NMOCD PIT RULE - New Mexico - Energy, Minerals and Natural

Report
NMOCD PIT RULE
 Hot Topic #1
 Re-Use of Produced Water, Drilling Fluids, Other Liquid
Oilfield Waste
Notice in your handout
 Form C-147 also in your handout
 No permit (C-147) required for re-use as:
 A drilling or completion fluid
 Makeup water
 Fracturing fluid
 Drilling mud

NMOCD PIT RULE
 Re-use of Produced Water
 No permit (C-147) required for


Delivery to
 An SWD
 A secondary recovery or pressure maintenance injection facility
 Surface waste management facility
 Permanent pit
 Drill site for re-cycling as drilling, completion or plugging fluid
C-147 approved by the appropriate OCD district office
NMOCD PIT RULE
 Hot Topic #2
 14-digit API numbers
 Hot Topic #3 (Reminder)
 Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Disclosure
Required whether or not you report to FracFocus
 Due 45 days after completion of the well
 Required by 19.15.16.19 NMAC

NMOCD PIT RULE
19.15.17 NMAC
Effective June 28, 2013
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Case No. 14784 and 14785
 Order No. R-13506-D
 This rule covers all pits, closed-loop systems, below-
grade tanks and sumps. Facilities under WQCC
Discharge Plans are not exempt.
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Major Changes 2009 – 2013

Below-grade tank now defined as > 5 bbl. Capacity

Continuously flowing watercourse defined

Floodplain defined

New concept: “Life-form ratio” (re-vegetation)
More Changes
2009 – 2013

New concept: “Low chloride fluids”

“Measurable” now defined

New concept: “Multi-well fluid management pit”

Definition of “significant watercourse” expanded and
made more descriptive

Temporary pits may now be used for multiple wells
Still More Changes
 Major Changes 2009 – 2013
 Permit still required for pits, but below-grade tanks are
“registered” (district office)

Closed-loop systems require only notification of their use
(district office)

Other than site-specific data may now be used to determine
groundwater depth (modeling, cathodic well lithology)
Major Changes in the Pit Rule
 Major Changes 2009 – 2013
 Time limits for action on a permit now imposed on the
NMOCD

If using “low-chloride fluids” (<15,000 mg/L):
A pit is now allowed where groundwater is at least 25 feet below
the bottom of the pit
 Significant changes in setbacks


Below-grade tanks meeting standards now allowed where
groundwater is at least 25 feet deep
Even More Major Changes
 Major Changes 2009 – 2013
 A temporary pit (on-lease) or burial trench (on lease) may
receive waste from another temporary pit (on-lease)

Soil beneath a BGT or drying pad shall be remediated to 600
mg/kg chlorides

Containments of only untreated fresh water are not temporary
pits for the purposes of the rule
GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
ALL PITS AND BELOW-GRADE TANKS
SUMPS, CLOSED LOOP SYSTEMS
NMOCD Pit Rule
 19.15.17.9 Permit Application and Registration
 Form C-144 is to be used to apply to the division for a
permit to construct or use a pit or to register a below-grade
tank

May be filed by itself or included as an attachment to a permit
application for the facility where the pit or below-grade tank
will be located
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Pit construction requires a permit issued by the division. All pits
must be lined. (Form C-144)
 The division may issue a single permit for all pits associated with
a single APD.
 Below-grade tanks installed after June 28, 2013 must be
registered with the appropriate division office. (Form C-144)
 Closed-loop systems and sumps do not require a permit or
registration, but the district office must be notified on the APD or
C-103, or applicable BLM form of use of a closed-loop system.
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Certain NMOCD forms have been revised
 C-101 To accommodate notification of use of a closed-loop
system
 C-102 To show temporary pit location
 C-103 To accommodate notification of use of a closed-loop
system
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Siting Requirements for Excavated Material
19.15.17.10(7)





