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Part 23 Oil and Gas

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Drill Stem Testing, Swabbing, Cementing, Well Servicing and Stimulation

23.64 General requirements

(1) Drill stem testing procedures must conform to Alberta Recommended Practices for Well Testing and Fluid Handling, ARP 4.1 Drill Stem Testing, June, 1993.

(2) During drill stem testing

(a) motors and engines or other sources of ignition not required for the operation must be shut off, and

(b) motor vehicles must not be permitted within 25 m (80 ft) of the well bore.

(3) The rig manager, testing supervisor, and if required, representatives of other contractors doing work must be present to ensure that

(a) workers are trained to carry out their responsibilities during the test, and

(b) the equipment supplied is in good repair and will function as designed.

(4) If liquids are recovered during drill stem tests

(a) the liquids must be reverse circulated from the drill pipe,

(b) prior to reverse circulating, drill pipe may be pulled from the hole using test plugs on every joint of drill pipe disconnected, until well fluids are encountered at the surface, and

(c) if reverse circulation is not practicable due to a failure of the pump out sub, the drill pipe may continue to be tripped out of the hole with extreme caution, using test plugs and a mud can.

(5) If test fluid recovery is encountered during darkness

(a) the liquids recovered must be reverse circulated, and

(b) if reverse circulation is not practicable due to failure of the pump out sub, additional drill pipe must not be pulled and disconnected until daylight.

(6) Whenever oil, water or gas has been encountered during drill stem testing,

(a) tests for the presence of hydrogen sulfide must be done, and

(b) if hydrogen sulfide is found, the sour fluids encountered must be reverse circulated to a vented tank not less than 50 m (165 ft) from the well, or to a flare pit.

[Amended by B.C. Reg. 312/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]

* See also section 4.4 of the OHS Regulation.
23.64.1 Snubbing operations

A snubbing operation must be carried out in accordance with recognized industry safe work practices.

[Enacted by B.C. Reg. 258/2008, effective January 1, 2009.]

23.65 Swabbing at night

When swabbing at night

(a) auxiliary lighting providing a minimum illumination of 54 lux (5 fc) measured 50 cm (20 in) above the travelled surface must be provided,

(b) rig lighting which is not explosion proof must be turned off,

(c) the sandline depthometer must be used to supplement the sandline flags,

(d)the sandline flags must be illuminated and acid resistant,

(e) adequately illuminated wind direction indicators must be placed at appropriate locations around the site, and

(f) a wellsite supervisor must remain on site at all times.

23.66 Gauging

A swabbing tank must have an external means of gauging its contents.

23.67 Disposal of fluids

(1) Fluids used in or resulting from swabbing must be piped directly through a degasser to a battery, skid tank, mobile trailer tank or tank truck, located not less than 50 m (165 ft) from the well bore.

(2) If fluids used in or resulting from swabbing are being piped into a tank truck the tank truck engine must be shut off, and the driver must not remain in the truck cab.

23.68 Air intake and exhaust

During well servicing

(a) the air intake and exhaust of the pump motor must be located not less than 6 m (20 ft) from the rig tank while the pump is circulating hydrocarbons, and

(b) the tank truck must be located on the far side of the rig tank from the well bore and at a distance not less than 6 m (20 ft) from the rig tank during loading and unloading.

23.69 Flow Piping

(1) Flow piping systems must be anchored during well testing or stimulation unless there is an effective quality assurance program to ensure integrity of the piping system.

(2) The quality assurance program must include routine inspections, non-destructive testing, pressure testing, identification of piping components, and piping specifications that meet the service application.

(3) If swivel joints or hoses are used in well stimulation and similar operations, the piping system must be secured at the well head and supply vehicle or pumping unit end with wire rope safety lines not less than 11 mm (7/16 in) diameter, or chains of equal strength.

(4) Flowback lines must be anchored and restrained.

(5) If a system of piping and swivel joints with a pressure greater than 2 000 kPa (300 psi) is used in well stimulation and similar operations

(a) the operation must be conducted by remote control,

(b) unauthorized workers must not enter the area between the point of discharge and the well head, and

(c) before starting operations, warning signs must be posted in the area stating "DANGER, NO UNAUTHORIZED WORKERS ALLOWED IN THIS AREA" or other similar language.

(6) Subsections (3) and (5) do not apply to well testing.

(7) In a flow piping system exceeding 3 500 kPa (500 psi),

(a) connections must be welded, flanged or hammer unions, and

(b) if there is only a threaded connection available at the well head, special precautions must be taken.

(8) A piping system must be completely depressurized before leaking connections or fittings are corrected.

(9) Hammering on a pressurized system is not permitted.

(10) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 312/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]

* See section 4.3 of the OHS Regulation.

(11) If liquid carbon dioxide or other liquified gas is used for well stimulation, the valve controls of the supply unit must be on the side opposite to the pipe supplying the liquified gas.

[Amended by B.C. Reg. 312/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]

23.70 Piping, hoses and valves

(1) Only metal piping, or flexible hose designed for high pressure service, may be used between a service pump and the well head, and a check valve must be installed at the well head end of the piping.

(2) A bleedoff valve must be installed between the check valve and the well head.

23.71 High risk fluids

If it is necessary to replenish the pumping unit supply with high risk fluids, the filling line from an auxiliary tank must be piped directly to the suction end of the pump, and not into the pumper truck.

23.72 Pressure testing requirements

(1) Before commencing a service operation, piping, pumps, valves and fittings to be used in the operation must be hydraulically tested to a pressure not less than 10% above the maximum anticipated operating pressure as determined by the well owner.

(2) Before commencing well testing or flowback operation, flow line piping, valves and fittings from the well head to the first pressure control choke must be hydraulically pressure tested to a pressure not less than 10% above the maximum anticipated shut-in pressure as determined by the well owner.

(3) When nitrogen is being used in well stimulation, the piping system may be pressure tested with nitrogen provided that the nitrogen treating line is connected to the main line as close to the well as practicable.

(4) Documentation of the testing must be available on the worksite for inspection by an officer.

(5) Air must be purged from the piping system before pressurizing low flash point hydrocarbons.

23.73 Hot oiling

The vent line used in hot oiling operations must discharge a minimum of 10 m (33 ft) from sources of ignition.

23.74 Bonding and grounding

During drill stem testing, swabbing, cementing, well servicing or stimulation, electrical continuity between items of equipment must be maintained and the entire system must be grounded.

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Disclaimer: The Workers' Compensation Board of B.C. ("WorkSafeBC") publishes the online version of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation ("OHS Regulation") in accordance with its mandate under the Workers Compensation Act to provide information and promote public awareness of occupational health and safety matters. The online OHS Regulation is not the official version of the OHS Regulation, which may be purchased from Crown Publications.

WorkSafeBC endeavours to update the online OHS Regulation as soon as possible following any legislative amendments. However, WorkSafeBC does not warrant the accuracy or the completeness of the online OHS Regulation, and neither WorkSafeBC nor its board of directors, employees or agents shall be liable to any person for any loss or damage of any nature, whether arising out of negligence or otherwise, arising from the use of the online OHS Regulation.

Employers are legally obligated to make a copy of the Workers Compensation Act and the OHS Regulation readily available for review by workers. The circumstances under which WorkSafeBC may consider an employer's providing access to electronic versions of the Act and OHS Regulation to have satisfied this obligation are described in Guideline G-D3-115(2)(f).