blowout prevention equipment pressure testing, the casing must be isolated with a test plug set in the wellhead and the appropriate valve opened below the test plug to detect any leakage that may occur due to failure of the test plug.

(d) The choke and kill line valves, choke manifold valves, upper and lower kelly cocks, drill pipe safety valves, and inside blowout prevention equipment must be tested with pressure applied from the wellbore side. All valves, including check valves, located downstream of the valve being pressure tested, will be in the open position.

(e) Manually operated valves and chokes on the blowout prevention equipment, choke and kill lines, or choke manifold must be equipped with a handle provided by the manufacturer, or a functionally equivalent fabricated handle, and be lubricated and maintained to permit operation of the valves without the use of additional wrenches or levers.

(f) All operational components of the blowout prevention equipment must be function tested at least once a week to verify the components' intended operations.

(g) The blowout prevention equipment must be pressure tested: when installed, prior to drilling out casing shoes, and following repairs or reassembly of the preventers that require disconnecting a pressure seal in the assembly.

(h) During drilling operations, blowout prevention equipment must be actuated to test proper functioning once each trip or once each week, whichever is more frequent.

(i) All flange bolts must be inspected at least weekly and retightened as necessary during drilling operations. The auxiliary control systems must be maintained in working order and inspected daily to check the mechanical condition and effectiveness and to insure personnel acquaintance with their operation. A blowout prevention practice drill must be conducted weekly for each drilling crew and be recorded on the driller's log.

(j) The results of all blowout prevention equipment pressure tests and function tests must be recorded on the tour sheet and include the type of test, testing sequence, low and high pressures, duration of each test, and results of each test.

(k) All tool pushers, drilling superintendents, and permittees' representatives (when the permittee is in control of the drilling) are required to have completed an API, IADC, or similar governing body sanction well control certification program and furnish the certification of satisfactory of completion to the department prior to the start of any drilling operations. The certification must be renewed every two years.

(l) The department may require that any blowout prevention equipment test results submitted to the department have a signed affidavit stating that the testing procedures of the blowout prevention equipment and the passing results are accurate and complies with OAR 632-010-0014.

(m) The department may require that all blowout prevention equipment tests be conducted and witnessed by an independent third party that will report all test results to the department for review and approval prior to commencement of drilling operations.

(n) In the event of casing failure during the test, the casing must be repaired or recemented until a satisfactory test is obtained. A pressure decline of 10 percent or less in 30 minutes is considered satisfactory. The department may require an affidavit signed by the operator or contractor conducting the pressure test certifying that a satisfactory pressure test has been obtained.

(o) Casing test results must be recorded in the driller's log and reported to the department within 60 days after completion. The casing and lap test reports must give a detailed description of the test including mud and cement volumes, lapse of time between running and cementing casing and testing, method of testing, and test results.

(3) Blowout Prevention Equipment and Procedures. The operator must use all necessary precautions to keep all wells under control and use trained and competent personnel and properly maintained equipment and materials at all times. Blowout preventers and related well control equipment must be installed, tested immediately after installation using water, and maintained ready for use until drilling operations are completed. Certain components, such as packing elements and ram rubbers, must be of high-temperature resistant material as necessary. All kill lines, blowdown lines, manifolds, and fittings must be steel and have a temperature derated minimum working pressure rating equivalent to the maximum anticipated wellhead surface pressure. Subject to subsections (a) and (b) of this section, blowout prevention equipment must have hydraulic actuating systems and accumulators of sufficient capacity to close all of the hydraulically operated equipment and have a minimum pressure of 1,000 psi remaining on the accumulator. The department may approve manually operated blowout preventers. Dual control stations must be installed with a high-pressure backup system. One control panel must be located on the ground at least 50 feet away from the wellhead or rotary table. Air or other gaseous fluid drilling systems must have blowout prevention assemblies. Such assemblies may include, but are not limited to, a rotating head, a double ram blowout preventer or equivalent, a banjo-box or an approved substitute thereof and a blind ram blowout preventer or gate valve, below the banjo-box. Exceptions to the requirements of this paragraph will be considered by the department on a case-by-case basis. Approved exceptions may include certain geologic and well conditions, such as stable surface areas with known low subsurface formation pressures and temperatures.

(a) Conductor Casing. In certain instances, a remotely controlled hydraulically operated expansion type preventer or an acceptable alternative, approved by the department, including a drilling spool with side outlets or equivalent may be required by the department in areas where shallow thermal zones are indicated.

