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United States Regulations
30 CFR PART 250—OIL AND GAS AND SULPHUR OPERATIONS IN THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF
Title 30: Mineral Resources
PART 250—OIL AND GAS AND SULPHUR OPERATIONS IN THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF
Authority: 43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq., 31 U.S.C. 9701.
Source: 53 FR 10690, Apr. 1, 1988, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 63 FR 29479, May 29, 1998.
Source: 64 FR 72775, Dec. 28, 1999, unless otherwise noted.
Authority and Definition of Terms
§ 250.101 Authority and applicability.
The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) authorized the Minerals Management Service (MMS) to regulate oil, gas, and sulphur exploration, development, and production operations on the outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Under the Secretary's authority, the Director requires that all operations:
(a) Be conducted according to the OCS Lands Act (OCSLA), the regulations in this part, MMS orders, the lease or right-of-way, and other applicable laws, regulations, and amendments; and
(b) Conform to sound conservation practice to preserve, protect, and develop mineral resources of the OCS to:
(1) Make resources available to meet the Nation's energy needs;
(2) Balance orderly energy resource development with protection of the human, marine, and coastal environments;
(3) Ensure the public receives a fair and equitable return on the resources of the OCS;
(4) Preserve and maintain free enterprise competition; and
(5) Minimize or eliminate conflicts between the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas and the recovery of other resources.
§ 250.102 What does this part do?
(a) 30 CFR part 250 contains the regulations of the MMS Offshore program that govern oil, gas, and sulphur exploration, development, and production operations on the OCS. When you conduct operations on the OCS, you must submit requests, applications, and notices, or provide supplemental information for MMS approval.
(b) The following table of general references shows where to look for information about these processes.
Table_Where To Find Information for Conducting Operations
For information about Refer to
(1) Applications for permit to drill........ § 250.410.
(2) Development and Production Plans (DPP).. § 250.241 through
(3) Downhole commingling.................... § 250.1106.
(4) Exploration Plans (EP).................. § 250.211 through
(5) Flaring................................. § 250.1105.
(6) Gas measurement......................... § 250.1203.
(7) Off-lease geological and geophysical 30 CFR 251.
(8) Oil spill financial responsibility 30 CFR 253.
(9) Oil and gas production safety systems.... § 250.802.
(10) Oil spill response plans................ 30 CFR 254.
(11) Oil and gas well-completion operations.. § 250.513.
(12) Oil and gas well-workover operations.... § 250.613.
(13) Permanently plugging wells.............. § 250.1710
(14) Platforms and structures................ § 250.901.
(15) Pipelines............................... § 250.1009.
(16) Pipeline right-of-way................... § 250.1010.
(17) Sulphur operations...................... § 250.1604.
(18) Training................................ § 250.1500.
(19) Unitization............................. § 250.1300.
[64 FR 72775, Dec. 28, 1999, as amended at 67 FR 35405, May 17, 2002; 68 FR 8422, Feb. 20, 2003; 70 FR 51500, Aug. 30, 2005]
§ 250.103 Where can I find more information about the requirements in this part?
MMS may issue Notices to Lessees and Operators (NTLs) that clarify, supplement, or provide more detail about certain requirements. NTLs may also outline what you must provide as required information in your various submissions to MMS.
§ 250.104 How may I appeal a decision made under MMS regulations?
To appeal orders or decisions issued under MMS regulations in 30 CFR parts 250 to 282, follow the procedures in 30 CFR part 290.
§ 250.105 Definitions.
Terms used in this part will have the meanings given in the Act and as defined in this section:
Act means the OCS Lands Act, as amended (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.).
Affected State means with respect to any program, plan, lease sale, or other activity proposed, conducted, or approved under the provisions of the Act, any State:
(1) The laws of which are declared, under section 4(a)(2) of the Act, to be the law of the United States for the portion of the OCS on which such activity is, or is proposed to be, conducted;
(2) Which is, or is proposed to be, directly connected by transportation facilities to any artificial island or installation or other device permanently or temporarily attached to the seabed;
(3) Which is receiving, or according to the proposed activity, will receive oil for processing, refining, or transshipment that was extracted from the OCS and transported directly to such State by means of vessels or by a combination of means including vessels;
(4) Which is designated by the Secretary as a State in which there is a substantial probability of significant impact on or damage to the coastal, marine, or human environment, or a State in which there will be significant changes in the social, governmental, or economic infrastructure, resulting from the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas anywhere on the OCS; or
(5) In which the Secretary finds that because of such activity there is, or will be, a significant risk of serious damage, due to factors such as prevailing winds and currents to the marine or coastal environment in the event of any oil spill, blowout, or release of oil or gas from vessels, pipelines, or other transshipment facilities.
Air pollutant means any airborne agent or combination of agents for which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established, under section 109 of the Clean Air Act, national primary or secondary ambient air quality standards.