Newly-excavated (non-contaminated)
Distance from a continuously flowing, or significant
watercourse 100 feet or greater
Distance from a lakebed, sinkhole or playa lake 200 feet or
greater
Distance from a wetland 100 feet or greater
Outside a 100-year floodplain
19.15.17.11 Design and Construction Specs

General for pits, closed-loop systems, BGT’s, and sumps

Must adequately contain liquids and solids

Topsoil must be stripped and stockpiled

Signs for pits and BGT’s must be present. Well signs are sufficient

Pits must be fenced to deter unauthorized access

Chain link (6 feet high) with barbed wire (2 strands) on top if pit
located within 1,000 feet of an occupied permanent residence,
school, hospital, institution or church

Permanent pits, MWFM pits, and open top tanks must be netted
NMOCD Pit Rule
 19.15.17.12 Operational Requirements
 General
 Prevent contamination of fresh water and protect public health and the
environment

Recycle, reuse, reclaim or dispose of all drilling fluids according to
division rules

No hazardous waste in a pit, closed-loop system, BGT or sump

Liner integrity compromised above the fluid level, repair or replace
within 48 hours

Liner integrity compromised below the fluid level, remove all fluid above
the leak within 48 hours and notify the district office in accordance with
19.15.29
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Operational Requirements
 General (cont’d)

Inject or withdraw liquids in a manner that prevents damage

Prevent collection of surface water run-on

Maintain oil-absorbent boom to control unanticipated releases
NMOCD Pit Rule
 19.15.17.14 Emergency Actions

Permit not required

Emergency pits are to be constructed, to the extent possible given the
emergency, in a manner consistent with the Pit Rule

Notify the district office ASAP

Emergency pits to be used only for the duration of the emergency

If longer than 48 hours, obtain district office approval

Close within 48 hours after use unless time period extended by
district office
PERMANENT PITS
COLLECTION, RETENTION OR STORAGE OF
PRODUCED WATER OR BRINE, AND NOT A
TEMPORARY PIT
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Permanent Pit
 Used for collection, retention or storage of produced water or
brine

In use for a relatively longer period of time

Special construction requirements

Regulated by the Santa Fe office

Must be inspected on a regular basis
Siting Requirements for Permanent or MWFMP

Groundwater depth 50 feet or greater from bottom of pit

Distance from a continuously-flowing watercourse 300 feet or
greater

Distance from any other significant watercourse 200 feet or
greater

Distance from a permanent residence, school, hospital,
institution or church 1,000 feet or greater
Siting Requirements for Permanent or MWFMP

Distance from a spring or fresh water well used for stock watering
500 feet or greater

Outside incorporated municipal boundaries unless municipality
specifically approves

Outside defined municipal fresh water fields unless municipality
specifically approves

Distance from a wetland 500 feet or greater

Outside an area overlying a subsurface mine

Outside an unstable area

Outside a 100-year floodplain
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Temporary Pit
 Drilling or workover pit

May be used for one or more wells

Must be located at one of the associated drilling locations

Must be closed within six months from the date the operator
releases the rig from the first well using the pit
TEMPORARY PITS
INCLUDES DRILLING OR WORKOVER PITS,
TO HOLD LIQUIDS AND MINERAL SOLIDS.
MAY BE USED FOR ONE OR MORE WELLS
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Temporary Pits (District office)
 Construction shall follow applicable liner mfg. requirements

Permit application shall include:
Operating/Maintenance procedures
 Closure plan
 Hydrogeologic data
 In the absence of groundwater data, operator can provide a
reasonable determination of groundwater depth approved by the
appropriate district office

NMOCD Pit Rule
 Temporary Pits (continued)

