California Underground Injection Control Regulations: Pre-rulemaking Discussion Draft

Updated Underground Injection Control Regulations
California Depart. of Conservation, Div. of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR)

[Natural Gas Intelligence] [California] opened the public comment period for proposed rules for controlling the use of water and steam in oil/gas production, along with separate rules to increase the safety of underground natural gas storage. The latter is in response to a three-month-old storage well leak in Southern California…

While the emergency storage rules are effective, over the next 12 months DOGGR will carry out an expedited rulemaking process to establish new permanent regulations…

“We are moving swiftly to enact regulations that further protect groundwater, including tougher wastewater disposal rules,” said DOGGR head Ken Harris, the state’s oil/gas supervisor. “These rules boost permitting and reporting requirements, further regulate how companies inject wastewater and natural gas, and impose new testing and monitoring mandates.”

Labeled by DOC as a “discussion draft,” the proposal released aims at strengthening and clarifying injection project safeguards for zonal isolation, permitting and mechanical integrity testing, establishing maximum allowable surface pressures, tubing/packer requirements for both cyclic steam and gas storage wells, defining water quality protection, and creating permitting/rules for cyclic steam operations.

Comments on the proposed approaches will be accepted by DOC staff through Feb. 19. These initial comments are preliminary to separate formal rulemaking processes that will include an updated set of draft rules for both oil/gas steam and water use and gas storage operations…


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