<<Prev Rule

Texas Administrative Code

Next Rule>>
RULE §3.11Inclination and Directional Surveys Required

(a) General. All wells shall be drilled as nearly vertical as possible by normal, prudent, practical drilling operations. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the drilling of any well in such a manner that the wellbore crosses lease and/or property lines (or unit lines in cases of pooling) without special permission.

(b) Inclination surveys.

  (1) Requirements.

    (A) An inclination survey made by persons or concerns approved by the commission shall be filed on a form prescribed by the commission for each well drilled or deepened with rotary tools, except as hereinafter provided, or when, as a result of any operation, the course of the well is changed. The first shot point of such inclination survey shall be made at a depth not greater than 500 feet below the surface of the ground, and succeeding shot points shall be made either at 500-foot intervals or at the nearest drill bit change thereto, but not to exceed 1,000 feet apart.

    (B) Inclination surveys conforming to these requirements may be made either during the normal course of drilling or after the well has reached total depth. Acceptable directional surveys may be filed in lieu of inclination surveys.

    (C) Copies of all directional or inclination surveys, regardless of the reason for which they are run, shall be filed as a part of or in addition to the inclination surveys otherwise required by this section. If computations are made from dipmeter surveys to determine the course of the wellbore in any portion of the surveyed interval, a report of such computations shall be required.

    (D) Inclination surveys shall not be required in any well drilled to a total depth of 2,000 feet or less on a regular location at least 150 feet from the nearest lease line, provided the well is not intentionally deviated from the vertical in any manner whatsoever.

    (E) Inclination surveys shall not be required on wells deepened with rotary tools if the well is deepened no more than 300 feet or the distance from the surface location to the nearest lease or boundary line, whichever is the lesser, and provided that the well was not intentionally deviated from the vertical at any time before or after the beginning of deepening operations.

    (F) Inclination surveys will not be required on wells that are drilled and completed as dry holes and are permanently plugged and abandoned. If such wells are reentered at a later date and completed as producers or injection or disposal wells, inclination reports will be required and must be filed with the appropriate completion form for the well.

    (G) Inclination survey filings will not be required on wells that are reentries within casing of previously producing wells if inclination data are already on file with the Railroad Commission of Texas (commission). If such data are not on file with the commission, the results of an inclination survey must be reported on the appropriate form and filed with the completion form, except as provided by subparagraph (D) of this paragraph.

  (2) Reports.

    (A) The report form shall be signed and certified by a party having personal knowledge of the facts therein contained. The report shall include a tabulation of the maximum drifts which could occur between the surface and the first shot point, and each two successive shot points, assuming that all of the unsurveyed hole between any two shot points has the same inclination as that measured at the lowest shot point, and the total possible accumulative drift, assuming that all measured angles of inclination are in the same direction.

    (B) In addition, the report shall be accompanied by a certified statement of the operator, or of someone acting at his direction on his behalf, either:

      (i) that the well was not intentionally deviated from vertical; or

      (ii) that the well was deviated at random, with an explanation of the circumstances.

    (C) The report shall be filed in the district office by attaching one copy to each appropriate completion form for the well.

    (D) The commission may require the submittal of the original charts, graphs, or discs resulting from the surveys.

(c) Directional surveys.

  (1) When required.

    (A) When the maximum displacement indicated by an inclination survey is greater than the actual distance from the surface location to the nearest lease line or pooled unit boundary, it will be considered to be a violating well subject to plugging and to penalty action. However, an operator may submit a directional survey, run at his own expense by a commission approved surveying company, to show the true bottom hole location of the well to be within the prescribed limits. When such directional survey shows the well to be bottomed within the confines of the lease, but nearer to a well or lease line or pooled unit boundary than allowed by applicable rules, or by the permit for the well if the well has been granted an exception to §3.37 of this title (relating to Statewide Spacing Rule), a new permit will be required if it is established that the bottom hole location or completion location is not a reasonable location.

    (B) Directional surveys shall be required on each well drilled under the directional deviation provisions of this section.

    (C) No oil, gas, or geothermal resource allowable shall be assigned any well on which a directional survey is required under any provision of this section until a directional survey has been filed with and accepted by the commission.

  (2) Filing and type of survey.

    (A) Directional surveys required under this section must be run by competent surveying companies, approved by the commission, signed and certified by a person having actual knowledge of the facts, in the manner prescribed by the commission in accordance with §3.12 of this title (relating to Directional Survey Company Report).

    (B) All directional surveys, unless otherwise specified by the commission, shall be either single shot surveys or multi-shot surveys with the shot points not more than 200 feet apart, beginning within 200 feet of the surface, and the bottom hole location must be oriented both to the surface location and to the lease lines (or unit lines in cases of pooling).

    (C) If more than 200 feet of surface casing has been run, the operator may begin the directional survey immediately below the surface casing depth. However, if such method is used, the inclination drifts from the surface of the ground to the surface casing depth must be added cumulatively and reported on the appropriate form. This total shall be assumed to be in the direction least favorable to the operator, and such point shall be considered the starting point of the directional survey.

(d) Intentional deviation of wells.

  (1) Definitions.

    (A) Directional deviation--The intentional deviation of a well from vertical in a predetermined compass direction.

    (B) Random deviation--The intentional deviation of a well without regard to compass direction for one of the following reasons:

      (i) to straighten a hole which has become crooked in the normal course of drilling;

      (ii) to sidetrack a portion of a hole because of mechanical difficulty in drilling.

  (2) When permitted.

    (A) Directional deviation. A permit for directionally deviating a well may be granted by the commission:

      (i) for the purpose of seeking to reach and control another well which is out of control or threatens to evade control;

      (ii) where conditions on the surface of the ground prevent or unduly complicate the drilling of a well at a regular location;

      (iii) where conditions are encountered underground which prevent or unduly hinder the normal completion of the well;

      (iv) where it can be shown to be advantageous from the standpoint of mechanical operation to drill more than one well from the same surface location to reach the productive horizon at essentially the same positions as would be reached if the several wells were normally drilled from regular locations prescribed by the well spacing rules in effect;

      (v) for the purpose of drilling a horizontal drainhole; or

      (vi) for other reasons found by the commission to be sufficient after notice and hearing.

    (B) Random deviation. Permission for the random deviation of a well may be granted by the commission whenever the necessity for such deviation is shown, as prescribed in paragraph (3)(C) of this subsection.

  (3) Applications for deviation.


Next Page

Link to Texas Secretary of State Home Page | link to Texas Register home page | link to Texas Administrative Code home page | link to Open Meetings home page