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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

4VAC25-150-350. Gas, oil or geophysical operations in hydrogen sulfide areas.

A. Applicability. This section shall apply to every permittee who drills or operates a well or drills a corehole:

1. In areas of unknown hydrogen sulfide conditions;

2. Below the base of the devonian shale; or

3. In areas where the hydrocarbons contain gas with a concentration of 100 parts per million (ppm) or greater of hydrogen sulfide as a constituent of the gas.

B. Permittees shall not remove hydrocarbons with a hydrogen sulfide concentration of 100 parts per million or greater from the well site where they were produced unless:

1. The hydrocarbons have been cleaned on-site so that the hydrogen sulfide concentration is less than 100 parts per million; or

2. The permittee has received a variance from the director.

C. General requirements.

1. Each permittee subject to this section shall determine the hydrogen sulfide concentration in the hydrocarbons by a test approved by the director such as a test in accordance with ASTM Standard D-2385-66, or GPA Plant Operation Test Manual C-1, GPA Publication 2265-68.

2. Automatic hydrogen sulfide detection and alarm equipment that will warn of the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas shall be utilized at the site.

D. Materials and equipment.

1. For new construction or modification of facilities, including materials and equipment to be used in drilling and workover operations, permittees shall only use metal components, approved by the director, which have been selected and manufactured so as to be resistant to hydrogen sulfide stress cracking under the operating conditions for which their use is intended. This requirement may be met by use of components that satisfy the requirements of NACE Standard MR-01-75 and API RP-14E, §§ 1.7(c), 2.1(c) and 4.7. The handling and installation of materials and equipment used in hydrogen sulfide service are to be performed in such a manner so as not to induce susceptibility to sulfide stress cracking.

2. Other materials and equipment, including materials and equipment used in drilling and workover operations, may be used for hydrogen sulfide service provided such materials and equipment are proved, as the result of advancements in technology or as the result of control and knowledge of operating conditions such as temperature and moisture content, suitable for the use intended and where such usage is technologically acceptable as good engineering practice, and the director has approved a variance for the materials and equipment for the specific uses.

3. In the event of a failure of any element of an existing system as the result of hydrogen sulfide stress cracking, the compliance status of the system shall be determined by the director after the operator has submitted a detailed written report on the failure to the director.

E. Reporting. The permittee shall report the hydrogen sulfide concentrations of the hydrocarbon in any well or corehole where the hydrogen sulfide concentration is equal to or exceeds 100 parts per million with the drilling report under 4VAC25-150-360 or with the plugging affidavit for coreholes under 4VAC25-150-460.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-05-22.1 § 1.35, eff. September 25, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 2, eff. November 11, 1998.

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