Analyzed geological information means data collected under a permit or a lease that have been analyzed. Analysis may include, but is not limited to, identification of lithologic and fossil content, core analysis, laboratory analyses of physical and chemical properties, well logs or charts, results from formation fluid tests, and descriptions of hydrocarbon occurrences or hazardous conditions.
Ancillary activities means those activities on your lease or unit that you:
(1) Conduct to obtain data and information to ensure proper exploration or development of your lease or unit; and
(2) Can conduct without MMS approval of an application or permit.
Archaeological interest means capable of providing scientific or humanistic understanding of past human behavior, cultural adaptation, and related topics through the application of scientific or scholarly techniques, such as controlled observation, contextual measurement, controlled collection, analysis, interpretation, and explanation.
Archaeological resource means any material remains of human life or activities that are at least 50 years of age and that are of archaeological interest.
Attainment area means, for any air pollutant, an area that is shown by monitored data or that is calculated by air quality modeling (or other methods determined by the Administrator of EPA to be reliable) not to exceed any primary or secondary ambient air quality standards established by EPA.
Best available and safest technology (BAST) means the best available and safest technologies that the Director determines to be economically feasible wherever failure of equipment would have a significant effect on safety, health, or the environment.
Best available control technology (BACT) means an emission limitation based on the maximum degree of reduction for each air pollutant subject to regulation, taking into account energy, environmental and economic impacts, and other costs. The Regional Director will verify the BACT on a case-by-case basis, and it may include reductions achieved through the application of processes, systems, and techniques for the control of each air pollutant.
Coastal environment means the physical, atmospheric, and biological components, conditions, and factors that interactively determine the productivity, state, condition, and quality of the terrestrial ecosystem from the shoreline inward to the boundaries of the coastal zone.
Coastal zone means the coastal waters (including the lands therein and thereunder) and the adjacent shorelands (including the waters therein and thereunder) strongly influenced by each other and in proximity to the shorelands of the several coastal States. The coastal zone includes islands, transition and intertidal areas, salt marshes, wetlands, and beaches. The coastal zone extends seaward to the outer limit of the U.S. territorial sea and extends inland from the shorelines to the extent necessary to control shorelands, the uses of which have a direct and significant impact on the coastal waters, and the inward boundaries of which may be identified by the several coastal States, under the authority in section 305(b)(1) of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) of 1972.
Competitive reservoir means a reservoir in which there are one or more producible or producing well completions on each of two or more leases or portions of leases, with different lease operating interests, from which the lessees plan future production.
Correlative rights when used with respect to lessees of adjacent leases, means the right of each lessee to be afforded an equal opportunity to explore for, develop, and produce, without waste, minerals from a common source.
Data means facts and statistics, measurements, or samples that have not been analyzed, processed, or interpreted.
Departures means approvals granted by the appropriate MMS representative for operating requirements/procedures other than those specified in the regulations found in this part. These requirements/procedures may be necessary to control a well; properly develop a lease; conserve natural resources, or protect life, property, or the marine, coastal, or human environment.
Development means those activities that take place following discovery of minerals in paying quantities, including but not limited to geophysical activity, drilling, platform construction, and operation of all directly related onshore support facilities, and which are for the purpose of producing the minerals discovered.
Development geological and geophysical (G&G) activities means those G&G and related data-gathering activities on your lease or unit that you conduct following discovery of oil, gas, or sulphur in paying quantities to detect or imply the presence of oil, gas, or sulphur in commercial quantities.
Director means the Director of MMS of the U.S. Department of the Interior, or an official authorized to act on the Director's behalf.
District Supervisor means the MMS officer with authority and responsibility for operations or other designated program functions for a district within an MMS Region.
Easement means an authorization for a nonpossessory, nonexclusive interest in a portion of the OCS, whether leased or unleased, which specifies the rights of the holder to use the area embraced in the easement in a manner consistent with the terms and conditions of the granting authority.
Eastern Gulf of Mexico means all OCS areas of the Gulf of Mexico the Director decides are adjacent to the State of Florida. The Eastern Gulf of Mexico is not the same as the Eastern Planning Area, an area established for OCS lease sales.
Emission offsets means emission reductions obtained from facilities, either onshore or offshore, other than the facility or facilities covered by the proposed Exploration Plan (EP) or Development and Production Plan (DPP).
Enhanced recovery operations means pressure maintenance operations, secondary and tertiary recovery, cycling, and similar recovery operations that alter the natural forces in a reservoir to increase the ultimate recovery of oil or gas.
Existing facility, as used in §250.303, means an OCS facility described in an Exploration Plan or a Development and Production Plan approved before June 2, 1980.
