Bulletin 2009-07

Bulletin 2009-07: Revisions to the Digital Data Submission System Regarding Interim Directive 2003-01

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Revisions to the Digital Data Submission System Regarding Interim Directive 2003-01

Feb 20, 2009

The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) has updated the Digital Data Submission (DDS) system to improve functionality and data integrity. The changes are effective March 30, 2009.

Surface Casing Vent Flow/Gas Migration (SCVF/GM)

The submission process for SCVF/GM notification has been modified. All existing SCVF/GM reports that were previously closed with a reported resolution of Monitored as Required, Considered Non-Serious, or Casing Vent Produced are being reopened and will remain open on the DDS system until the SCVF/GM has been repaired. The ERCB will no longer accept Monitored as Required, Considered Non-Serious, or Casing Vent Produced under the Reported Resolution field.

Industry is reminded that all Non-Serious or Considered Non-Serious SCVFs must be monitored annually, as noted in Interim Directive (ID) 2003-01: 1) Isolation Packer Testing, Reporting, and Repair Requirements; 2) Surface Casing Vent Flow/Gas Migration Testing, Reporting, and Repair Requirements; 3) Casing Failure Reporting and Repair Requirements.

Previously, a vent flow could only be classified as Serious or Non-Serious. Industry now has the option to select Considered Non-Serious if it meets all of the requirements set out in Section 2.2 of ID 2003-01. In addition, a new field has been added to capture the depth of the deepest known water well within a 1 kilometre radius if groundwater has not been completely protected by cemented casing.

Within the SCVF report, the Vent Position field has been removed and replaced with the new Vent Produced field. Industry is required to select either Yes or No, depending on whether the vent is being produced. As always industry must obtain approval from the ERCB to produce a serious SCVF, in accordance with Section 2.4.3 of ID 2003-01.

As in the past, all wells that have both a surface casing vent flow and a gas migration present are automatically classified as serious on the DDS system. All SCVF/GM reclassification requests must be submitted, along with supporting documentation, to the ERCB Well Operations Section for approval.

All SCVF/GM reports must be closed as “repaired” within 30 days of completion and prior to submitting the Well Licence Abandonment. Industry is reminded to ensure that all SCVF/GM notifications are reported within 30 days of detection or the ERCB will implement appropriate enforcement action.

A company now has the option to view all of its open and closed SCVF/GM reports. Industry may continue to order nonconfidential data through ERCB Information Services for wells not currently licensed to their particular company.

Casing Failures

The submission process for Casing Failures notification has been modified.

All existing Casing Failure reports previously closed with a reported resolution of Monitored as Required, Repair Unsuccessful, or Liner are being reopened and will remain open on the DDS system until the casing failure has been repaired. The ERCB will no longer accept Monitored as Required, Repair Unsuccessful, or Liner as a reported resolution.

Casing Failure repairs can only be classified as routine or nonroutine.

  • Routine repair resolutions are as follows: Bridge Plug, Cement Squeeze/Plug, Replace Failed Casing, and Failure in Production Zone.
  • Nonroutine repair resolutions are as follows: Casing Patch, Cemented Liner, and Packer.

Approval is required from the ERCB Well Operations Section prior to conducting any nonroutine casing failure repair.

Casing Failure Deferral requests are now handled as follows: A Failure in Production Zone is any failure that occurs within 15 metres of the uppermost perforations. This type of failure is considered a routine resolution and is closed in the DDS system. This type of failure must be repaired when the producing zone has been abandoned. Comments should include the producing zone perforated intervals.

All other deferral requests are considered as nonroutine and must be submitted, along with supporting documentation, to the ERCB Well Operations Section for approval.

If a cement top is unknown when the casing failure is initially submitted on DDS, the licensee must pick a random default depth and ensure that the comment section states that the cement top is unknown and a cement top locating log will be run.

Industry is reminded to ensure that all Casing Failures are reported and repaired in accordance with ID 2003-01.

Minor Changes to DDS Screens

The ERCB has also updated the screens for the SCVF/GM and Casing Failure submissions, effective March 30, 2009. The general information required will remain the same.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these changes, please contact the Well Operations Section by e-mail at ERCB.WellOperations@ercb.ca or by telephone at 403-297-5290.

<original signed by>

D. K. Boyler, P.Eng.
Executive Manager
Compliance, Environment, and Operations Branch