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KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA

MINISTRY OF INTERIOR
HIGH COMMISSION FOR INDUSTRIAL SECURITY

SAFETY AND FIRE PROTECTION DIRECTIVES


FOR INDUSTRIAL FACILITIES

SAF-07
Wellsite Safety

Issue Date: I2I6/1431H 126/05/2010

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Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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Ministry of Interior
High Commission for Industrial Security

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Secretariat General
SAF-07

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Wellsite Safety

TABLE OF CONTENTS
I

Administration
1.1 Scope
1.2 Application
1.3 Conflicts and Deviations
2 Definitions
3 References
4 General Requirements
4.1 Spacing - Occupied Buildings
4.2 Rupture Exposure Radius
4.3 Unoccupied Agricultural
Developments
4.4 Water and Gas Injection Wells
4.5 Well Burn Pits
4.6 Additional Safety
Measures for Populated Areas
4.7 Automatic Closure
4.8 High-Pressure Gas Wells
4.9 Wellhead Equipment
4.10 Automated Safety Systems
4.11 Suspen ded We lIs
4.12 Vehicle Barrier
4.13 Fencing in Populated Areas
4.14 Indication of Wind Direction
4.15 Access to Wellsites
Table I Minimum Spacing from
Oil and Gas Wells
Table 2 Minimum Spacing from
Well Burn Pits
Figure I - Example of Wellhead

3
3
3
4
7
8
8
9
9
9
9
II
12
12
12
12
13
13
13
13
13
8
10
14

Issue Date: 12/6/1431H 126/05/2010

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Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Ministry ofInterior
High Commission for Industrial Security

II'~I

Secretariat General

SAF-07

Lr'SU IeWI ",.,


6..oWI a;lo)/I

Wellsite Safety

1.

Administration

1.1

Scope
This Directive provides the minImum requirements for companies and
establishments that are subject to the supervision of the High Commission for
Industrial Security (HCIS), Ministry of Interior, for onshore wellsite layout,
wellhead protection, access, and flow isolation for all wells including oil and gas
production wells, hydrocarbon injection wells, observation wells, abandoned wells,
suspended wells, and wellsite facilities located onshore. Water injection, disposal,
and supply wells that are open to or pass through a geological zone and could
produce hydrocarbons, are also covered by this directive.

1.2

Application
This Directive is applicable to all facilities, including new projects, the expansion
of existing facilities, and upgrades. For application to existing facilities, the Owner
shall assess his facilities against the requirements of these Directives and
coordinate with the General Secretariat of the HCrS to comply with the security,
safety, and fire protection requirements according to these Directives and add to or
modifY the existing facilities as required. Where the General Secretariat of the
HCIS has assessed deficiencies in existing facilities during a survey, comparing the
current state of the facilities to the requirements of these Directives, those identified
deficiencies shall be corrected by the Owner.

1.3

Conflicts and Deviations


Where implementation of a requirement is unsuitable or impractical, where other
equivalent company or industry Standards and Codes are followed, or where any
conflict exists between this Directive and other company standards and Codes, the
deviations shall be resolved by the General Secretariat of the HCIS. Deviations
lower than the requirements of this Directive shall be listed and submitted in a
report of non-compliance, with justification and rationale for not following the
requirement, and approval shall be received from the General Secretariat of the
HCIS prior to implementation. The documents shall be retained by the company in
its permanent engineering files.

Issue Date: 12/6I1431H 126/05/2010

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Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


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Ministry ofInterior
High Commission for Industrial Security
Secretariat General
SAF-07

2.

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Wellsite Safety

Definitions
Absolute Opeu Flow (AOF): In general tenus, the rate of flow that would be
produced by a gas well or oil well if the only back-pressure at the surface is
atmospheric pressure, e.g. the complete unrestricted maximum produced fluid flow
rate.
API: American Petroleum Institute, Website: http://api-ec.apLorg/
Blow-Out Preveuter (BOP): A blowout preventer is a large valve that can seal off
an oil or natural gas well during drilling operations. If a kick (see definition below)
is experienced, operators can close the valve to forestall a blowout and regain
control of the wellbore.
Choke: An adjustable pressure control valve that is used to control backpressure
on the well. Controlling the backpressure adjusts the production rate of the well.
Drilling Pad: A compacted area of marl located at the well site. The drilling pad is
required to be level for use by drilling and workover rigs.
Fail-safe: Describes a device which, in the event of failure, it will respond in a
way that will cause no hanu or minimize hanu to equipment or personnel.
GOSP: A gas oil separation plant (GOSP) is a plant area where water and gas are
separated from the produced crude oil so that the oil is of suitable quality for
shipping through a pipeline to an oil terminal or to a refinery. The gas is sent to gas
plants for further processing.
HCIS: High Commission for Industrial Security, Ministry ofInterior.
High Pressure (HP) Well: Wells where the shut in wellhead pressure is expected
to exceed 20,700 kPll(gauge) (3000 psig).
kV: Kilovolts (1000 volts)
kPa: Kilopascals
Listed: Equipment, materials, or services that meet an appropriate designated
Standard or Code or that have been tested and found suitable for a specified
purpose. FM and UL are two internationally recognized organizations with listings
of equipment, materials, and services.

