PHMSA Issues Interim Final Rule Revising Safety Regulations for Downhole Facilities

The regulations include well integrity, wellbore tubing, and casing

The DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an interim final rule (IFR) that updates safety regulations for downhole facilities, including well integrity, wellbore tubing, and casing.

After the Aliso Canyon incident of 2015, the PIPES Act required PHMSA to enact minimum federal safety standards for underground natural gas storage facilities.

“Less than one year after the formation of the DOT/ DOE Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Safety, we have developed an interim final rule that puts critical safety standards in place for underground storage facilities across the country and establishes a consistent, minimum federal baseline for states to develop their own regulations,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The rule incorporates the American Petroleum Institute’s 1170 and 1171 practices, which outline standards for the design and operation of solution-mined salt caverns used for natural gas storage, and functional integrity of natural gas storage in depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs and aquifer reservoirs.

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