Exploration means the commercial search for oil, gas, or sulphur. Activities classified as exploration include but are not limited to:
(1) Geophysical and geological (G&G) surveys using magnetic, gravity, seismic reflection, seismic refraction, gas sniffers, coring, or other systems to detect or imply the presence of oil, gas, or sulphur; and
(2) Any drilling conducted for the purpose of searching for commercial quantities of oil, gas, and sulphur, including the drilling of any additional well needed to delineate any reservoir to enable the lessee to decide whether to proceed with development and production.
(1) As used in §250.130, all installations permanently or temporarily attached to the seabed on the OCS (including manmade islands and bottom-sitting structures). They include mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) or other vessels engaged in drilling or downhole operations, used for oil, gas or sulphur drilling, production, or related activities. They include all floating production systems (FPSs), variously described as column-stabilized-units (CSUs); floating production, storage and offloading facilities (FPSOs); tension-leg platforms (TLPs); spars, etc. They also include facilities for product measurement and royalty determination (e.g., lease Automatic Custody Transfer Units, gas meters) of OCS production on installations not on the OCS. Any group of OCS installations interconnected with walkways, or any group of installations that includes a central or primary installation with processing equipment and one or more satellite or secondary installations is a single facility. The Regional Supervisor may decide that the complexity of the individual installations justifies their classification as separate facilities.
(2) As used in §250.303, means all installations or devices permanently or temporarily attached to the seabed. They include mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs), even while operating in the “tender assist” mode (i.e. with skid-off drilling units) or other vessels engaged in drilling or downhole operations. They are used for exploration, development, and production activities for oil, gas, or sulphur and emit or have the potential to emit any air pollutant from one or more sources. They include all floating production systems (FPSs), including column-stabilized-units (CSUs); floating production, storage and offloading facilities (FPSOs); tension-leg platforms (TLPs); spars, etc. During production, multiple installations or devices are a single facility if the installations or devices are at a single site. Any vessel used to transfer production from an offshore facility is part of the facility while it is physically attached to the facility.
(3) As used in §250.490(b), means a vessel, a structure, or an artificial island used for drilling, well completion, well-workover, or production operations.
(4) As used in §§250.900 through 250.921, means all installations or devices permanently or temporarily attached to the seabed. They are used for exploration, development, and production activities for oil, gas, or sulphur and emit or have the potential to emit any air pollutant from one or more sources. They include all floating production systems (FPSs), including column-stabilized-units (CSUs); floating production, storage and offloading facilities (FPSOs); tension-leg platforms (TLPs); spars, etc. During production, multiple installations or devices are a single facility if the installations or devices are at a single site. Any vessel used to transfer production from an offshore facility is part of the facility while it is physically attached to the facility.
Gas reservoir means a reservoir that contains hydrocarbons predominantly in a gaseous (single-phase) state.
Gas-well completion means a well completed in a gas reservoir or in the associated gas-cap of an oil reservoir.
Geological and geophysical (G&G) explorations means those G&G surveys on your lease or unit that use seismic reflection, seismic refraction, magnetic, gravity, gas sniffers, coring, or other systems to detect or imply the presence of oil, gas, or sulphur in commercial quantities.
Governor means the Governor of a State, or the person or entity designated by, or under, State law to exercise the powers granted to such Governor under the Act.
H2S absent means:
(1) Drilling, logging, coring, testing, or producing operations have confirmed the absence of H2S in concentrations that could potentially result in atmospheric concentrations of 20 ppm or more of H2S; or
(2) Drilling in the surrounding areas and correlation of geological and seismic data with equivalent stratigraphic units have confirmed an absence of H2S throughout the area to be drilled.
H2S present means drilling, logging, coring, testing, or producing operations have confirmed the presence of H2S in concentrations and volumes that could potentially result in atmospheric concentrations of 20 ppm or more of H2S.
H2S unknown means the designation of a zone or geologic formation where neither the presence nor absence of H2S has been confirmed.
Human environment means the physical, social, and economic components, conditions, and factors that interactively determine the state, condition, and quality of living conditions, employment, and health of those affected, directly or indirectly, by activities occurring on the OCS.
Interpreted geological information means geological knowledge, often in the form of schematic cross sections, 3-dimensional representations, and maps, developed by determining the geological significance of data and analyzed geological information.
Interpreted geophysical information means geophysical knowledge, often in the form of schematic cross sections, 3-dimensional representations, and maps, developed by determining the geological significance of geophysical data and analyzed geophysical information.
Lease means an agreement that is issued under section 8 or maintained under section 6 of the Act and that authorizes exploration for, and development and production of, minerals. The term also means the area covered by that authorization, whichever the context requires.
Lease term pipelines means those pipelines owned and operated by a lessee or operator that are completely contained within the boundaries of a single lease, unit, or contiguous (not cornering) leases of that lessee or operator.
