Subject 391-3-13 OIL AND GAS AND DEEP DRILLING
The purpose of these rules is govern the drilling of and subsequent use of wells subject to the Georgia Oil and Gas and Deep Drilling Act of 1975, as amended. Wells subject to the requirements of Rules 391-3-2, 391-3-5, 391-3-6 or 391-3-12 are not subject to the provisions of these rules.
All definitions contained in O.C.G.A. 12-4-42 are incorporated herein by reference.
|(a)||"Abandonment" means, for purposes of compliance with requirements herein, that a well has not been used for six (6) consecutive months and cannot be operated, whether because it was drilled as a dry hole or has ceased to produce, or that operations have not been conducted thereon. "Shut-in" wells, shall not be considered to be abandoned. "Abandonment" shall not be construed to require the plugging of a well that has been approved by the Division for future utilization.|
|(b)||"Blow-out" means any uncontrolled flow of well fluids and/or formation fluids from the wellbore to the surface or into lower pressured subsurface zones.|
|(c)||"Blow-out preventer" means equipment installed on the wellhead assemblies to contain wellbore fluids either in the annular space between the casing and the tubulars, or in an open hole during drilling, completion, and testing operations.|
|(d)||"Blowout preventer control system" means the assembly of pumps, valves, lines, accumulators, and other items necessary to open and close the blowout preventer equipment.|
|(e)||"Circulation" means the passing of fluid (typically drilling mud) down through the drill stem and up to the surface in the process of rotary drilling or down the casing and up to the surface in the setting of casing.|
|(f)||"Common source of supply" means the reservoir strata or pool separated from any other reservoir strata or pool that contain, or from competent evidence appears to contain, a common accumulation of oil or gas or both.|
|(g)||"Completion" means development of a well in an attempt to produce oil and/or gas or final placement of cement plugs in a nonproducing well, whichever occurs last. Completion is the last act as determined by the Director on a well which result in such well being capable of producing oil and/or gas through permanent well head equipment after production tubing has been run, or final placement to cement plug(s) in a nonproducing well.|
|(h)||"Condensate" means the liquid hydrocarbons produced by the condensation of natural gas, either after it leaves the reservoir or while it remains in the reservoir.|
|(i)||"Conservation" means conserving, preserving, guarding, or protecting the oil and gas resources of the State by obtaining the maximum efficiency with a maximum efficiency with a minimum waste in the production, transportation, processing, refining, treating, and marketing of the unrenewable oil and gas resources of the State.|
|(j)||"Drill site" means the exact location of the well bore.|
|(k)||"Drill site tract" means the land area devoted to the well, mud pits, and other ancillary operations.|
|(l)||"Operator" means any person who is in charge of the development of a lease, the drilling of a well, or the operation of a producing well, and in addition, for the purpose of assigning responsibility, may also be the person indicated as operator by the most current records of the Division.|
|(m)||"Re-enter" means to bring a rig back onto a boring after having moved off location in order to re-establish contact with the borehole. "Re-enter" shall not be construed to mean bringing a rig back onto a location simply to facilitate downhole geophysical logging; rather "re-enter" applies when "completion" or "drilling" operations are performed.|
|(n)||"Shut-in" means a well where the wellhead valves are closed thereby shutting off production. A "shut-in" well is capable of producing either oil or gas.|
|(o)||"Well Completion Report" means a form prescribed by the Division with accompanying illustrations and narrative providing descriptive as-constructed well information. The "Well Completion Report" generally consists of all well records including well logs, test locations and intervals, sampling locations and intervals, test results, casing installed, plugs installed, perforated intervals and other descriptive information.|
|(p)||Words other than those defined in (a)-(o) above are given their usual customary and accepted meaning; all words of a technical nature or a nature peculiar to the oil and gas industry are given that meaning defined in the Handbook of Oil Industry Terms and Phrases or that which is generally accepted within the oil and gas industry.|
|(1)|| Before any well is drilled or re-entered,
the person desiring to drill or re-enter the same shall submit to the Division
the following items:
|(2)||Any operator applying for a permit to drill a directionally controlled well shall fulfill the prescribed requirements of (1) of this paragraph. In addition, the survey plat must show the proposed bottom hole location and the surface location. In the event an operator, in good faith, commences and proceeds with the drilling of a straight well and thereafter decides to deviate the well directionally, he may do so by first notifying the Director by telephone, secondly confirming in writing the fact thereof, and thirdly complying with the provisions governing intentionally deviated wells as hereinabove provided.|
|(3)|| The Director shall, within 30 days after
the receipt of a properly completed application from any person desiring to
drill a well covered by this part, issue a public notice for the permit
application by posting such notice to the Division website and by sending such
notice via mail or e-mail to any persons who have requested notification of
permit applications from the Division.
