Title 40

SECTION 147.2912

147.2912 Operating requirements for wells authorized by rule.

§ 147.2912 Operating requirements for wells authorized by rule.

(a) Each well authorized by rule must have mechanical integrity. Mechanical integrity must be demonstrated within five years of program adoption. The Regional Administrator will notify the well owner/operator three months before proof of mechanical integrity must be submitted to EPA. The owner/operator must contact the Osage UIC office at least five days prior to testing. The owner/operator may perform the mechanical integrity test prior to receiving notice from the Regional Administrator, provided the Osage UIC office is notified at least five days in advance. Conditions of both paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section must be met.

(1) There is no significant leak in the casing, tubing or packer. This may be shown by the following:

(i) Performance of a pressure test of the casing/tubing annulus to at least 200 psi, or the pressure specified by the Regional Administrator, to be repeated thereafter, at five year intervals, for the life of the well (pressure tests conducted during well operation shall maintain an injection/annulus pressure differential of at least 100 psi through the tubing length); or

(ii) Maintaining a positive gauge pressure on the casing/tubing annulus (filled with liquid) and monitoring the pressure monthly and reporting of the pressure information annually; or

(iii) Radioactive tracer survey; or

(iv) For enhanced recovery wells, records of monitoring showing the absence of significant changes in the relationship between injection pressure and injection flow rate at the well head, following an initial pressure test as described by paragraph (a)(1)(i) or (v) of this section; or

(v) Testing or monitoring programs approved by the Regional Administrator on a case-by-case basis, and

(2) There is no significant fluid movement into a USDW through vertical channels adjacent to the well bore. This may be shown by any of the following:

(i) Cementing records (need not be reviewed every five years);

(ii) Tracer survey (in appropriate hydrogeologic settings; must be used in conjunction with at least one of the other alternatives);

(iii) Temperature log;

(iv) Noise log; or

(v) Other tests deemed acceptable by the Regional Administrator.

(b) Injection pressure at the wellhead shall be limited so that it does not initiate new fractures or propagate existing fractures in the confining zone adjacent to any UDSW.

(1) For existing Class II salt water disposal wells, The owner/operator shall, except during well stimulation, use an injection pressure at the wellhead no greater than the pressure calculated by using the following formula:

Pm = (0.75−0.433Sg)d where: Pm = injection pressure at the wellhead in pounds per square inch Sg = specific gravity of injected fluid (unitless) d = injection depth in feet. Owner/operator of wells shall comply with the above injection pressure limits no later than one year after the effective date of this regulation.

(2) For existing Class II enhanced recovery wells, the owner or operator:

(i) Shall use an injection pressure no greater than the pressure established by the Regional Administrator for the field or formation in which the well is located. The Regional Administrator shall establish such a maximum pressure after notice, opportunity for comment, and opportunity for a public hearing according to the provisions of part 124, subpart A of this chapter, and will inform owners and operators in writing of the applicable maximum pressure.

(ii) Prior to such time as the Regional Administrator establishes rules for maximum injection pressures based on data provided pursuant to paragraph (b)(2)(ii)(B) of this section the owner/operator shall:

(A) Limit injection pressure at the wellhead to a value which will not initiate new fractures or propagate existing fractures in the confining zone adjacent to any USDW; and

(B) Submit data acceptable to the Regional Administrator which defines the fracture pressure of the formation in which injection is taking place. A single test may be submitted on behalf of two or more operators conducting operations in the same formation, if the Regional Administrator approves such submission. The data shall be submitted to the Regional Administrator within one year of the effective date of this program.

(c) Injection wells or projects which have exhibited failure to confine injected fluids to the authorized injection zone or zones may be subject to restriction of injection volume and pressure, or shut-down, until the failure has been identified and corrected.

(The information collection requirements contained in paragraphs (a)(1) (ii) through (v) and (a)(2) (i) through (v) were approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 2040-0042)