Operators may have standard pit designs approved by the OCD
district office

These standard plans may then be incorporated, by reference,
in multiple APD’s

Applications sent to the appropriate district office
Low vs. Non-Low Chloride Fluids
 Temporary Pit Siting
Low-Chloride Fluids
Requirements
19.15.17.10
Water-based, <15,000
mg/L of
Chlorides
Non-Low-Chloride Fluids
Groundwater must be greater than 25
feet below the bottom of the pit.
Groundwater must be greater than 50
feet below the bottom of the pit.
Must be located more than 100 feet
from any continuously flowing
watercourse, or any other significant
watercourse.
Must be located more than 300 feet
from any continuously flowing
watercourse, or any other significant
watercourse.
Must be located more than 300 feet
Must be located more than 300 feet
from an occupied permanent residence, from an occupied permanent residence,
school, hospital, institution, or church. school, hospital, institution, or church.
Must be located more than 200 feet
from a spring or fresh water source.
Must be located more than 500 feet
from a spring or fresh water source.
Low vs. Non-low Chloride Fluids
Low-Chloride Fluids
 Temporary
Pit Siting
Water-based, <15,000 mg/L of
19.15.17.10
Chlorides
Non-Low-Chloride Fluids
Must be located outside incorporated
municipal boundaries, and outside of a
defined municipal fresh water field
unless agreed to by the municipality
Must be located outside incorporated
municipal boundaries, and outside of a
defined municipal fresh water field
unless agreed to by the municipality
Must be located more than 100 feet
from a wetland.
Must be located more than 300 feet
from a wetland.
Must be located outside an area
overlying a subsurface mine.
Must be located outside an area
overlying a subsurface mine.
Must be located outside of an unstable
area.
Must be located outside of an unstable
area.
Must be located outside any 100-year
floodplain.
Must be located outside any 100-year
floodplain.
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Design and Construction Specs – Specific
 Temporary Pits
 Must confine liquids and prevent releases

Foundations and interior slopes must be properly constructed

Must have a geomembrane liner, 20-mil LLDPE or equivalent

Minimize liner seams and orient them up and down, not across
a slope
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Design and Construction Specs – Specific
 Temporary Pits (Cont’d)
 Avoid excessive stress and strain

Geotextile underliner required where needed

Edges anchored in trench at least 18 inches deep

Protect from any fluid force or mechanical damage

Prevent run-on of surface water using berm, ditch proper
sloping or other diversion
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Design and Construction Specs – Specific
 Temporary Pits (Cont’d)
 Pit volume limited to 10 acre feet including freeboard (2
feet)

The part of a temporary pit used to vent or flare gas does not
require a liner.

No free-standing liquids on the unlined portion
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Operational Requirements
 Specific – Temporary Pits
 To contain only drilling, completion or workover fluids and
solids
 No miscellaneous solid waste or debris

Remove any visible layer of oil from the surface immediately
after cessation of drilling or workover operation

At least 2 feet of freeboard
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Operational Requirements
 Specific – Temporary Pits (cont’d)
 Daily inspection while the rig is on location

Weekly inspection thereafter, so long as liquids remain in the
pit

Free liquids removed from a drilling or workover pit within 60
days after rig release

Free liquids removed from a pit used for cavitation within 48
hours after completing cavitation
MULTI-WELL FLUID
MANAGEMENT PITS
(MWFMP)
STORAGE, TREATMENT AND RECYCLING OF
STIMULATION FLUIDS AND FLOW-BACK
WATER DURING DRILLING AND COMPLETION
OF MULTIPLE WELLS
Multi-Well Fluid Management Pit (MWFMP)

Storage, treatment and recycling of stimulation fluids and
flow-back water during the drilling and completion of
multiple wells

No waste disposal

May be located either on- or off- location

Remain in use until all wells associated with the permit
are completed

Applications include a list of wells to be associated with
the MWFMP

Requests for additional wells will go to hearing
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Multi-Well Fluid Management Pits (District Office)
 Construction shall follow applicable liner mfg. requirements

Permit application (Form C-144) shall include:
Operating and maintenance procedures
 A list of wells, with approved applications to drill, that will be
associated with the pit
 Closure plan
 Hydrogeologic data
 In the absence of groundwater data, operator can provide a
reasonable (district-approved) determination of groundwater
depth

NMOCD Pit Rule
 Multi-Well Fluid Management Pits (continued)

