Office of Conservation Issues Order for Operators to Take Precautionary Steps
Bayou Corne investigatory well secured for storm
Louisiana Commissioner of Conservation James Welsh today issued an emergency order to all exploration and production operations in the state to take all necessary precautions to ensure their sites are safe as Tropical Storm Isaac, expected to make landfall as a Category 1 or greater hurricane.
Operators of oilfield sites, facilities, structures and pipelines have been directed under the Declaration of Emergency and Administrative Order to maintain awareness of communications related to the storm from local, state and federal authorities, monitor water levels and weather activity, and take all necessary steps and action to avoid damage to the environment and threats to life and safety, to include such things as:
· Removing stock on hand at sites and filling tanks with water
· Removing and securing loose equipment
· Ensuring storm chokes or downhole plugs are installed in wells
· Shutting in and securing wells where necessary
The order also requires operators to notify the Office of Conservation of the shutting down of any wells, facilities, structures or pipelines in response to the storm within 24 hours of doing so.
The Office of Conservation is in the process of contacting 344 operators with producing wells
in a 31-parish region for information regarding the status of their production operations, consisting of the parishes of:
Acadia, Ascension, Assumption, Calcasieu, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Saint Bernard, Saint Charles, Saint Helena, Saint James, Saint John The Baptist, Saint Martin, Saint Mary, Saint Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermilion, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana.
The Office of Conservation has also contacted the operators of the 18 rigs actively drilling over state waters and the 10 workover rigs working over state waters – as of Monday evening, all 10 workover rig operators were shutting down and seeking safe harbor for the rigs. Operators also report that 12 of the drilling rigs have begun the process of shutting down and seeking safe harbor, with the final six monitoring the situation and making preparations to shut down.
Also, the ongoing drilling project for the investigatory well into Texas Brine’s abandoned salt cavern near Bayou Corne in Assumption Parish has been shut down and secured under the oversight of Office of Conservation agents. The rig derrick was laid down Monday morning, protective boom has been installed around the nearby sinkhole, and Texas Brine has provided full details of its storm preparations to the Office of Conservation.
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