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Title 11 . Natural Resources
Chapter 87 . (No Regulations Filed)
Section 130. Blowout prevention

11 AAC 87.130. Blowout prevention

(a) All necessary precautions must be taken to keep all wells under control at all times. The following general procedures must be followed, unless waived or amended by the commissioner:

(1) Blowout preventers and related well control equipment must be installed, tested immediately after installation, and maintained ready for use until drilling operations are completed.

(2) Temperature-sensitive components, such as packing elements and ram rubbers, must be made of material that will resist as high a temperature as necessary.

(3) All kill lines, blowdown lines, manifolds, and fittings must be steel or iron and must have a minimum working pressure and temperature rating exceeding the maximum anticipated surface pressure and temperature.

(4) Subject to (b) and (c) of this section, blowout prevention equipment must have manually-operated position selectors, hydraulic actuating systems and accumulators of sufficient capacity to close all of the hydraulically-operated equipment, and must have a pressure of greater than 1,000 psig remaining on the accumulator.

(5) Dual control stations must be installed with a high-pressure backup system. One control panel must be located at the driller's station and one control panel must be located on the ground at least 50 feet away from the wellhead or rotary table.

(6) Air or other gaseous fluid drilling systems must have blowout prevention assemblies. Assemblies may include, but are not limited to, a rotating head, a double ram blowout preventer or equivalent, or a blind ram blowout preventer or gate valve.

(b) A proposed blowout prevention program and blowout contingency plan must be submitted with the application for a drilling permit and meet the following minimum requirements:

(1) Before drilling below the conductor casing string, at least one remotely controlled annular preventer and flow diverter system must be installed. The annular preventer must permit the diversion of geothermal and other fluids.

(2) Before drilling below the surface casings or intermediate or production casings, the blowout prevention equipment must include a minimum of

(A) one expansion-type preventer and accumulator or a rotating head;

(B) both a manual and a remote-controlled hydraulically-operated double ram blowout preventer, or acceptable alternative having a minimum working pressure and temperature rating exceeding the maximum anticipated surface pressure and temperature;

(C) a drilling spool with side outlets, or the equivalent;

(D) a fillup line;

(E) a kill line equipped with at least one valve; and

(F) a blowdown line equipped with at least two valves and securely anchored at all bends and at the end.

(c) Blowout equipment must be tested or inspected in accordance with the following provisions and the results recorded in the drilling log:

(1) Ram-type blowout preventers and auxiliary equipment must be tested to a minimum of 1,000 psig or to the working pressure of the casing or assembly, whichever is less. Expansion-type blowout preventers must be tested to 70 percent of the above pressure testing requirements.

(2) The blowout prevention equipment must be pressure tested

(A) when installed;

(B) before drilling out plugs and casing shoes;

(C) not less than once each week, alternating the control stations; and

(D) following repairs that require disconnecting a pressure seal in the assembly.

(3) During drilling operations, blowout prevention equipment must be actuated to test proper functioning as follows:

(A) once each trip for blind and pipe rams but not less than once each day for pipe rams; and

(B) at least once each week on the drill pipe for expansion-type preventers.

(4) All flange bolts must be inspected at least weekly and tightened as necessary during drilling operations.

(5) The auxiliary control systems must be inspected daily to check the mechanical condition and effectiveness.

(6) Blowout prevention and auxiliary control equipment must be cleaned, inspected and, if necessary, repaired before installation.

(d) Blowout prevention controls must be plainly labeled. All crew members must be instructed on the function and operation of this equipment.

(e) A blowout prevention drill must be conducted weekly for each drilling crew.

(f) A drill string safety valve in the open position must be maintained on the rig floor at all times while drilling operations are being conducted. A kelly cock must be installed between the kelly and the swivel.

(g) The properties, use, and testing of drilling fluids and related drilling procedures must be adequate to prevent the blowout of any well. Sufficient drilling fluid materials to ensure well control must be maintained in the field area and be readily accessible for use at all times. Control and testing procedures are as follows:

(1) Before pulling drill pipe, the drilling fluid must be properly conditioned or displaced. The hole must be kept reasonably full at all times; however, in no event may the annular mud level be deeper than 30 meters (100 feet) from the rotary table when coming out of the hole with drill pipe. Mud cooling techniques must be utilized when necessary to maintain mud characteristics for proper well control and hole conditioning.

(2) Mud testing and treatment consistent with good operating practice must be performed daily or more frequently as conditions warrant. Mud testing equipment must be maintained on the drilling rig at all times.

(3) The following drilling fluid system equipment must be installed and operated continuously during drilling operations:

(A) high-low level mud pit indicator including a visual and audio-warning device;

(B) degassers, desilters, and desanders, or acceptable alternatives;

(C) a mechanical, electrical, or manual surface drilling fluid temperature monitoring device; the temperature of the drilling fluid going into and coming out of the hole must be monitored, read and recorded on the drilling log for a minimum of every 30 feet of hole drilled below the conductor casing; and

(D) a hydrogen sulfide indicator and alarm must be installed in areas suspected or known to contain hydrogen sulfide gas which may reach levels considered to be dangerous to the health and safety of personnel in the area.

(h) Unless the well is secured with blowout preventers or cement plugs, a member of the drilling crew or the toolpusher must monitor the rig floor from the time drilling operations are initiated and until the well is completed or abandoned.

(i) No exceptions to the requirements in this section are allowed without the specific prior approval of the commissioner.

History: Eff. 5/8/83, Register 86

Authority: AS 41.06.020

AS 41.06.040


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The Alaska Administrative Code was automatically converted to HTML from a plain text format. Every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, but neither Touch N' Go Systems nor the Law Offices of James B. Gottstein can be held responsible for any possible errors. This version of the Alaska Administrative Code is current through June, 2006.

If it is critical that the precise terms of the Alaska Administrative Code be known, it is recommended that more formal sources be consulted. Recent editions of the Alaska Administrative Journal may be obtained from the Alaska Lieutenant Governor's Office on the world wide web. If any errors are found, please e-mail Touch N' Go systems at E-mail. We hope you find this information useful. Copyright 2006. Touch N' Go Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Last modified 7/05/2006