(b) Surface, Intermediate, and Production Casing. Before drilling below any of these strings, the blowout prevention equipment must include a minimum of the following, unless otherwise approved by the department:

(A) The blowout prevention equipment schematic diagram must indicate the minimum size and pressure rating of all components of the wellhead and blowout preventer assembly;

(B) Install all blowout preventers, choke lines, and choke manifolds above ground level. Casing heads and optional spools may be installed below ground level, provided they are visible and accessible;

(C) Blowout preventer equipment and related casing heads and spools must have a vertical bore no smaller than the inside diameter of the casing to which they are attached;

(D) All ram blowout prevention equipment must be equipped with hydraulic locking devices and manual locking devices with hand wheels extending outside of the rig’s substructure;

(E) Blowout prevention equipment installed on the well must have a rated working pressure equal to or higher than, the working pressure;

(F) Wells drilled while using tapered drill strings must be equipped with either a variable bore pipe ram preventer or additional ram type blowout preventers to provide a minimum of one set of pipe rams for each size of drill pipe in use, and one set of blind rams;

(G) Blowout prevention equipment must consist of at least one expansion-type preventer and a rotating head. Additional blowout prevention equipment may be required by the department based on site-specific well safety needs. Ram blowout prevention equipment or a drilling spool must have side outlets with a minimum inside diameter of two inches on the kill side, and three inches on the choke side to accommodate choke and kill lines. Outlets on the casing head may not be used to attach the choke or kill lines;

(H) Additional blowout prevention equipment must include, but is not limited to, one upper kelly cock, and one drill pipe safety valve with subs to fit all drill string connections in use;

(I) Choke manifold and related equipment must consist of one kill line valve, one check valve, two choke line valves, choke line, two manual adjustable chokes each with one valve located upstream of the choke, one bleed line valve and one mud service pressure gauge with a valve upstream of the gauge;

(J) All choke manifold valves, choke and kill line valves and the choke line must be full bore. Choke line valves, choke line and bleed line valves must have an inside diameter equal to or greater than the minimum requirement for the blowout prevention equipment or drilling spool outlet;

(K) The choke line should be as straight as possible, and any required turns must be made with flow targets at all bends and on block tees. All connections exposed to well bore pressure must be welded, flanged or clamped. Choke hoses with flanged connections designed for that purpose will be accepted in lieu of a steel choke line. The choke line must be securely anchored;

(L) The accumulator must have sufficient capacity to operate the blowout prevention equipment, as outlined in this section, and have two independently powered pump systems connected to start automatically after a 200 psi drop in accumulator pressure, or one independently powered pump system connected to start automatically after a 200 psi drop in accumulator pressure and an emergency nitrogen back-up system connected to the accumulator manifold. Blowout prevention equipment controls may be located at the accumulator or on the rig floor; and

(M) The drilling fluids containment system must have a functional mud pit horn.

(c) Testing and Maintenance.

(A) Ram type blowout preventers and auxiliary equipment must be tested to a minimum of 1,000 psi, 1.5 psi per foot of casing, or to the working pressure of the casing or assembly, whichever is the lesser. Expansion type blowout preventers must be tested to 70 percent of the above pressure testing requirements. The blowout prevention equipment must be pressure tested:

(i) When installed;

(ii) Prior to drilling out plugs or casing shoes or both; and

(iii) Following repairs that require disconnecting a pressure seal in the assembly.

(B) During drilling operations, blowout prevention equipment must be actuated to test proper functioning as follows: once each trip for blind and pipe rams but not less than once each day for pipe rams; and at least once each week on the drill pipe for expansion type preventers.

(C) All flange bolts must be inspected at least weekly and retightened as necessary during drilling operations. The auxiliary control systems must be inspected daily to check the mechanical condition and effectiveness and to ensure personnel’s acquaintance with the method of operation. Blowout prevention and auxiliary control equipment must be cleaned, inspected, and repaired, if necessary, prior to installation to ensure proper functioning. Blowout prevention controls must be plainly labeled, and all crewmembers must be instructed on the function and operation of the equipment. A blowout prevention drill must be conducted weekly for each drilling crew. All blowout prevention tests and crew drills must be recorded on the driller's log.

(4) Related Well Control Equipment. A full opening drill string safety valve in the open position must be maintained on the rig floor at all times while drilling operations are being conducted. A kelly cock must be installed between the kelly and the swivel.

(5) Drilling Fluid. The properties, use, and testing of drilling fluids and the conduct of related drilling procedures must be sufficient to prevent the blowout of any well. Sufficient drilling fluid materials to ensure well control must be maintained on site and readily accessible for use at all times.

(6) Drilling Fluid Control. Before pulling drill pipe, the drilling fluid must be properly conditioned or displaced. The hole must be kept reasonably full at all times; however, in no event will the annular mud level be deeper than 100 feet from the rotary table when coming out of the hole with drill pipe. Mud cooling techniques must be utilized when necessary to maintain mud characteristics for proper well control and hole conditioning. The department may require the use of mud cooling equipment.