Lessee means a person who has entered into a lease with the United States to explore for, develop, and produce the leased minerals. The term lessee also includes the MMS-approved assignee of the lease, and the owner or the MMS-approved assignee of operating rights for the lease.
Major Federal action means any action or proposal by the Secretary that is subject to the provisions of section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. (2)(C) (i.e., an action that will have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment requiring preparation of an environmental impact statement under section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act).
Marine environment means the physical, atmospheric, and biological components, conditions, and factors that interactively determine the productivity, state, condition, and quality of the marine ecosystem. These include the waters of the high seas, the contiguous zone, transitional and intertidal areas, salt marshes, and wetlands within the coastal zone and on the OCS.
Material remains means physical evidence of human habitation, occupation, use, or activity, including the site, location, or context in which such evidence is situated.
Maximum efficient rate (MER) means the maximum sustainable daily oil or gas withdrawal rate from a reservoir that will permit economic development and depletion of that reservoir without detriment to ultimate recovery.
Maximum production rate (MPR) means the approved maximum daily rate at which oil or gas may be produced from a specified oil-well or gas-well completion.
Minerals includes oil, gas, sulphur, geopressured-geothermal and associated resources, and all other minerals that are authorized by an Act of Congress to be produced.
Natural resources includes, without limiting the generality thereof, oil, gas, and all other minerals, and fish, shrimp, oysters, clams, crabs, lobsters, sponges, kelp, and other marine animal and plant life but does not include water power or the use of water for the production of power.
Nonattainment area means, for any air pollutant, an area that is shown by monitored data or that is calculated by air quality modeling (or other methods determined by the Administrator of EPA to be reliable) to exceed any primary or secondary ambient air quality standard established by EPA.
Nonsensitive reservoir means a reservoir in which ultimate recovery is not decreased by high reservoir production rates.
Oil reservoir means a reservoir that contains hydrocarbons predominantly in a liquid (single-phase) state.
Oil reservoir with an associated gas cap means a reservoir that contains hydrocarbons in both a liquid and gaseous (two-phase) state.
Oil-well completion means a well completed in an oil reservoir or in the oil accumulation of an oil reservoir with an associated gas cap.
Operating rights means any interest held in a lease with the right to explore for, develop, and produce leased substances.
Operator means the person the lessee(s) designates as having control or management of operations on the leased area or a portion thereof. An operator may be a lessee, the MMS-approved designated agent of the lessee(s), or the holder of operating rights under an MMS-approved operating rights assignment.
Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) means all submerged lands lying seaward and outside of the area of lands beneath navigable waters as defined in section 2 of the Submerged Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1301) whose subsoil and seabed appertain to the United States and are subject to its jurisdiction and control.
Person includes, in addition to a natural person, an association (including partnerships and trusts), a State, a political subdivision of a State, or a private, public, or municipal corporation.
Pipelines are the piping, risers, and appurtenances installed for transporting oil, gas, sulphur, and produced waters.
Processed geological or geophysical information means data collected under a permit or a lease that have been processed or reprocessed. Processing involves changing the form of data to facilitate interpretation. Processing operations may include, but are not limited to, applying corrections for known perturbing causes, rearranging or filtering data, and combining or transforming data elements. Reprocessing is the additional processing other than ordinary processing used in the general course of evaluation. Reprocessing operations may include varying identified parameters for the detailed study of a specific problem area.
Production means those activities that take place after the successful completion of any means for the removal of minerals, including such removal, field operations, transfer of minerals to shore, operation monitoring, maintenance, and workover operations.
Production areas are those areas where flammable petroleum gas, volatile liquids or sulphur are produced, processed (e.g., compressed), stored, transferred (e.g., pumped), or otherwise handled before entering the transportation process.
Projected emissions means emissions, either controlled or uncontrolled, from a source or sources.
Prospect means a geologic feature having the potential for mineral deposits.
Regional Director means the MMS officer with responsibility and authority for a Region within MMS.
Regional Supervisor means the MMS officer with responsibility and authority for operations or other designated program functions within an MMS Region.
Right-of-use means any authorization issued under this part to use OCS lands.
Right-of-way pipelines are those pipelines that are contained within:
(1) The boundaries of a single lease or unit, but are not owned and operated by a lessee or operator of that lease or unit;
(2) The boundaries of contiguous (not cornering) leases that do not have a common lessee or operator;
(3) The boundaries of contiguous (not cornering) leases that have a common lessee or operator but are not owned and operated by that common lessee or operator; or
(4) An unleased block(s).
Routine operations, for the purposes of subpart F, means any of the following operations conducted on a well with the tree installed:
(1) Cutting paraffin;
(2) Removing and setting pump-through-type tubing plugs, gas-lift valves, and subsurface safety valves that can be removed by wireline operations;
(3) Bailing sand;
(4) Pressure surveys;
(6) Scale or corrosion treatment;
(7) Caliper and gauge surveys;
(8) Corrosion inhibitor treatment;
(9) Removing or replacing subsurface pumps;
(10) Through-tubing logging (diagnostics);
(11) Wireline fishing;
(12) Setting and retrieving other subsurface flow-control devices; and
(13) Acid treatments.
