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

4VAC25-150-320. Blowout prevention.

A. Applicability. All wells shall be equipped to control formation pressure during drilling and servicing as follows:

1. Blowout prevention equipment is required when formation pressures of 1,000 pounds or greater are encountered or are expected to be encountered, or when drilling in an area where there is no prior knowledge of the formation pressures to be encountered.

2. A diverter system is required when formation pressures are expected to be less than 1,000 pounds.

B. All blowout preventers, diverters, choke lines, kill lines and manifolds shall be installed above ground level. Casing heads and optional spools may be installed below ground level provided they are readily accessible.

C. The diverter, chokelines and kill lines shall be anchored, tied or otherwise secured to prevent whipping resulting from pressure surges.

D. Pressure ratings.

1. All pipe fittings, valves and unions placed on or connected with the well or corehole, as well as blowout prevention equipment, casing, casing head, drill pipe, or tubing, shall have a minimum working pressure rating of 110% of the maximum anticipated pressure that the material will be exposed to and shall be in good working condition.

2. All ram type blowout preventers and related equipment shall be tested to 110% of the maximum anticipated formation pressure, not to exceed 70% of the rated burst pressure of the casing that the blowout preventers are connected to before being placed in service. Annular type blowout preventers shall be tested in conformance with the manufacturer's published instructions, or those of a licensed professional engineer, prior to use.

E. While in service, blowout prevention equipment shall be visually inspected daily. A preventer operating test shall be performed at least once on all the blowout prevention equipment except the blind rams which shall be tested on each round trip.

F. All employees on the rig shall be trained, knowledgeable and able to properly operate the blowout preventer system. In addition, when blowout prevention equipment is installed, at least one person who is certified in blowout prevention and well control procedures by a school of blowout prevention acceptable to the director shall be responsible for the proper testing and operations of the blowout preventers and related equipment.

G. When repairs or other work must be performed to the blowout prevention equipment, drilling and servicing operations must stop until the blowout prevention equipment is returned to service.

H. A record of all tests on the equipment shall be kept at the rig for inspection by the director until drilling or servicing operations have been completed.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-05-22.1 § 1.32, eff. September 25, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 2, eff. November 11, 1998.

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