805 KAR 1:130. Deep well administrative regulation relating to casing, cementing, plugging, gas detection and blow-out prevention.


      RELATES TO: KRS 353.520

      STATUTORY AUTHORITY: KRS Chapter 13A, 353.540, 353.550, 353.560

      NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS 353.550 requires the Department for Natural Resources to regulate the drilling and casing of all wells. This administrative regulation establishes the requirements for the drilling and casing of a deep well.


      Section 1. Definitions. The definitions in KRS 353.510 and the following additional definitions shall apply to this administrative regulation:

      (1) "Abnormal pressure" means a reservoir pressure that exceeds the hydrostatic pressure of fresh water extending from the reservoir to the surface.

      (2) "Annulus" means the space between two (2) strings of casing or between a string of casing and the bore hole wall.

      (3) "Blow-out preventer (BOP)" means a device installed on the surface or intermediate casing to prevent the escape of pressure either in the annulus between casing and drill pipe or in the open hole without drill pipe and which is used during drilling operations.

      (4) "Casing (casing string)" means steel tubes or pipes installed in a well.

      (5) "Cement" means hydraulic cement properly mixed with water or with additives approved by the director, and which is used to fill the annulus of casing string(s) or to plug the well.

      (6) "Deep well" means any well drilled and completed below the depth of 4,000 feet or, in the case of a well located east of longitude line eighty-four (84) degrees thirty (30) minutes, a well drilled and completed at a depth below 4,000 feet or below the base of the lowest member of the Devonian Brown Shale, whichever is deeper.

      (7) "DES" means the state Disaster and Emergency Services Office under authority of the Department of Military Affairs in Frankfort, Kentucky with regional offices throughout the Commonwealth.

      (8) "Intermediate casing" means one (1) or more strings of pipes installed in a well in addition to the surface casing in which each string is smaller in diameter than the previous.

      (9) "Long casing string" means the last casing installed in a well to be used for production or injection purposes.

      (10) "Surface casing" means the first and largest diameter casing installed in a well and its primary uses are to make the bore hole stand up and to protect the fresh water zones.

      (11) "Zone" means a layer of strata capable of producing or receiving fluids.


      Section 2. When an application for a deep well permit is submitted to the department, the operator shall prepare a detailed drilling and casing plan on Form ED-7 for the review by and approval of the department. This casing and cementing form dated August 1, 1991 is filed and incorporated herein by reference. Copies of this form may be obtained from the Department for Natural Resources, P.O. Box 14090, Lexington, Kentucky 40512-4090, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This plan shall include the following:

      (1) A drafted schematic showing the hole size and depth of each casing string. The freshwater string shall be set at least thirty (30) feet below the depth recommended by the department; if fresh water is encountered during drilling operations deeper than such recommended depth, the freshwater casing shall be set at least thirty (30) feet below the actual freshwater depth. All freshwater casing strings shall be circulated when they are set before drilling commences.

      (2) A description of the type, size and grade of casing to be used and the manner in which the annulus of the casing string and well bore will be cemented to protect all fresh water, coal, mineral, and oil and gas producing formation in the area proposed for drilling. The volume, class, additives and weight of the cement to be used shall also be described.

      (3) If drilling fluid is used, it shall comply with 805 KAR 1:020, Section 2(1)(c).


      Section 3. The operator shall install a blow-out prevention device capable of withstanding a working pressure of 1500 psi and a test pressure of 3000 psi. A description of this device and its installation shall be included with the drilling and casing plan required in Section 2 of this administrative regulation. The BOP equipment shall be in place at such time as the well is drilled past the depth at which it becomes a deep well. A test shall be performed at regular intervals to ensure the BOP will operate at its rated capacity, and the results of such test(s) shall be kept at the drill site and made available to department personnel upon request.


      Section 4. The director may waive the requirements for a BOP established in Section 3 of this administrative regulation if the operator submits a written request for such a waiver that includes:

      (1) The geologic formations to be drilled through; and

      (2) A history of drilling in the vicinity of the proposed well with pressure measurements that show gas pressures were not encountered at such levels to require the BOP equipment; and

      (3) The maximum anticipated gas pressure in the proposed well.


      Section 5. The operator shall obtain written instructions from the department prior to plugging the well and the department shall approve the commencement of plugging operations. Upon the department's request, the operator shall submit a well log and completion report and any geophysical logs used for preparing plugging instructions.


      Section 6. The department shall be notified verbally within forty-eight (48) hours of any mechanical failure or other difficulty which may jeopardize the plugging operation or mechanical integrity of the well encountered while conducting any operation or production of a deep well; provided, however, DES or the department shall be immediately notified whenever there are any well failures or blow-outs which pose the likelihood of imminent environmental damage or danger to the public. The operator shall correct any and all such difficulties with due diligence.


      Section 7. An operator in noncompliance with the requirements of this administrative regulation is subject to penalties pursuant to KRS 353.991. (18 Ky.R. 234; Am. 1022; eff. 9-25-91; TAm eff. 8-9-2007; eff. 9-4-2015.)