TRC updates oil, gas well construction rules

The Texas Railroad Commission has amended well construction requirements rule to clarify oil and gas well construction requirements related to casing, cementing, drilling, well control, and completions. The amendments take effect Jan. 1, 2014, and apply to wells drilled within Texas on or after that date.

TRC Commissioner David Porter attributed exploration and production growth to “several prolific shale plays,” saying the commission was updating and enhancing its rules to continue “our agency’s proud legacy of environmental protection and public safety.”

Some changes involve groundwater protection measures. The Texas Legislature, the Texas Water Development Board, and TRC all have evaluated industry's demand on the state’s water supplies. (OGJ Online, July 30, 2012).

TRC staffers said amendments to the TRC Rule 13 (Casing, Cementing, Drilling, Well Control, and Completion Requirements) outline the updates and also more clearly state well-construction requirements, including:

• For wells undergoing hydraulic fracturing treatments, operators are required to pressure test well casings to the maximum pressure expected during fracture treatment and to notify TRC of a failed test. Also during fracturing, operators are required to monitor the annular space between the well’s casings for pressure changes (which could indicate a leak in casing) and suspend fracturing if the annuli monitoring indicates a potential downhole casing leak.

• Requires operators to verify the mechanical integrity of surface casing and intermediate casing for wells in which the drilling time for the next casing string (either the intermediate casing string or the production casing string) exceed 360 hr. This will ensure that rotation motion of the drill string did not damage surface casing integrity or other intermediate casing strings.

• Requires operators to place cement behind casing across and above all formations that have a permit for an injection or disposal well within one-quarter mile of a proposed well;

• Requires TRC approval before setting surface casing to a depth greater than 3,500 ft.

• Establishes additional testing and monitoring requirements for “minimum separation wells” where the vertical distance between the base of usable quality water and the top of a formation to undergo fracturing is less than 1,000 vertical ft. This limits the number of vertical wells that are vertically hydraulically fractured in shallow fields in the Abilene, Midland, San Antonio, and Wichita Falls areas. The provision excludes horizontally completed and fractured wells within major plays in the Barnett and Eagle Ford shale and the Permian basin.

• Requires operators to use air, fresh water, or fresh water-based drilling mud until surface casing is set and cemented in a well to protect usable quality groundwater.

• Operators are required to pump sufficient cement to isolate and control annular gas migration and isolate potential flow zones and zones with corrosive formation fluids.

• Updates references to cement quality, cementing, well equipment, well casing centralizers, and well control, and sets minimum cement sheath thickness of at least ¾ in. around the surface casing and a minimum cement sheath thickness of ½ in. around subsequent casing strings.

• Consolidates and updates requirements for well control and blowout preventers, and distinguishes between the use of well control equipment on inland, bay, and offshore wells. Main rule amendments involve the makeup of BOPs.

• Implements Article 2 of House Bill 2694 to reflect the transfer of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Surface Casing Section to the TRC, where it is the Groundwater Advisory Unit. As usable quality groundwater depth varies statewide, this unit establishes the depth of surface casing required for each well to protect groundwater.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

PHMSA proposes pipeline accident notification regulations

07/02/2015 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has proposed new federal oil and gas pipeline accident and notification regulations. ...

BHI: US oil rig count rises for first time in 30 weeks

07/02/2015 A sudden 12-unit jump in oil-directed rigs during the abbreviated week ended July 2 represented their first rise since Dec. 5, 2014, and helped lif...

FourPoint Energy to acquire Anadarko basin assets from Chesapeake

07/02/2015 FourPoint Energy LLC, a privately owned Denver company, plans to acquire oil and gas assets from Chesapeake Energy Corp. subsidiaries Chesapeake Ex...

Puma Energy completes purchase of Murco’s UK refinery, terminals

07/02/2015 Singapore-based Puma Energy Group Pte. has completed its purchase of UK midstream and downstream assets from Murco Petroleum Ltd., a subsidiary of ...

BP to settle federal, state Deepwater Horizon claims for $18.7 billion

07/02/2015 BP Exploration & Production Inc. has agreed in principle to settle all federal and state claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon inciden...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices plummet on crude inventory build, Iran deadline extension

07/02/2015 Oil prices plummeted more than $2/bbl July 1 to settle at a 2-month low on the New York market after a weekly government report showed the first ri...

API to issue recommended practice to address pipeline safety

07/01/2015 The American Petroleum Institute expects to issue a new recommended practice in another few weeks that addresses pipeline safety issues, but the tr...

Shell Midstream Partners takes interest in Poseidon oil pipeline

07/01/2015 Shell Midstream Partners LP has completed its acquisition of 36% equity interest in Poseidon Oil Pipeline Co. LLC from Equilon Enterprises LLC, a s...

Shell makes FID on Appomattox deepwater development in Gulf of Mexico

07/01/2015 Royal Dutch Shell PLC has taken a final investment decision (FID) on the Appomattox deepwater development, authorizing construction and installatio...
White Papers

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

When Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Taking the Headache out of Fuel License and Exemption Certificates: How to Ensure Compliance

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

This webinar, brought to you by Avalara, will detail the challenges of tax document management, as well as recommend solutions for fuel suppliers. You will learn:

-    Why it’s critical to track business partner licenses and exemption documents
-    The four key business challenges of ensuring tax compliance through document management
-    Best practice business processes to minimize exposure to tax errors

register:WEBCAST


Driving Growth and Efficiency with Deep Insights into Operational Data

Wed, Aug 19, 2015

Capitalizing on today’s momentum in Oil & Gas requires operational excellence based on a clear view of what your business data is telling you. Which is why nearly half* of oil and gas companies have deployed SAP HANA or have it on their roadmap.

Join SAP and Red Hat to learn more about using data to drive process improvements and identify new opportunities with the SAP HANA platform running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This webinar will also show how your choice of infrastructure impacts the performance of core business applications and your ability to achieve data-driven insights quickly and reliably.

*48% use SAP, http://go.sap.com/solution/industry/oil-gas.html

register:WEBCAST


OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected