WASHINGTON (CN) – The Minerals Management Service has established regulations to manage continuous pressure that may build up around oil and gas lines at connection points, and eventually blow, in wells in the Outer Continental Shelf.
Existing regulations did not adequately address the requirements for wells that have this “sustained casing pressure,” according to the agency.
The regulations establish criteria for monitoring and testing wells with the pressure, and incorporate the American Petroleum Institute’s Recommended Practice for managing it. This rule requires Outer Continental Shelf lessees to follow best industry practices for wells with sustained casing pressure.
A recommended practice is to filter out non-problematic wells that “present an acceptable level of risk,” and focus effort on wells that are problematic. The program will include monitoring, diagnostic testing, determining maximum allowable wellhead operating pressure for each connection, documentation, and risk assessment considerations.
British Petroleum, the company whose Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico April 20, had weighed in on the importance of this rule and noted how they have been involved with MMS and industry to develop the industry standard, according to the rule.
The regulations are effective June 3, 2010.
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