3179.4 Determining when the loss of oil or gas is avoidable or unavoidable.§ 3179.4 Determining when the loss of oil or gas is avoidable or unavoidable.
For purposes of this subpart:
(a) Avoidably lost production means:
(1) Gas that is vented or flared without the authorization or approval of the BLM; or
(2) Produced oil or gas that is lost when the BLM determines that such loss occurred as a result of:
(i) Negligence on the part of the operator;
(ii) The failure of the operator to take all reasonable measures to prevent or control the loss; or
(iii) The failure of the operator to comply fully with the applicable lease terms and regulations, appropriate provisions of the approved operating plan, or prior written orders of the BLM.
(b) Unavoidably lost production means:
(1) Oil or gas that is lost because of line failures, equipment malfunctions, blowouts, fires, or other similar circumstances, except where the BLM determines that the loss was avoidable pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this section;
(2) Oil or gas that is lost from the following operations or sources, except where the BLM determines that the loss was avoidable pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this section:
(i) Well drilling;
(ii) Well completion and related operations;
(iii) Initial production tests, subject to the limitations in § 3179.101;
(iv) Subsequent well tests, subject to the limitations in § 3179.102;
(v) Exploratory coalbed methane well dewatering;
(vi) Emergencies, subject to the limitations in § 3179.103;
(vii) Normal gas vapor losses from a storage tank or other low pressure production vessel, unless the BLM determines that recovery of the gas vapors is warranted;
(viii) Well venting in the course of downhole well maintenance and/or liquids unloading performed in compliance with § 3179.104; or
(ix) Facility and pipeline maintenance, such as when an operator must blow-down and depressurize equipment to perform maintenance or repairs; or
(3) Produced gas that is flared or vented with BLM authorization or approval.