Pursuant to the petroleum drilling and production regulations the Board has authority to grant a well approval if the operator demonstrates that the drilling of that well will be conducted safely; without waste and without pollution, in compliance with those regulations. These goal-oriented regulations require that the Operations department ensure:
- Operators have in place systems to assess and manage risks, including the consequences of something going wrong, which should be part of the overall Approval to Drill a Well (ADW) or the Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (ACW);
- Operators submit either a Notification to Abandon/Suspend or a Notification to Complete prior to commencement of the well termination program;
- That approved well operations and associated documentation, including drilling programs, reflect good oilfield practice. Good oilfield practice requires putting in place systems and procedures so that a well is constructed, operated and monitored in a way that is generally accepted as preventing the unintended escape of hydrocarbons; and
- Operators have adequate primary and secondary containment barriers in place - as an integrated system - to secure the integrity of the well.
The responsibilities of the Well Operations include:
- Assessing operational and safety aspects of well operations programs. This includes reviewing the adequacy of well designs, completion programs, suspension programs, plugging and abandonment programs, formation flow test programs and related policies and procedures.
- Monitoring the progress of approved well operations to verify that good oilfield practice is, in fact, being observed
- Participating in field audits of offshore well operations.