Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 25. Department of Energy
Chapter 150. Virginia Gas and Oil Regulation

4VAC25-150-280. Logs and surveys.

A. Each permittee drilling a well or corehole shall complete a driller's log, a gamma ray log, or other log showing the top and bottom points of geologic formations and any other log required under this section. The driller's log shall state, at a minimum, the character, depth, and thickness of geological formations encountered, including groundwater-bearing strata, coal seams, mineral beds, and gas-bearing or oil-bearing formations.

B. When a permittee or the director identifies that a well or corehole is to be drilled or deepened in an area of the Commonwealth that is known to be underlain by coal seams, the following shall be required:

1. The vertical location of coal seams in the well or corehole shall be determined and shown in the driller's log and gamma ray log or other log.

2. The horizontal location of the well or corehole in coal seams shall be determined through an inclination survey from the surface to the lowest known coal seam. Each inclination survey shall be conducted as follows:

a. The first survey point shall be taken at a depth not greater than the most shallow coal seam; and

b. Thereafter shot points shall be taken at each coal seam or at intervals of 200 feet, whichever is less, to the lowest known coal seam.

3. Prior to drilling any well or corehole within 500 feet of a coal seam in which there are active workings, the permittee shall conduct an inclination survey to determine whether the deviation of the well or corehole exceeds one degree from true vertical. If the well or corehole is found to exceed one degree from vertical, then the permittee shall:

a. Immediately cease operations;

b. Immediately notify the coal owner and the division;

c. Conduct a directional survey to drilled depth to determine both horizontal and vertical location of the well or corehole; and

d. Unless granted a variance by the director, correct the well or corehole to within one degree of true vertical.

4. Except as provided for in subdivision B 3 of this section, if the deviation of the well or corehole exceeds one degree from true vertical at any point between the surface and the lowest known coal seam, then the permittee shall:

a. Correct the well or corehole to within one degree of true vertical; or

b. Conduct a directional survey to the lowest known coal seam and notify the coal owner of the actual well or corehole location.

5. The director may grant a variance to the requirements of subdivisions B 3 and B 4 of this section only after the permittee and coal owners have jointly submitted a written request for a variance stating that a directional survey or correction to the well or corehole is not needed to protect the safety of any person engaged in active coal mining or to the environment.

6. If the director finds that the lack of assurance of the horizontal location of the well or corehole to a known coal seam poses a danger to persons engaged in active coal mining or the lack of assurance poses a risk to the public safety or the environment, the director may, until 30 days after a permittee has filed the completion report required in 4VAC25-150-360, require that a directional survey be conducted by the permittee.

7. The driller's log shall be updated on a daily basis. The driller's log and results of any other required survey shall be kept at the site until drilling and casing or plugging a dry hole or corehole are completed.

C. Each permittee completing a well shall complete a cement bond log for the water protection string. Permittees may petition the director to submit alternative documentation that demonstrates effective bond between the casing and the formation.

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3, 45.1-361.4, and 45.1-361.27 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-05-22.1 § 1.28, eff. September 25, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 2, eff. November 11, 1998; Volume 29, Issue 3, eff. November 8, 2012; Volume 30, Issue 1, eff. October 10, 2013; Volume 33, Issue 7, eff. December 28, 2016.

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