(a)  Production casing shall be installed and cemented from the bottom to 200 feet above the base of the previous casing string. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a production zone may be completed using a non-cemented production liner in accordance with Paragraph (c) of this Rule. 

(b)  Installation of production casing or installation of production liners shall comply with the following:

(1)           logging of the wellbore shall be performed prior to installation of the production casing to measure and evaluate the rock sections;

(2)           a CBL shall be completed after the cement has reached a compressive strength of 500 psi to verify the cementing operation was completed and to locate the casing collars and centralizers.  Well completion shall not commence until the CBL has been completed; 

(3)           the permittee shall submit a plan of remediation to the Department for approval if the cement evaluation indicates a failure to isolate groundwater zones, and if the plan is approved, implement such plan by performing remedial operations prior to continuing drilling operations.  If the Department or the permittee determine the deficiencies cannot be remedied, the oil or gas well shall be plugged and abandoned in accordance with Rule .1618 of this Section; and

(4)           for cemented well completions, the base of the production casing shall be cemented into or below the production zone.  For open-hole well completions, the base of the production casing shall be cemented into or above the production zone.

(c)  A production liner may be used as production casing if the following criteria are met:

(1)           the surface casing is used as the groundwater isolation casing;

(2)           the intermediate casing is set for a reason other than isolation of groundwater; and

(3)           the production liner shall be cemented with a minimum of 200 feet of cement above the base of the previous casing string.

(d)  The production liner top shall be pressure tested to at least 500 psi, for a period of 30 minutes, above the maximum anticipated pressure, as determined by the permittee, in the wellbore during well completion and production operations.  If after 30 minutes the pressure has dropped by more than 10 percent, the permittee shall not resume operations until the condition has been corrected and verified by passing a subsequent pressure test.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 113-391(a)(5)c;

Eff. March 17, 2015.