Sensitive reservoir means a reservoir in which high reservoir production rates will decrease ultimate recovery. For submitting the first MER, all oil reservoirs with an associated gas cap are classified as sensitive.
Significant archaeological resource means those archaeological resources that meet the criteria of significance for eligibility to the National Register of Historic Places as defined in 36 CFR 60.4, or its successor.
Suspension means a granted or directed deferral of the requirement to produce (Suspension of Production (SOP)) or to conduct leaseholding operations (Suspension of Operations (SOO)).
Waste of oil, gas, or sulphur means:
(1) The physical waste of oil, gas, or sulphur;
(2) The inefficient, excessive, or improper use, or the unnecessary dissipation of reservoir energy;
(3) The locating, spacing, drilling, equipping, operating, or producing of any oil, gas, or sulphur well(s) in a manner that causes or tends to cause a reduction in the quantity of oil, gas, or sulphur ultimately recoverable under prudent and proper operations or that causes or tends to cause unnecessary or excessive surface loss or destruction of oil or gas; or
(4) The inefficient storage of oil.
Welding means all activities connected with welding, including hot tapping and burning.
Wellbay is the area on a facility within the perimeter of the outermost wellheads.
Well-completion operations means the work conducted to establish production from a well after the production-casing string has been set, cemented, and pressure-tested.
Well-control fluid means drilling mud, completion fluid, or workover fluid as appropriate to the particular operation being conducted.
Western Gulf of Mexico means all OCS areas of the Gulf of Mexico except those the Director decides are adjacent to the State of Florida. The Western Gulf of Mexico is not the same as the Western Planning Area, an area established for OCS lease sales.
Workover operations means the work conducted on wells after the initial well-completion operation for the purpose of maintaining or restoring the productivity of a well.
You means a lessee, the owner or holder of operating rights, a designated agent of the lessee(s), a pipeline right-of-way holder, or a State lessee granted a right-of-use and easement.
[64 FR 72775, Dec. 28, 1999, as amended at 68 FR 8422, Feb. 20, 2003; 70 FR 41573, July 19, 2005; 70 FR 51500, Aug. 30, 2005]
§ 250.106 What standards will the Director use to regulate lease operations?
The Director will regulate all operations under a lease, right-of-use and easement, or right-of-way to:
(a) Promote orderly exploration, development, and production of mineral resources;
(b) Prevent injury or loss of life;
(c) Prevent damage to or waste of any natural resource, property, or the environment; and
(d) Cooperate and consult with affected States, local governments, other interested parties, and relevant Federal agencies.
§ 250.107 What must I do to protect health, safety, property, and the environment?
(a) You must protect health, safety, property, and the environment by:
(1) Performing all operations in a safe and workmanlike manner; and
(2) Maintaining all equipment in a safe condition.
(b) You must immediately control, remove, or otherwise correct any hazardous oil and gas accumulation or other health, safety, or fire hazard.
(c) You must use the best available and safest technology (BAST) whenever practical on all exploration, development, and production operations. In general, we consider your compliance with MMS regulations to be the use of BAST.
(d) The Director may require additional measures to ensure the use of BAST:
(1) To avoid the failure of equipment that would have a significant effect on safety, health, or the environment;
(2) If it is economically feasible; and
(3) If the benefits outweigh the costs.
§ 250.108 What requirements must I follow for cranes and other material-handling equipment?
(a) All cranes installed on fixed platforms must be operated in accordance with American Petroleum Institute's Recommended Practice for Operation and Maintenance of Offshore Cranes (API RP 2D), incorporated by reference as specified in 30 CFR 250.198.
(b) All cranes installed on fixed platforms must be equipped with a functional anti-two block device by March 16, 2005.
(c) If a fixed platform is installed after March 17, 2003, all cranes on the platform must meet the requirements of the American Petroleum Institute's Specification for Offshore Cranes (API Spec 2C), incorporated by reference as specified in 30 CFR 250.198.
(d) All cranes manufactured after March 17, 2003, and installed on a fixed platform, must meet the requirements of API Spec 2C, incorporated by reference as specified in 30 CFR 250.198.
(e) You must maintain records specific to a crane or the operation of a crane installed on an OCS fixed platform, as follows:
(1) Retain all design and construction records, including installation records for any anti-two block safety devices, for the life of the crane. The records must be kept at the OCS fixed platform.
(2) Retain all inspection, testing, and maintenance records of cranes for at least 4 years. The records must be kept at the OCS fixed platform.