Standard designs may be used and incorporated by reference

Applications sent to the appropriate district office
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Design and Construction Specs – Specific
 Multi-Well Fluid Management Pits

Designed to confine liquids and prevent releases

Properly constructed foundation

Slopes no steeper than 2H:1V

Levee’s outside grade no steeper than 3H:1V

Anchor trench for liners required

Double-lined (60-mil HDPE, or 30-mil PVC) with leak detection
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Design and Construction Specs – Specific
 Multi-Well Fluid Management Pits
 Orient thermally-sealed seams up and down, not across slopes

Leak detection system as specified in 19.15.17.11.J (8) or a
division-approved alternative (district office)

Surface water run-on to be prevented
Multi-Well Fluid Management Pits
 Operational Requirements

Contains only stimulation fluids, produced water used for
stimulation and drilling, and flow back from multiple wells

No visible layer of oil (see definitions)

At least 3 feet of freeboard

Weekly inspections to include leak detection system

Remove all fluids within 60 days from cessation of stimulation
operations associated with the MWFMP
BELOW-GRADE TANKS
(BGT)
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Below-Grade Tanks
 Registered with the OCD district office
 Form C-144
 Registration shall include:
Operating and maintenance procedures
 Closure plan
 Hydrogeologic data
 Reasonable (district-approved) determination of groundwater
depth


Standard designs may be submitted and incorporated by
reference
Siting Requirements for a Below-Grade Tank

Distance from a continuously flowing or significant
watercourse, lakebed, sinkhole, wetland or playa lake greater
than 100 feet

Distance from a spring or fresh water well used for public or
livestock consumption greater than 200 feet

Groundwater depth greater than 25 feet below the bottom of
the excavation containing the BGT
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Design and Construction Specs – Specific
 Below-Grade Tanks
 Made of a material that is resistant to the tanks contents and
to damage from sunlight

Properly constructed foundation
Level base
 Free of rocks, sharp edges, or irregularities


Constructed to prevent surface water run-on and overflow
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Design and Construction Specs – Specific
 Below-Grade Tanks (cont’d)
 Options
(a)
Double-walled construction not required if the tank’s side
walls are visible and the bottom of the tank is elevated a
minimum of 6 inches and the underlying ground is lined and
sloped toward a location that is visible
(b)
If side walls are not visible, double-walled with leak detection
required
(c)
A division-approved alternative (district office)
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Design and Construction Specs – Specific
 Below-Grade Tanks (cont’d)
 No retrofit required for single-walled BGT’s, that have visible
sidewalls, existing prior to June 16, 2008 so long as they
demonstrate integrity

Single-walled BGT’s existing prior to June 16, 2008,
whose sidewalls are not visible, must be retrofitted or
closed
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Operational Requirements
 Specific – Below-Grade Tanks
 No fluid run-on or run-off
 No measurable layer of oil
 Monthly inspections
 Document integrity annually
 Freeboard adequate to prevent overtopping
 Repair or close if integrity is lost
 Inspect for contamination under a BGT during work required
for compliance with this rule
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Operational Requirements
 Specific – Sumps
 Visually inspect annually
 Promptly repair or replace if necessary
 Maintain records of inspections
 See sump definition
CLOSURE
BURIAL & RECLAMATION
Closure, In-Place or Trench Burial

Groundwater depth 25 feet or greater below the bottom of the
pit (must meet standards set forth in Table II)

Distance from a continuously flowing watercourse 100 feet or
greater

Distance from any other significant watercourse, lakebed,
sinkhole or playa lake 200 feet or greater

Distance from an occupied permanent residence, school,
hospital, institution or church 300 feet or greater

Distance from a spring or water well used for stock watering
300 feet or greater
Siting for
Closure, In-Place or Trench Burial

Outside incorporated municipal boundaries and outside of a
defined municipal fresh water field unless the municipality
specifically approves