(7) Drilling Fluid Testing:

(a) Mud testing and treatment consistent with good operating practice must be performed daily or more frequently as conditions warrant. Mud testing equipment must be maintained on the drilling rig at all times; and

(b) The following mud drilling fluid system monitoring or recording devices must be installed and operated continuously during drilling operations occurring below the shoe of the conductor casing. No exceptions to these requirements will be allowed without the specific prior approval of the department:

(A) High-low level mud pit indicator including a visual and audio-warning device;

(B) Degassers, desilters, and desanders;

(C) A mechanical, electrical, or manual surface drilling fluid temperature monitoring device. The temperature of the drilling fluid going into and coming out of the hole must be monitored, read, and recorded on the driller's or mud log for a minimum of every 30 feet of hole drilled below the conductor casing; and

(D) A hydrogen sulfide indicator and alarm must be installed in areas suspected or known to contain hydrogen sulfide gas that may reach levels considered dangerous to the health and safety of personnel in the area.

(8) Well-head Equipment and Testing:

(a) Completions. All wellhead connections must be fluid pressure tested to the API or ASA working pressure rating. Cold water is required as the testing fluid, unless otherwise approved by the department at the time of permitting. Welding of wellhead connections must be performed by a certified welder using materials in conformance with ASTM specifications; and

(b) Well-head Equipment. All completed wells must be equipped with a minimum of one casinghead with side outlets, one master valve, and one production valve, unless otherwise approved by the department. All casingheads, Christmas trees, fittings, and connections must have a temperature derated working pressure equal to or greater than the surface shut-in pressure of the well at reservoir temperature. Packing, sealing mediums and lubricants must consist of materials or substances that function effectively at, and are resistant to, high temperatures. Wellhead equipment, valves, flanges, and fittings must meet minimum ASA standards or minimum API Standard 6A specifications. Casinghead connections must be made such that fluid can be pumped between casing strings.

(9) Supervision. From the time drilling operations are initiated and until the well is completed or decommissioned, a member of the drilling crew or the toolpusher must monitor the rig floor at all times for surveillance purposes, unless the well is secured with blowout preventers or cement plugs.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.155 & 522.305
Hist.: GMI 8, f. & ef. 11-17-76; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 2-1999, f. & cert. ef. 8-30-99; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

632-020-0180

Blowout Prevention Rules for Prospect Wells Less than 2,000 Feet in Depth

All prospect wells must have adequate casing and wellhead controls installed, unless otherwise approved by the department. The casing must extend from the surface to at least ten percent of the proposed total depth of the well and be cemented back to the surface. Wellhead controls must consist of an annular preventer or double ram preventer or pipe rams and gate valve. Controls may be manual or hydraulic.

(1) If hot water or flowing steam at 65° C. (150° F.) or greater is encountered, further drilling must stop immediately, the operator must notify the department, and the hole will be either:

(a) Completed as an observation hole using steel tubing cemented from total depth to surface; or

(b) Permanently decommissioned by plugging with cement from total depth to surface; or

(c) Deepened only after a review of the adequacy of wellhead control equipment and approval from the department. If the prospect well is deepened as described in this section, it must be completed as described in subsections (a) and (b) of this section.

(2) If cold flowing artesian water is encountered, the hole will be completed as in subsection (1)(a) or (b) of this rule, except that plastic tubing may be used, only with prior department approval.

(3) Locations proposed in natural thermal areas within a 1,000 foot radius of hot springs, fumaroles, or other surface geothermal indicators, or in areas of known artesian water flow, will require a detailed drilling program for each hole approved by the department. The department may require special drilling and completion techniques, such as cemented surface casing and simple expansion type blowout preventers, to safely control formations containing geothermal or other resources that may be penetrated.

(4) A supply of mud and lost circulation material must be kept on hand while drilling to control abnormal pressure if rotary equipment is used.

(5) Prospect wells must not result in the co-mingling of fluids.

(6) No prospect well may be constructed, maintained, or abandoned in such a manner as to constitute a health threat, health hazard, or nuisance to public safety.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 522
Stats. Implemented: ORS 522.155 & 522.305
Hist.: GMI 8, f. & ef. 11-17-76; GMI 4-1980, f. & ef. 10-2-80; GMI 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-30-83; GMI 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-95; DGMI 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 6-22-10; DGMI 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 3-21-13

The official copy of an Oregon Administrative Rule is contained in the Administrative Order filed at the Archives Division, 800 Summer St. NE, Salem, Oregon 97310. Any discrepancies with the published version are satisfied in favor of the Administrative Order. The Oregon Administrative Rules and the Oregon Bulletin are copyrighted by the Oregon Secretary of State. Terms and Conditions of Use

Oregon Secretary of State • 136 State Capitol • Salem, OR 97310-0722
Phone: (503) 986-1523 • Fax: (503) 986-1616 • oregon.sos@state.or.us

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