(3) Retain the qualification records of the crane operator and all rigger personnel for at least 4 years. The records must be kept at the OCS fixed platform.
(f) You must operate and maintain all other material-handling equipment in a manner that ensures safe operations and prevents pollution.
[68 FR 7426, Feb. 14, 2003]
§ 250.109 What documents must I prepare and maintain related to welding?
(a) You must submit a Welding Plan to the District Supervisor before you begin drilling or production activities on a lease. You may not begin welding until the District Supervisor has approved your plan.
(b) You must keep the following at the site where welding occurs:
(1) A copy of the plan and its approval letter; and
(2) Drawings showing the designated safe-welding areas.
§ 250.110 What must I include in my welding plan?
You must include all of the following in the Welding Plan that you prepare under §250.109:
(a) Standards or requirements for welders;
(b) How you will ensure that only qualified personnel weld;
(c) Practices and procedures for safe welding that address:
(1) Welding in designated safe areas;
(2) Welding in undesignated areas, including wellbay;
(3) Fire watches;
(4) Maintenance of welding equipment; and
(5) Plans showing all designated safe-welding areas.
(d) How you will prevent spark-producing activities (i.e., grinding, abrasive blasting/cutting and arc-welding) in hazardous locations.
§ 250.111 Who oversees operations under my welding plan?
A welding supervisor or a designated person in charge must be thoroughly familiar with your welding plan. This person must ensure that each welder is properly qualified according to the welding plan. This person also must inspect all welding equipment before welding.
§ 250.112 What standards must my welding equipment meet?
Your welding equipment must meet the following requirements:
(a) All engine-driven welding equipment must be equipped with spark arrestors and drip pans;
(b) Welding leads must be completely insulated and in good condition;
(c) Hoses must be leak-free and equipped with proper fittings, gauges, and regulators; and
(d) Oxygen and fuel gas bottles must be secured in a safe place.
§ 250.113 What procedures must I follow when welding?
(a) Before you weld, you must move any equipment containing hydrocarbons or other flammable substances at least 35 feet horizontally from the welding area. You must move similar equipment on lower decks at least 35 feet from the point of impact where slag, sparks, or other burning materials could fall. If moving this equipment is impractical, you must protect that equipment with flame-proofed covers, shield it with metal or fire-resistant guards or curtains, or render the flammable substances inert.
(b) While you weld, you must monitor all water-discharge-point sources from hydrocarbon-handling vessels. If a discharge of flammable fluids occurs, you must stop welding.
(c) If you cannot weld in one of the designated safe-welding areas that you listed in your safe welding plan, you must meet the following requirements:
(1) You may not begin welding until:
(i) The welding supervisor or designated person in charge advises in writing that it is safe to weld.
(ii) You and the designated person in charge inspect the work area and areas below it for potential fire and explosion hazards.
(2) During welding, the person in charge must designate one or more persons as a fire watch. The fire watch must:
(i) Have no other duties while actual welding is in progress;
(ii) Have usable firefighting equipment;
(iii) Remain on duty for 30 minutes after welding activities end; and
(iv) Maintain a continuous surveillance with a portable gas detector during the welding and burning operation if welding occurs in an area not equipped with a gas detector.
(3) You may not weld piping, containers, tanks, or other vessels that have contained a flammable substance unless you have rendered the contents inert and the designated person in charge has determined it is safe to weld. This does not apply to approved hot taps.
(4) You may not weld within 10 feet of a wellbay unless you have shut in all producing wells in that wellbay.
(5) You may not weld within 10 feet of a production area, unless you have shut in that production area.
(6) You may not weld while you drill, complete, workover, or conduct wireline operations unless:
(i) The fluids in the well (being drilled, completed, worked over, or having wireline operations conducted) are noncombustible; and
(ii) You have precluded the entry of formation hydrocarbons into the wellbore by either mechanical means or a positive overbalance toward the formation.
§ 250.114 How must I install and operate electrical equipment?
The requirements in this section apply to all electrical equipment on all platforms, artificial islands, fixed structures, and their facilities.
(a) You must classify all areas according to API RP 500, Recommended Practice for Classification of Locations for Electrical Installations at Petroleum Facilities Classified as Class I, Division 1 and Division 2, or API RP 505, Recommended Practice for Classification of Locations for Electrical Installations at Petroleum Facilities Classified as Class I, Zone 0, Zone 1, and Zone 2.
(b) Employees who maintain your electrical systems must have expertise in area classification and the performance, operation and hazards of electrical equipment.
(c) You must install all electrical systems according to API RP 14F, Recommended Practice for Design and Installation of Electrical Systems for Fixed and Floating Offshore Petroleum Facilities for Unclassified and Class I, Division 1, and Division 2 Locations (incorporated by reference as specified in §250.198), or API RP 14FZ, Recommended Practice for Design and Installation of Electrical Systems for Fixed and Floating Offshore Petroleum Facilities for Unclassified and Class I, Zone 0, Zone 1, and Zone 2 Locations (incorporated by reference as specified in §250.198).