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HerS

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


~\..lJI~)\j)

Ministry of Interior
High Commission for Industrial Security

</,Io..dl er-)U l,WI ,y,1

Secretariat General
SAF-07

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Wellsite Safety

Low Pressure (LP) Well: Wells where the shut in wellhead pressure is not
expected to exceed 20,700 kPll(gauge) (3000 psig).
LFL: Lower flammable limit of a fuel vapor in air mixture. If a vapor/air mixture
is above the LFL, a fire is likely in the presence of an ignition source.

HzS: Hydrogen Sulfide, a colorless toxic gas that is sometimes produced with
natural water, crude oil, and natural gas.
Kick: A sudden flow of reservoir gas, oil or water into the wellbore during drilling
operations.
Major Facility: The outer-most security fence, property line, or other demarcation
ofland-use claim of refineries, large gas treatment plants, natural gas liquids (NGL)
plants, larger oil processing facilities, and manufacturing facilities. Gas oil
separation plants (GOSPs), production, and gathering and pipeline facilities, for the
purpose of this directive, are not included.
Owner: Person, partnership, or company that has possession of a facility or
establishment.
Plant: Facilities used to manufacture, process, store, transport, or transfer
hydrocarbons or other chemical substances.
Population:
buildings.

A grouping of people normally indicated by the existence of

Populated Area: For the purposes of this directive, a wellsite is in a populated


area if the population density exceeds 20 persons residing, working, or otherwise
located inside the 30 parts per million H2S rupture exposure radius (RER). In
addition, a wellsite is in a populated area if a school, hospital, hotel, prison, retail
complex or similar entity, whether existing or planned, is inside the 30 parts per
million RER of that wellsite. Transporation right-of-ways such as highways or
railways are not considered populated areas. For the purposes of this directive, the
number of persons considered does not include the rig camp and other on-site
workers in direct support of the drilling rig, well maintenance, or producing
operations.

Issue Date: 1216/1431H / 26105/2010

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Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


~I..U\';~lj-,

Ministry ofInterior
High Commission for Industrial Security
Secretariat General

SAF-07

"",L,a)1 0-")u l,WI ",.,


4,...W\ 6.jt,.)l1

Wellsite Safety

Ppm: Concentration of gas or vapor in air, e.g. concentration of hydrogen sulfide


gas in air in parts of gas or vapor per million parts of air by volume at 25 degrees C
and 1 atmosphere of pressure.
Psig: A common unit of pressure in pounds per square inch gauge.
Rupture Exposure Radius (RER):
1)

For toxic effects, the rupture exposure radius refers to the horizontal distance
from a leak source to a specified level of hydrogen sulfide (H,S)
concentration in parts per million (ppm).

2)

For a flammable gas or vapor hazard, the rupture exposure radius refers to
the horizontal distance from a leak source to the Yz lower flammable limit
(LFL).

Shall: Indicates a mandatory requirement.


Should: Indicates a recommendation or that which is advised but not required.
Surface Safety Valve (SSV): An automated spring-assisted fail-safe valve
installed on a wellhead to automatically shut in flow during an abnormal condition
such as high or low pressure of the flowline. The SSV can be the upper master
valve, a wing valve (upstream of choke), or a production valve (downstream of the
choke).
Suspeusiou Procedure: Wireline or workover rig procedures for securing a
standing well from production on a long-term basis.
Subsurface Safety Valve (SSSV): An automated valve installed below ground
level in the tubing string of an oil or gas well. The SSSV is used to shut in flow
during an abnormal condition. SSSVs, when required, are installed 60 meters or
more below ground level per API RP 14B.
Wellhead: The valve manifold directly at the top of the well bore. The wellhead
consists of several specialized valves including the following (see Figure 1):
a)

Crowu Valve: Topmost valve of the wellhead. This valve is used for
wire line and coil tubing access to the well.