|(4)||After considering the permit application, the Director shall either issue or deny a permit for the well. The Director shall notify the public of the final permit decision via mail or e-mail to any persons who have requested notification of permit application from the Division.|
|(5)||Drilling or re-entry shall not begin until a permit is issued. Permits shall expire one (1) year from the date of issuance if spudding operations in connection with the proposed well have not begun.|
|(6)||Noncompliance with any provision of the Act, these Rules and Regulations, or any permit condition shall be grounds for the revocation, suspension or modification of any permit.|
|(7)||Every person acting as an operator or agent for an operator or independently engaged in the production of or drilling for oil, condensate, or gas shall file with the Director an "Organization Report," on forms obtained from the Division. The "Organization Report" shall contain the following information: the name, telephone number, post office address of such person; the exact legal name under which such person or businesses is being operated or conducted; the exact corporate name, if such is incorporated, and the place of incorporation of such corporation; the business or businesses in which the person is typically engaged; the names and post office addresses of all other persons acting as trustee, together with the names and post office addresses of the manager, agent, or executives thereof, as well as the names and post office addresses of principal officers thereof. When a business is conducted under an assumed name, as a partnership or a sole a proprietorship, the "Organization Report" shall show the names and post office addresses of all owners or partners in addition to the other information herein required. Should any change occur as to facts stated in the filed report prior to bond termination, a revised "Organization Report" shall be filed with the Director within thirty (30) days of such change.|
|(8)||An operator may request modification of any permit condition. Such request must be in writing and properly documented. The Director may grant such modification if he is satisfied that the request is justified and if the modification will allow the operator to remain in compliance with Act and these Rules and Regulations.|
|(9)||Within ten (10) days after permit approval, the operator shall give written notice to the land-owner or tenant occupying the land of the operator's intent to drill and general schedule.|
|(1)||The spacing of wells in proven oil and/or gas fields or in areas that Board may designate, shall be governed by special rules for that particular field or area, adopted after due notice and public hearing.|
|(2)||Wells drilled in areas not covered by special rules shall be drilled a minimum of 330 feet or other distance, determined by the Director to provide an adequate safety buffer to the public, from any lease boundary, property line, dwelling, place of public gathering or producing oil or gas well. The applicant for a permit to drill such a well shall demonstrate to the Director that the application has available for assignment to said well, leases or acreage of area and size to constitute a reasonable producing unit for such well. Oil wells drilled in areas not covered by special rules shall be drilled on a drilling unit consisting of forty (40) surface contiguous acres. The well shall be located 330 feet from the exterior boundary of the drilling unit and at least 660 feet from the every other well drilling to or producing from, or for which a permit shall have been granted to drill to the same pool. Gas wells drilled in areas not covered by special rules shall be drilled on a drilling unit consisting of one hundred sixty (160) surface contiguous acres. The well shall be located 660 feet from the exterior boundary of the drilling unit and at least 1867 feet from every other well drilling to or producing from, or for which a permit shall have been granted to drill to the same pool.|
After discovery of an oil and gas pool and for the prevention of waste, to avoid the drilling of an excessive number of wells and to assure the ultimate maximum recovery of gas or oil, the Director shall, after due investigation and a hearing, establish drilling and/or operation units. The Director also, after investigation and a hearing, shall make such special orders as will give to each producer the opportunity to use his or her just and equitable share of the maximum reservoir energy of any pool.
Oil and Gas fields and pools shall be classified as to common sources of supply from which they produce and such sources shall be determined and named by the Director. In naming fields, reference shall be given to common usage and geographic names. Separate pools within the same field shall be named according to the producing formation.
|(1)|| Any person or persons wishing to become
the new operator of a well or wells must submit to the Director for his or her
approval a request for a change of operator accompanied by the following if not
|(2)||The request for Change of Operator will be reviewed by the Director, who shall approve or deny the change within thirty (30) days of receipt of the above items. If a change of operator is denied, the application may request a hearing, if such request is in writing and made within thirty (30) days of the denial of the permit.|
|(1)||Identification of wells. The operator of any well shall paint or stencil and post and keep posted in a conspicuous place near the well, the name of the operator, the name of the lease or property owner, the number of the well and the number of the permit for the well. The identification shall be posted before spudding or re-entry and shall remain posted until the well is properly plugged and the location is restored to a condition satisfactory to the Director. In the event of a change of operator, well name or number, a new sign reflecting the change shall be posted.|
|(2)|| Notices of activities.