(d) On each engine that has an electric ignition system, you must use an ignition system designed and maintained to reduce the release of electrical energy.
[64 FR 72775, Dec. 28, 1999, as amended at 65 FR 219, Jan. 4, 2000; 68 FR 43298, July 22, 2003]
§ 250.115 How do I determine well producibility?
You must follow the procedures in this section to determine well producibility if your well is not in the GOM. If your well is in the GOM you must follow the procedures in either this section or in §250.116 of this subpart.
(a) You must write to the Regional Supervisor asking for permission to determine producibility.
(b) You must either:
(1) Allow the District Supervisor to witness each test that you conduct under this section; or
(2) Receive the District Supervisor's prior approval so that you can submit either test data with your affidavit or third party test data.
(c) If the well is an oil well, you must conduct a production test that lasts at least 2 hours after flow stabilizes.
(d) If the well is a gas well, you must conduct a deliverability test that lasts at least 2 hours after flow stabilizes, or a four-point back pressure test.
§ 250.116 How do I determine producibility if my well is in the Gulf of Mexico?
If your well is in the GOM, you must follow either the procedures in §250.115 of this subpart or the procedures in this section to determine producibility.
(a) You must write to the Regional Supervisor asking for permission to determine producibility.
(b) You must provide or make available to the Regional Supervisor, as requested, the following log, core, analyses, and test criteria that MMS will consider collectively:
(1) A log showing sufficient porosity in the producible section.
(2) Sidewall cores and core analyses that show that the section is capable of producing oil or gas.
(3) Wireline formation test and/or mud-logging analyses that show that the section is capable of producing oil or gas.
(4) A resistivity or induction electric log of the well showing a minimum of 15 feet (true vertical thickness except for horizontal wells) of producible sand in one section.
(c) No section that you count as producible under paragraph (b)(4) of this section may include any interval that appears to be water saturated.
(d) Each section you count as producible under paragraph (b)(4) of this section must exhibit:
(1) A minimum true resistivity ratio of the producible section to the nearest clean or water-bearing sand of at least 5:1; and
(2) One of the following:
(i) Electrical spontaneous potential exceeding 20-negative millivolts beyond the shale baseline; or
(ii) Gamma ray log deflection of at least 70 percent of the maximum gamma ray deflection in the nearest clean water-bearing sand—if mud conditions prevent a 20-negative millivolt reading beyond the shale baseline.
§ 250.117 How does a determination of well producibility affect royalty status?
A determination of well producibility invokes minimum royalty status on the lease as provided in 30 CFR 202.53.
§ 250.118 Will MMS approve gas injection?
The Regional Supervisor may authorize you to inject gas on the OCS, on and off-lease, to promote conservation of natural resources and to prevent waste.
(a) To receive MMS approval for injection, you must:
(1) Show that the injection will not result in undue interference with operations under existing leases; and
(2) Submit a written application to the Regional Supervisor for injection of gas.
(b) The Regional Supervisor will approve gas injection applications that:
(1) Enhance recovery;
(2) Prevent flaring of casinghead gas; or
(3) Implement other conservation measures approved by the Regional Supervisor.
§ 250.119 Will MMS approve subsurface gas storage?
The Regional Supervisor may authorize subsurface storage of gas on the OCS, on and off-lease, for later commercial benefit. To receive MMS approval you must:
(a) Show that the subsurface storage of gas will not result in undue interference with operations under existing leases; and
(b) Sign a storage agreement that includes the required payment of a storage fee or rental.
§ 250.120 How does injecting, storing, or treating gas affect my royalty payments?
(a) If you produce gas from an OCS lease and inject it into a reservoir on the lease or unit for the purposes cited in §250.118(b), you are not required to pay royalties until you remove or sell the gas from the reservoir.
(b) If you produce gas from an OCS lease and store it according to §250.119, you must pay royalty before injecting it into the storage reservoir.
(c) If you produce gas from an OCS lease and treat it at an off-lease or off-unit location, you must pay royalties when the gas is first produced.
§ 250.121 What happens when the reservoir contains both original gas in place and injected gas?
If the reservoir contains both original gas in place and injected gas, when you produce gas from the reservoir you must use an MMS-approved formula to determine the amounts of injected or stored gas and gas original to the reservoir.
§ 250.122 What effect does subsurface storage have on the lease term?
If you use a lease area for subsurface storage of gas, it does not affect the continuance or expiration of the lease.
§ 250.123 Will MMS allow gas storage on unleased lands?
You may not store gas on unleased lands unless the Regional Supervisor approves a right-of-use and easement for that purpose, under §§250.160 through 250.166 of this subpart.
