3173.2 Storage and sales facilities - seals.§ 3173.2 Storage and sales facilities - seals.
(a) All lines entering or leaving any oil storage tank must have valves capable of being effectively sealed during the production and sales phases unless otherwise provided under this subpart. During the production phase, all appropriate valves that allow unmeasured production to be removed from storage must be effectively sealed in the closed position. During any other phase (sales, water drain, or hot oiling), and prior to taking the top tank gauge measurement, all appropriate valves that allow unmeasured production to enter or leave the sales tank must be effectively sealed in the closed position (see Appendix A to subpart 3173). Each unsealed or ineffectively sealed appropriate valve is a separate violation.
(b) Valves or combinations of valves and tanks that provide access to the production before it is measured for sales are considered appropriate valves and are subject to the seal requirements of this subpart (see Appendix A to subpart 3173). If there is more than one valve on a line from a tank, the valve closest to the tank must be sealed. All appropriate valves must be in an operable condition and accurately reflect whether the valve is open or closed.
(c) The following are not considered appropriate valves and are not subject to the sealing requirements of this subpart:
(1) Valves on production equipment (e.g., separator, dehydrator, gun barrel, or wash tank);
(2) Valves on water tanks, provided that the possibility of access to production in the sales and storage tanks does not exist through a common circulating, drain, overflow, or equalizer system;
(3) Valves on tanks that contain oil that has been determined by the AO or AR to be waste or slop oil;
(4) Sample cock valves used on piping or tanks with a Nominal Pipe Size of 1 inch or less in diameter;
(5) Fill-line valves during shipment when a single tank with a nominal capacity of 500 barrels (bbl) or less is used for collecting marginal production of oil produced from a single well (i.e., production that is less than 3 bbl per day). All other seal requirements of this subpart apply;
(6) Gas line valves used on piping with a Nominal Pipe Size of 1 inch or less used as tank bottom “roll” lines, provided there is no access to the contents of the storage tank and the roll lines cannot be used as equalizer lines;
(7) Valves on tank heating systems that use a fluid other than the contents of the storage tank (i.e., steam, water, or glycol);
(8) Valves used on piping with a Nominal Pipe Size of 1 inch or less connected directly to the pump body or used on pump bleed off lines;
(9) Tank vent-line valves; and
(10) Sales, equalizer, or fill-line valves on systems where production may be removed only through approved oil metering systems (e.g., LACT or CMS). However, any valve that allows access for removing oil before it is measured through the metering system must be effectively sealed (see Appendix A to subpart 3173).
(d) Tampering with any appropriate valve is prohibited. Tampering with an appropriate valve may result in an assessment of civil penalties for knowingly or willfully preparing, maintaining, or submitting false, inaccurate, or misleading reports, records, or written information under 30 U.S.C. 1719(d)(1) and 43 CFR 3163.2(f)(1), or knowingly or willfully taking, removing, transporting, using, or diverting oil or gas from a lease site without valid legal authority under 30 U.S.C. 1719(d)(2) and 43 CFR 3163.2(f)(2), together with any other remedies provided by law.