Department of Natural Resources - Plugging of Wells - Objective and methods.


Published: 2020-08-10

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(A) Any proposed plugging plan or plugging activity shall be designed to: isolate oil, natural gas, hydrogen sulfide, brine, water, or other fluids to the reservoir rock in which it occurs or originates; isolate mineable coal seams; and prevent movement of fluids into or between underground sources of drinking water.

(1) The person shall take precautions to maintain well control, and to ensure protection of public health and safety, the environment or natural resources, and underground miner safety from the hazards that may be encountered during plugging operations.

(2) The person may use any method of emplacing cement or plugging materials that are approved by the chief including but not limited to a bullhead squeeze, bullhead, pumping through tubing, casing, or drill pipe. No person shall emplace cement through tubulars that lack mechanical integrity.

Bullhead squeeze cement emplacement. Prior to the use of the bullhead squeeze method, a person shall verify integrity of the casing and a division inspector will witness the test. If a test shows that annular isolation between casings is inadequate, the bullhead squeeze method cannot be used for bottom plug emplacement. If the test shows that annular isolation between casings is adequate, the surface casing annular port valve will be open during all bullhead squeezing operations, and, if circulation occurs through the annular port, the well must be circulated until all recoverable cement is circulated to surface. If a cement plug fails, the plug shall be placed using another method approved by the chief.

(3) If casing is cut, the wellbore shall be conditioned to ensure an adequate bond between the plugging material and the wellbore to achieve isolation.

(B) The chief may authorize alternate methods of plugging not specified in Chapter 1501:9-11 of the Administrative Code so long as the plugging method complies with Chapter 1509. of the Revised Code and rules adopted under it. The chief also may require the installation of casing and a vault and a vent pipe to provide additional safety.

(C) If in production or drilling operations a wellbore becomes obstructed because of lost tools or equipment that cannot be recovered by reasonable attempts, a person shall submit a written plan to plug that accomplishes the objectives of this rule. The exact method of plugging and the equipment lost shall be documented in the plugging report.

(D) The chief may order the immediate suspension of plugging activities if a person may cause or is causing, may engage in or is engaging in, may maintain or is maintaining a condition or activity that presents an imminent danger to underground miner safety, public health or safety, or results in or is likely to result in damage to the environment or natural resources.