The Director shall be notified by telephone no less than twenty-four (24) hours
(or other time-period acceptable to the Director) prior to performing any one
or more of the following activities:
|(3)||Prior notification to performing the aforesaid activities shall be to allow the Director to send a duly authorized representative to the location to witness the activity at the specified time, if the Director deems necessary.|
|(4)||Control of wells. The operator shall take all necessary precautions to keep all wells under control at all times, shall utilize only contractors or employees trained and competent to drill and operate such wells, and shall utilize and maintain materials and high-pressure fittings and equipment necessary to insure the safety of operating conditions and procedures. The design of integrated casing, cementing, drilling mud and blow-out prevention programs shall be based upon sound engineering principles and must take into account the depths at which various fluid or mineral-bearing formations are expected to be penetrated, the formation fractures gradients and pressures expected to be encountered, and other pertinent geologic and engineering data and information about the area.|
|(5)||Notification of fire, leaks, or blow-outs. The operator shall immediately notify the Director by phone giving full details concerning all fires, leaks or blow-outs which occur at such wells. Drillers shall take immediate action to control fires, leaks or blow-outs as appropriate.|
|(6)||Well record. During the drilling of every well, the owner, operator, contractor, driller, or other persons responsible for the conduct of drilling operations, shall keep at the well a detailed and accurate record available to the Division and its agents at all times. Pertinent information from such records shall be recorded on a "Well Information Form" obtained from the Division. The "Well Information Form" shall be furnished to the Director within forty-five (45) days after removal of the rig from the well site and will describe progressively the general lithology of strata, water and oil or gas encountered as well as such additional information as to abnormal pressure, zones of lost circulation, caving strata, casing record, and other information as are usually recorded in the normal procedure of drilling. The "Well Information Form" shall be held in confidence as described in paragraph (9) below.|
|(7)|| Electrical, Geophysical and Other Logs.
|(8)||Samples: Each operator shall file with the Director a complete set of cuttings or cores correctly labeled and identified as to depth, notlater than thirty (30) days for cuttings and ninety (90) days for core splits after completion of the well. Cuttings shall be collected at 30 foot intervals from a depth of 500 feet to the total depth drilled. Cuttings are not required for the uppermost 500 feet. Missing intervals shall be noted and the reasons for the missing samples shall be described. Side-wall cores need not be submitted as long as written descriptions are filed within forty-five (45) days after completion of the well.|
|(9)||Confidentiality. If an applicant or an operator believes that information contained in their application or that is generated as a result of their operation and that must be submitted to the Division to comply with these rules, is protected under Georgia law from disclosure to the public, they must comply with the Division's June 2015 Procedures for Submitting Information Pursuant to a Claim that Information in the Submittal is Protected Under Georgia Law from Disclosure to the Public or any updates or substitution to such procedures.|
|(10)||Protection of fresh surface-water and ground-water supplies. All fresh water shall be confined to its respective strata and shall be adequately protected. Special precautions identified in paragraphs (11), (12), (13), (14), and (15) and rule 391-3-13-.12 shall be taken in drilling and abandoning of wells to guard against any loss of fresh water or contamination of fresh surface-water or ground-water supplies by oil, condensate, gas, salt-water, or other contaminants.|
|(11)|| Mud pits, sumps, reserve pits and dikes.