§ 250.124 Will MMS approve gas injection into the cap rock containing a sulphur deposit?
To receive the Regional Supervisor's approval to inject gas into the cap rock of a salt dome containing a sulphur deposit, you must show that the injection:
(a) Is necessary to recover oil and gas contained in the cap rock; and
(b) Will not significantly increase potential hazards to present or future sulphur mining operations.
§ 250.125 Service fees.
(a) The table in this paragraph (a) shows the fees that you must pay to MMS for the services listed. The fees will be adjusted periodically according to the Implicit Price Deflator for Gross Domestic Product by publication of a document in the Federal Register. If a significant adjustment is needed to arrive at the new actual cost for any reason other than inflation, then a proposed rule containing the new fees will be published in the Federal Register for comment.
Service Fee Table
[Effective September 26, 2005]
Service Fee amount 30 CFR citation
(1) Change In Designation of Operator..... $150 § 250.143
(2) Suspension of Operations/Suspension of 1,800 § 250.171
Production (SOO/SOP) Request.............
(3) Pipeline Right-of-Way (ROW) Grant 2,350 § 250.1015
(4) Pipeline Conversion of Lease Term to 200 § 250.1015
(5) Pipeline ROW Assignment............... 170 § 250.1018
(6) 500 feet from Lease/Unit Line 3,300 § 250.1101
(7) Gas Cap Production Request............ 4,200 § 250.1101
(8) Downhole Commingling Request.......... 4,900 § 250.1106
(9) Voluntary Unitization Proposal or Unit 10,700 § 250.1303
(10) Unitization Revision................. 760 § 250.1303
(b) Once a fee is paid, it is nonrefundable, even if an application or other request is withdrawn. If your application is returned to you as incomplete, you are not required to submit a new fee with the amended application.
[70 FR 49875, Aug. 25, 2005]
Inspection of Operations
§ 250.130 Why does MMS conduct inspections?
MMS will inspect OCS facilities and any vessels engaged in drilling or other downhole operations. These include facilities under jurisdiction of other Federal agencies that we inspect by agreement. We conduct these inspections:
(a) To verify that you are conducting operations according to the Act, the regulations, the lease, right-of-way, the approved Exploration Plan or Development and Production Plans; or right-of-use and easement, and other applicable laws and regulations; and
(b) To determine whether equipment designed to prevent or ameliorate blowouts, fires, spillages, or other major accidents has been installed and is operating properly according to the requirements of this part.
§ 250.131 Will MMS notify me before conducting an inspection?
MMS conducts both scheduled and unscheduled inspections.
§ 250.132 What must I do when MMS conducts an inspection?
(a) When MMS conducts an inspection, you must provide:
(1) Access to all platforms, artificial islands, and other installations on your leases or associated with your lease, right-of-use and easement, or right-of-way; and
(2) Helicopter landing sites and refueling facilities for any helicopters we use to regulate offshore operations.
(b) You must make the following available for us to inspect:
(1) The area covered under a lease, right-of-use and easement, right-of-way, or permit;
(2) All improvements, structures, and fixtures on these areas; and
(3) All records of design, construction, operation, maintenance, repairs, or investigations on or related to the area.
§ 250.133 Will MMS reimburse me for my expenses related to inspections?
Upon request, MMS will reimburse you for food, quarters, and transportation that you provide for MMS representatives while they inspect lease facilities and operations. You must send us your reimbursement request within 90 days of the inspection.
§ 250.135 What will MMS do if my operating performance is unacceptable?
If your operating performance is unacceptable, MMS may disapprove or revoke your designation as operator on a single facility or multiple facilities. We will give you adequate notice and opportunity for a review by MMS officials before imposing a disqualification.
§ 250.136 How will MMS determine if my operating performance is unacceptable?
In determining if your operating performance is unacceptable, MMS will consider, individually or collectively:
(a) Accidents and their nature;
(b) Pollution events, environmental damages and their nature;
(c) Incidents of noncompliance;
(d) Civil penalties;
(e) Failure to adhere to OCS lease obligations; or
(f) Any other relevant factors.
Special Types of Approvals
§ 250.140 When will I receive an oral approval?
When you apply for MMS approval of any activity, we normally give you a written decision. The following table shows circumstances under which we may give an oral approval.
When you We may And
(a) Request approval orally............. Give you an oral approval.. You must then confirm the oral request by
sending us a written request within 72
(b) Request approval in writing......... Give you an oral approval We will send you a written approval
if quick action is needed. afterward. It will include any
conditions that we place on the oral
(c) Request approval orally for gas Give you an oral approval.. You don't have to follow up with a
flaring. written request unless the Regional
Supervisor requires it. When you stop
the approved flaring, you must promptly
send a letter summarizing the location,
dates and hours,and volumes of liquid (continued)