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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 25. Department of Energy
Chapter 160. Virginia Gas and Oil Board Regulations
12/6/2021

4VAC25-160-200. Surveys and tests.

A. Deviation tests.

1. An inclination survey shall be made on all rotary drilled wells located in accordance with a field rule established by the board. An inclination survey is not required for wells drilled in accordance with the distance limitations of § 45.1-361.17 of the Code of Virginia.

2. The first shot point shall be at a depth not greater than the bottom of the surface casing or, for a well drilled through a coal seam, at a depth not greater than that of the bottom of the coal protection string. Succeeding shot points shall be no more than 1,000 feet apart, or as otherwise ordered by the director.

3. Inclination surveys conforming to these requirements may be made either during the normal course of drilling or after the well has reached total depth. Survey data shall be certified in writing as being true and correct by the designated agent or person in charge of a permittee's Virginia operations, or the drilling contractor, and shall indicate the resultant lateral deviation as the maximum calculated lateral displacement determined at any inclination survey point in a horizon approved for production, by an order of the board or a permit approved by the director, assuming that all displacement occurs in the direction of the nearest boundary of the unit. The resultant lateral deviation shall be recorded on the drilling or completion report filed by the permittee.

4. If a directional survey determining the location of the bottom of the hole is filed upon completion of the well, it shall not be necessary to file the inclination survey data.

5. A directional survey shall be made when:

a. A well is directionally controlled and is thereby intentionally deflected from vertical;

b. The resultant lateral deviation of any well, calculated from inclination survey data, is greater than the distance from the center of the surface location of the well bore to the nearest boundary of the area where drilling is allowed in a unit established by the board; or

c. A well is drilled as an exception location and a directional survey is ordered by the board.

6. The board or the director, on their own initiative or at the request of a gas or oil owner on a contiguous unit or tract, may require the permittee drilling any well to make a directional survey of the well if there is reasonable cause therefor. Whenever a survey is required by the board or the director at the request of a contiguous owner and the permittee of the well and contiguous owner are unable to agree as to the terms and conditions for making the directional survey, the permittee shall pay for the survey if the bottom hole location is found to be outside of the area approved for drilling, and the contiguous owner shall pay for the survey if the bottom hole location is found to be inside of the area approved for drilling.

7. Directional surveys shall be run from total depth to the base of the surface casing or coal protection string, unless otherwise approved by the board or the director. In the event that the proposed or final location of the producing interval or intervals of any well is not in accordance with this section or a board order, the unit operator shall apply to the board for an exception to spacing. However, directional surveys to total depth shall not be required in cases where the interval below the latest survey is less than 500 feet, and in such an instance, a projection of the latest survey shall be deemed to satisfy board requirements.

8. The results of each inclination or directional survey made in accordance with this section shall be filed by the permittee with the first drilling or completion report required by the division.

B. Flow potential and gas/oil ratio tests: conventional gas or oil wells.

1. If a gas or oil well appears capable of producing gas or oil, the permittee shall conduct a potential flow test and a gas/oil ratio test within 14 days after the well is completed and capable of producing gas or oil. The permittee shall file the test results, electronically or in writing, with the division. The division director shall hold the test results confidential in accordance with § 45.1-361.6 of the Code of Virginia.

2. If a permittee deepens or stimulates a well after the initial potential flow test and gas/oil ratio test have been conducted, when determined to be necessary by the permittee or when requested by the board, the permittee shall conduct another potential flow test and gas/oil ratio test and, within 30 days after completing the test, file the results, in writing, with the division.

3. A back-flow method of determining open flow shall be used, such as recommended by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, "Manual of Back-Pressure Testing of Gas Wells," 2000. However, when a back-flow method is believed not to be feasible, the permittee shall obtain prior approval from the division, and test the well in accordance with, an alternate method approved by the director that does not entail excessive physical waste of gas.

C. Testing of coalbed methane gas wells. If a permittee cannot test the potential flow of a coalbed methane gas well by a back-flow method or complete the test within the time period required in subdivision B 1 of this section, the permittee may request approval from the director to perform a coalbed methane gas production test. Such a test shall only be made when the water production and the gas flow rates are stabilized for a period of not less than 14 days prior to the test. The test shall be conducted for a minimum of 24 hours in the manner approved by the director. The permittee shall file the test results, electronically or in writing, with the division. The division director shall hold the test results confidential in accordance with § 45.1-361.6 of the Code of Virginia.

D. The board may, by order and after notice and hearing, require a permittee to complete other tests on any well.

Statutory Authority

§ 45.1-361.15 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-05-22.2 § 20, eff. October 23, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 22, eff. August 20, 1997; Volume 29, Issue 3, eff. November 8, 2012.

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