|(13)||Blow-out prevention. Adequate blow-out preventers and high pressure fittings for keeping the well control shall be attached to properly anchored and cemented casing strings. The blow-out preventers must meet the approval of the Director and shall be tested regularly and the results recorded in the driller's log. Agents of the Division may require that the blow-out preventers be tested at any reasonable time during operations provided such testing does not result in creating a hazardous condition.|
|(14)||Control of formation pressures. The operator shall continuously maintain in the hole, from top to bottom, good drilling fluid of sufficient weight to control any formation pressures which may be encountered. In the event of lost-circulation, the operator will immediately notify the Director and make provisions to restore circulation either by casing-off the affected zone, increasing mud viscosity, or other techniques acceptable to the Director. The aforementioned drilling fluid requirements shall in no way be construed to preclude other drilling techniques. Air drilling, flame drilling, electric-arc drilling, plasma jet drilling, laser beams, and erosion drilling are permitted, provided, however, that the operator uses other appropriate methods approved by the Director to control any pressures which may be encountered.|
|(15)||Directional drilling. All wells must be drilled with due diligence to maintain a reasonably vertical well bore; however, a well may be intentionally deviated and directionally controlled, provided that the location of the deviated well at total depth of the well is in compliance with the applicable spacing rules and the requirements of paragraph (3) above are met.|
Rule 391-3-13-.11 Shooting, Perforating, Chemical Treatment, Fracturing, or Hydraulic Fracturing of Wells
Wells should not be shot, perforated, chemically treated, fractured,or hydraulically fractured until the Director is notified. Each well shall be treated, fractured, or hydraulically fractured in such manner as will not cause injury to the formation, or result in water encroachment into any oil or gas formation. Necessary precautions shall be taken to prevent injury to the casing. Routine chemical treatments for corrosion control shall be excluded from this notice requirement. If chemical treating, fracturing, or hydraulically fracturing results in irreparable injury to the well or to the oil or gas information, the Director may issue emergency orders for the well to be properly plugged and abandoned.
|(1)||The owner or operator may keep a well open for additional testing after removal of the drilling rig, if the written approval of the Director is first obtained, and by demonstrating to the satisfaction of the Director that (a) the open well is constructed so as to assure that fresh water aquifers are protected from intraformational migration of fluids through the bore hole and (b) that the operator has adequate and readily available financial resources to plug the well.|
|(2)||The owner or operator of any well shall be responsible for the plugging of any well after said well is abandoned, utilizing the services of a well cementing contractor. Any well declared abandoned by the Director shall be plugged within sixty (60) days by the operator, or the surety bond will be forfeited to the Division.|
|(3)||Before any work is commenced to plug any well, the owner or operator thereof shall give 24-hours notice to the Director of this intent. Upon notification, the Division may send duly authorized representatives to the location at the time specified to witness the plugging of such well.|
|(4)|| The methods and
procedure for plugging a well shall be as follows;
The Director shall be notified before any drilling rig is removed from any unplugged well, and permission must be granted by the Director for such removal. The Director may stipulate special protective measures to be taken before granting permission to remove a drilling rig, including but not limited to, the temporary plugging of the well, requiring monthly inspections of the well by an engineer or geologist registered to practice in Georgia, and proper restoration and reclamation of the well site. If, in the judgment of the Director, the well poses a hazard to health of the public or the environment, the Director may issue emergency orders for the well to be properly plugged and abandoned.
|(1)||Before any mineral well can be initially tested for production the operator must notify the Director. The test may be witnessed by a representative of the Director and the results filed with the Director within forty-five (45) days such test.|
|(2)||As described in rule 391-3-13-.11 wells shall not be shot, perforated, chemically treated, or fractured until the Director is notified.|
|(3)||Before any oil or gas well can be brought into production, the operator must apply to the Director for permission to produce. Such application shall include, but not be limited to, a description of the geologic characteristics of the reservoir and safety precautions. The operator also shall describe whether the proposed production will be oil or gas, how waste brines and gases will be disposed, how the oil or gas will be transported from the wellhead, the nature and timing of proposed production, and any additional information so that the Director may investigate and hold hearings for the establishment of drilling and operations units.|
A properly completed "Well Completion Report" shall be submitted to the Director within forty-five (45) days of well completion. This report shall include, but not limited to, information pertaining to the well record, well logs, tests conducted, casing installed, plugs installed, and other descriptive information that the Director may require. Such report shall be signed by the operator or his representative, and the operator shall affirm that all provided information is accurate. Within thirty (30) days of receipt of an accurate and properly completed "Well Completion Report" the Director shall notify the operator whether additional measures are necessary in order to safety produce oil or gas or to finally abandon the well.
All spills of oil, petroleum productssalt-water, hydraulic fracturing fluids, flowback, produced water, and other waste water shall be reported and handled in accordance with the Georgia Water Quality Control Act, the Georgia Oil and Gas and Deep Drilling Act of 1975, as amended, and any other applicable federal, state, and municipal laws, ordinances and regulations.