Distance from a wetland 300 feet or greater

Outside the area overlying a subsurface mine

Outside an unstable area

Outside a 100-year floodplain
Table I and Table II Closure Criteria
 Table I lists criteria for soils beneath Below-Grade Tanks,
Drying Pads Associated with Closed-Loop Systems and Pits
where contents are removed.
 Table II lists closure criteria for burial trenches and waste
left in place in Temporary Pits
 Depth to protectable water
 Chloride, TPH, BTEX, Benzene analyses
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Design and Construction Specs – Specific
 Burial Trenches
 Properly constructed foundation

Geotextile under the liner if needed

Geomembrane liner, 20-mil LLDPE or equivalent

Orient seams up and down, not across, slopes

Secure the outer edges
NMOCD Pit Rule
 19.15.17.13 Closure and Site Reclamation

Where wastes are destined for off-site facilities

Must have approved closure plan in place

Remove all contents, including liners

Test soils beneath the liner
 5-point composite sample
 Additional delineation may be required if sample analysis exceeds
Table I of 19.15.17.13 NMAC
 If sample analysis does not exceed these parameters, backfilling
may commence
Closure and Site Reclamation
 Burial in place or temporary pit/lined trench burial

Must have approved closure plan in place

Remove and dispose of all free liquids

Remaining pit contents must be stabilized or solidified

Mixing ratio maximum is 3:1 clean soil to contents

5-point composite sample of contents, after stabilization

If concentration of contaminants does not exceed Table II of
19.15.17.13 NMAC, operator may continue with closure

If concentration exceeds Table II parameters, closure must proceed in
accordance with 19.15.17.13.C (dig and haul)
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Closure and Site Reclamation
 Burial in place or temporary pit/lined trench burial

Fold outer edges of the liner to overlap the waste

Install a geomembrane (20-mil LLDPE) cover on top

Cover this with a 4-foot uncontaminated soil cover as described in
19.15.17.13.H(3)

Re-vegetate the location in accordance with 19.15.17.13.H(5)
Closure and Site Reclamation
 Burial in place or temporary pit/lined trench burial

If the operator has transferred the wastes and the liner to a burial
trench or another temporary pit, a 5-point composite sample must
be taken under the original temporary pit

Sample must be analyzed for the constituents shown in Table I of
19.15.17.13 NMAC

Additional delineation may be required by the district office if
levels are exceeded

If contaminant levels are not exceeded, operator may begin
backfilling
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Closure Notice
 Surface owner notification is required for any in-place or
trench burial

Notify surface owner at least 72 hours, but not more than one
week, prior to closure operation

Include well name, API number and location

Certified mail, return receipt requested

Retain this proof of notification
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Closure Notice
 The appropriate district office must be notified of any in-place
or trench burial closure

Notify verbally, and in writing at least 72 hours, but not more
than one week prior to closure operation

The NMOCD Santa Fe office (Environmental Bureau) must be
notified of any cessation of operations at a permanent pit at
least 60 days prior to cessation and a proposed schedule for
closure must be provided
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Closure Notice

Onsite burial on private land requires a deed notice to be filed
with the appropriate county clerk
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Closure Report and Burial Identification

Document all closure activities on a C-144

Due within 60 days of closure completion

Plat showing the location of the temporary pit used for closure,
or the location of an onsite burial to be included on C-105

Steel marker to be placed at the center of an onsite burial
Closure Timing

Permanent pit – within 60 days of cessation of operations

Temporary pit – within 6 months from the date of rig release
from the first well using the pit

Drying pad – within 6 months from the date of rig release

Below-Grade Tanks – liquids removed and disposed of within
60 days of cessation of operations – closure within 6 months

MWFMP – within 6 months of cessation of stimulation
operations on all associated wells
Reclamation

Pits, trenches, drying pads, below-grade tanks, areas
associated with a closed-loop system

Reclaim to a safe and stable condition

So that former location blends with the surrounding area

Restore to the condition that existed prior to oil and gas
operations

Contouring and re-vegetation per 19.15.17.13.H(5)

Alternatives to the contouring and re-vegetation requirements
must be approved by the district office and the surface owner.
Reclamation

