Said to be environmentally safe and business-friendly, the new ODNR well construction standards, are slated to be effective the beginning of August.
ODNR’s new well construction standards will ensure that the nationally-recognized standards for steel, cement and operations are used to promote safety, generally, and to protect groundwater, specifically – with plenty of ODNR supervision to be sure.
Some highlights include:
- An owner shall set and cement sufficient surface casing at least fifty feet below the base of the deepest underground source of drinking water (USDW), or at least fifty feet into competent bedrock, whichever is deeper, and as specified by the permit, unless otherwise approved by the chief. Surface casing shall be cemented before drilling though hydrocarbon bearing flow zones or zones that contain concentrations of total dissolved solids exceeding ten thousand milligrams per liter unless otherwise approved by the chief.
- All casing installed in a well shall be steel alloy casing that has been manufactured and tested consistent with standards established by the American Petroleum Institute (API).
- In order to verify casing integrity and proper cement displacement, the owner shall pressure test each cemented casing string greater than two hundred feet long in accordance with specified testing procedures.
- Before drilling below the first casing string, the owner shall either crown the location around the wellbore to divert fluids to a flow ditch, or construct a liquid-tight cellar at least three feet in diameter to prevent surface infiltration of fluids adjacent to the wellbore.
- All cement placed into the wellbore shall be Portland cement that is manufactured to meet the standards of API “10 A Specification for Cements and Materials for Well Cementing” or ASTM “C150/C150M Standard Specification for Portland Cement.”
- All bowspring centralizers shall meet the standards of API “10 D, Specification for Bow-Spring Casing Centralizers.”
- All rigid centralizers shall meet the standards of API “10 TR 4 Considerations Regarding Selection of Centralizers for Primary Cementing Operations.”
- The owner shall notify the inspector at least twenty-four hours prior to setting any casing or liner string and before commencing any casing cementing operation pursuant to this rule to enable the inspector to participate in the pre-job safety and procedures meeting, independently test mix water, evaluate casing condition, and observe and document the execution of the cementing operation.
- For each intermediate string of casing that is permanently set in the wellbore, tail cement shall extend from the seat to a point at least five hundred true vertical feet above the casing seat, or to a point at least two hundred feet above the seat of the next larger diameter casing string.
- The production casing shall be cemented with sufficient cement to fill the annular space to a point at least five hundred true vertical feet above the seat in an open-hole vertical completion or the uppermost perforation in a cemented vertical completion, or one thousand feet above the kickoff point of a horizontal well.
- Wellhead assemblies shall be used to maintain surface control of the well. Each component of the wellhead shall have a working pressure rating equal to or greater than the highest anticipated operating pressure to which the particular component might be exposed during the course of drilling, testing, completing, stimulating, or producing the well.
- Within sixty days after drilling to total depth, the owner shall file a legible copy of all cement job logs with the chief furnishing complete data documenting the cementing of all cemented casing strings, on a form approved by the chief and signed by the owner of the well or his authorized agent having personal knowledge of the facts, and representatives of the cementing company performing the cementing job, attesting to compliance with the cementing requirements of this rule.
The rules were adopted to implement the well construction provisions of section 1509.17 of the Ohio Revised Code, as enacted by SB 165 of the 128th General Assembly and amended by HB 153 of the 129th General Assembly.