15A NCAC 05H .1615       WELL site MAINTENANCE AND SECURITY

(a)  A functioning blowout preventer (BOP) shall be installed and used during maintenance, remediation, and stimulation operations in accordance with Rule .1616  of  this Section.

(b)  The permittee shall perform well servicing, excluding workovers, and equipment maintenance operations between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

(c)  The permittee may perform emergency repairs at any time.

(d)  A temporary work zone sign, "Authorized Personnel Only Beyond This Point" shall be posted at all ingress and egress points leading from a public road to the well pad at least 200 feet from the activity area during drilling, maintenance, remediation, and stimulation operations.

(e)  Fencing no less than three feet in height shall be installed around the outer boundary of the well pad to restrict unauthorized access to the well pad during drilling and completion operations.   

(f)  Equipment that is not used in the production of oil or gas shall not be stored within the well site.

(g)  Equipment, vegetation, and refuse shall be maintained in order to ensure protection of the environment, public health, and safety in accordance with API Recommended Practice 51R "Environmental Protection for Onshore Oil and Gas Production Operations and Leases," which is incorporated by reference, including subsequent amendments and editions. This document may be viewed online for no charge at http://publications.api.org/.

(h)  A permanent fence shall be installed around the wellhead, tank battery, separator, and all associated production equipment prior to placing any oil or gas well into production.  Fencing shall be:

(1)           placed no closer than 50 feet to the wellhead or any portion of the tank battery;

(2)           composed of chain link that is no less than six feet in height and shall be topped with restrictive wire to prevent unauthorized access;

(3)           securely anchored in the ground; and

(4)           gated with locks and no less than four feet in width.  If there is a tank battery, the permittee shall provide two gates on opposite sides of the production facility.

(i)  The Commission may grant a variance to the permanent fencing requirements in accordance with Rule .0301 of this Subchapter.  In granting or denying the variance request, the Commission shall consider factors such as:

(1)           zoning of the area;

(2)           land use; and

(3)           configuration and size of the well pad.

(j)  All gates, electrical boxes, and valves controlling the flow of production fluid for a site under production shall be locked unless in use, under repair, or if the permittee or an authorized representative of the permittee is on-site.  The permittee shall provide keys or combinations to the Department and local emergency responders upon request.

(k)  All brine and oil pick-up lines shall be secured by bull plugs.

(l)  All oil or gas wells shall have an identification sign, in accordance with Paragraph (m) of this Rule, posted in a place easily seen or noticed on or near the oil or gas wellhead or the tank battery until final abandonment, in accordance with the following:

(1)           the identification sign shall be posted within 72 hours after drilling activities cease;

(2)           if multiple oil or gas wells are produced into a tank battery, each wellhead shall be identified; and

(3)           any change of ownership shall be shown on the signs at the wellhead or tank battery no later than 60 calendar days after the date of the assignment or approval of the transfer.

(m)  Identification signs shall be constructed of weatherproof and rustproof material and maintained to remain legible at all times. Each sign shall include, at a minimum, the following information in two-inch or larger letters:

(1)           the permittee's name, address, business telephone number, and emergency telephone number;

(2)           the county and nearest city or town where the oil or gas well is located;

(3)           the property street address, or nearest address to the ingress and egress point leading from a public road to the well pad, if nearest street address is used, "nearest address" shall be designated on the sign;

(4)           the API number, the lease name, and the oil or gas well name and number; and

(5)           the local emergency response telephone number.

(n)  The identification sign shall be posted at the following locations:

(1)           the ingress and egress points leading from a public road to the well pad; and

(2)           the outside of the fence that surrounds the well pad.

(o)  "Danger, Keep Out" and "No Smoking or Open Flame" signs shall be attached to each side of the fencing surrounding the wellhead and tank battery.  If fencing has not been installed, the signs shall be attached to the wellhead and tank battery. A "No Smoking Beyond This Point" sign shall be posted at ingress or egress points leading from a public road to the well pad.

 

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

Eff. March 17, 2015.