Soil covers for closures shall be the background thickness of
topsoil or one foot whichever is greater

Chloride level for the soil beneath a BGT or drying pad shall be
less than 600 mg/kg per EPA method 300.0

Chloride level for the soil cover for burial in place or trench
burial shall be at least 4 feet of uncontaminated soil with
chloride concentration less than 600 mg/kg per EPA method
300.0

Soil covers shall be contoured to prevent erosion
Reclamation and Re-vegetation

Reclaimed as nearly as practicable to their original condition

Contour topsoil and subsoil to achieve erosion control

Re-seed in the first favorable growing season

Reclamation complete when life-form ratio of 50%, and total
plant cover of 70% of pre-disturbance levels is achieved
excluding noxious weeds

These requirements shall be superseded by other federal or
tribal agencies if those requirements equal or exceed those
specified in this rule
EXCEPTIONS & VARIANCES
EXCEPTION HANDLED BY SANTA FE
VARIANCE HANDLED BY DISTRICT OFFICE
NMOCD Pit Rule
 19.15.17.15 Exceptions and Variances
 “Exception” means authorization from the division’s Santa
Fe office to depart from the requirements of 19.15.17 NMAC.

“Variance” means authorization from the appropriate
division district office to depart from the requirements of
19.15.17 NMAC. A variance may not be obtained where
exceptions are required specifically by a provision of 19.15.17
NMAC.
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Exceptions and Variances
 The Commission made a conscious effort to specify, in the rule,
whether a particular departure from the rule was an exception
or a variance

Generally: Any departure from a requirement concerning
permanent pits must be approved by the Santa Fe office

Generally: Any departure from any other requirement can be
approved by the appropriate OCD district office
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Exceptions and Variances
 In the few instances where the rule does not specify, it is safe
to assume that a departure is a variance, and can be handled
by the district office

The district office may deem such a departure to be significant
enough that it requires an exception

Specific procedures listed in rule to apply for exception or
variance
NMOCD Pit Rule
 19.15.17.16 Permit Approvals, Conditions, Denials,
Revocations, Suspensions, Modifications or
Transfers

Division shall determine an application administratively
complete or provide written notice as to deficiencies within 30
days of receipt

If no written notice is received, operator may assume
application is administratively complete. This does not mean
the permit is approved.
NMOCD Pit Rule
 19.15.17.16 Permit Approvals, Conditions, Denials,
Revocations, Suspensions, Modifications or
Transfers

The division has a total of 60 days to approve, deny or approve
with conditions the application

If no action is taken by the division within 60 days, application
is deemed denied

Operator may apply for a hearing
NMOCD Pit Rule
 19.15.17.16 Permit Approvals, Conditions, Denials,
Revocations, Suspensions, Modifications or
Transfers

The division may impose conditions for approval

The division must notify the operator in writing if application
is denied

The operator may apply for a modification of a permit
NMOCD Pit Rule
 19.15.17.16 Permit Approvals, Conditions, Denials,
Revocations, Suspensions, Modifications or
Transfers

The division may revoke, suspend or impose additional
conditions upon discovery that the operator is in material
breach of any applicable statutes or rules

Operator to be notified by certified mail, return receipt
requested of any intended revocation, suspension or
imposition of additional conditions

Operator may request a hearing on this matter within 10 days
after receipt of such notification
NMOCD Pit Rule
 19.15.17.16 Permit Approvals, Conditions, Denials,
Revocations, Suspensions, Modifications or
Transfers

Permits shall not be transferred without division approval

Division approvals shall be by written statement

Written statements include e-mail
New Mexico Oil Conservation
Division Website
HTTP://WWW.EMNRD.STATE.NM.US/OCD/
NMOCD Pit Rule
 Thank you for your time and attention
 If you have questions:
 Hobbs District Office: 575-393-6161
 Artesia District Office: 575-748-1283
 Aztec District Office: 505-334-6178
 Santa Fe District Office
Ed Martin: 505-476-3470
 [email protected]

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