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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 25. Department Of Mines, Minerals And Energy
Chapter 150. Virginia Gas and Oil Regulation
9/22/2021

4VAC25-150-410. Venting and flaring of gas; escape of oil.

A. It shall be unlawful for any permittee to allow crude oil or natural gas to escape from any well, gathering pipeline or storage tank except as provided for in this section or in an approved operations plan. The permittee shall take all reasonable steps to shut in the gas or oil in the well, or make the necessary repairs to the well, gathering pipeline or storage tank to prevent the escape. All actions shall be consistent with the requirements of an abatement plan, if any has been set, in a notice of violation or closure, emergency or other order issued by the director.

B. A permittee shall drill or repair a well with special diligence so that waste of gas or oil from the well shall not continue longer than reasonably necessary under the following circumstances:

1. When, during drilling, gas or oil is found in the well and the permittee desires to continue to search for gas or oil by drilling deeper; or

2. When making repairs to any well producing gas or oil, commonly known as cleaning out.

C. No gas shall be flared or vented from a well for more than seven days after completion of the well except in these circumstances:

1. When a well must be blown to remove accumulated formation fluid which has restricted efficient production, or the well must be otherwise cleaned out as provided for in subsection B of this section;

2. For the safety of mining operations;

3. For any activity excluded in the definition of "waste" under § 45.1-361.1 of the Act; or

4. For any other operational reason approved in advance by the director.

D. In all cases where both gas and oil are found and produced from the same stratum, the permittee shall use special diligence to conserve and save as much of the gas as is reasonably possible.

E. Venting shall only be used when flaring is not safe or not feasible.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-05-22.1 § 1.41, eff. September 25, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 2, eff. November 11, 1998.

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