Issue Date: 12/6/1431H f 26105/2010

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Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Ministry of Interior
High Commission for Industrial Security

</L,.)I

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Secretariat General

SAF-07

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Wellsite Safety

b)

Lower Master Valve: The first valve on a wellhead. This is not a surface
safety valve (SSV). This vertical valve is used to shut in the well manually. It
provides the first point of isolation for an oil or gas producing well.

c)

Upper Master Valve: A second isolation gate valve just above the Lower
Master Valve on a wellhead. This vertical valve is used to shut in the well. If
this is automated, it is considered a surface safety valve (SSV). It provides the
second point of isolation for an oil or gas producing well.

d)

Wing Valve: The valve on the side branch of the wellhead, normally located
immediately upstream of the choke. This horizontal valve is the point where
flow goes from the wellhead to the pipeline which will take the produced oil
to a gas oil separation plant (GOSP).

e)

Wellsite: A wellsite consists of wellhead(s), associated drilling pad, and a


well flare/burn pit area or areas.

Well Status: Wells that are not flowing oil or gas may be described by the
following terms:

3.

a)

Abandoned Well: A well that is permanently plugged with cement. This


well cannot be produced again.

b)

Observation Well: A well drilled to monitor reservoir conditions such as


bottom-hole pressure in the reservoir.

c)

Suspeuded Well: A well that has been shut in on a long tenn basis with all
productive zones isolated and production shut off on a long-term basis.

d)

Standing Well: A well that is shut in awaiting action, such as flowline tie-in
or well perforation, before it can be returned to production.

References
This directive adopts the latest edition of the references listed.
APISPEC6A

Wellhead Equipment

API RP 14B

American Petroleum Institute Recommend Practice, Design,


Installation, Repair and Operation of Subsurface Safety Valve
Systems

Issue Date: 12/61l431H 126/05/2010

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Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


~\..01';~\J)

Ministry ofInterior
High Commission for Industrial Security

1I'L.aJ1 Lr')u \,WI '4\1


;i..oW\6..i\..o~\

Secretariat General
SAF-07

Wellsite Safety

4.

General Requirements

4.1

Spacing - Occupied Buildings

4.1.1

Wellsites shall be located away from population such that no occupied building,
compound, shopping complex, office building, major plant facility, factory, or
similar occupied development, whether permanent or temporary, is within the
well's 100 parts per miIlion hydrogen sulfide rupture exposure radius (ppm H2S
RER) or y, lower flammable limit (LFL) RER if well control is lost during driIling
or well maintenance workovers.
Exception: Facilities incidental to operating and producing the wells (such as
collection pipelines, distribution headers, separation or storage facilities, testseparators) may be within the 100 ppm H2S RER of the well as required.

4.1.2

Spacing from a well shall be measured from the nearest fence or other land mark.

4.1.3

For industrial, military, and other larger non-residential land claims, determine the
spacing based on the nearest anticipated development within the confines of the
fence during the anticipated period of driIling.
Table 1- Minimnm Spacing from Oil and Gas Wells

Divided
Railroads
Major electrical distribution centers
buildings, major facilities
flares and burn
similar facilities

450
450
450
1000

Issue Date: 12/6/1431H 126/0512010

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Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


~\..0\~)ljJ

Ministry ofinterior

"",WI Cr''>U L,WI '4>1

High Commission for Industrial Security


Secretariat General
SAF-07

;;"WI:i..it}Jl

WeJlsite Safety

'If the H,S RER is greater than the distance stated in this table, use the 100 ppm H,S RER for
spacing, Section 4.1 shall be used for well spacing from occupied buildings, major facilities,
hospitals and schools and similar occupied facilities. Use the minimum spacing table only if the 100
ppm H,S RER is less.

4.2

Rupture Exposure Radius

4.2.1

The basis for RER calculations shall include all hydrocarbon zones to be penetrated
during drilling of the new well. Flow rates used for the calculation shall be absolute
open flow (AOF) of the well while being drilled.

4.2.2

RER calculations shall be done with best available computer models available for
dispersion modeling of natural gas and oil releases in air.

4.2.3

The RER calculations shall be done by personnel having experience with drilling
and its potential hazards and having experience in computer dispersion modeling.
All studies and resulting RERs shall be kept as part ofthe Owner's permanent well
records.

4.3

Unoccupied Agricultural Developments


Unoccupied buildings and other structures of agricultural developments and
unoccupied farms are allowed to be within the 100 parts per million (ppm) H2S
RER but not within the Y, LFL RER. The minimum spacing shall be no less than
100m.

4.4

Water and Gas Injection Wells

4.4.1

Water gravity injector, power injector, and supply wells that penetrate hydrocarbon
fonnations shall be located the same as hydrocarbon producing wells.

4.4.2

Water injection and supply wells that do not penetrate hydrocarbon bearing
fonuations shall have a basic 60 meters minimum spacing requirement from plant
equipment, buildings, etc. Gas injection wells shall use the same location criteria as
producing gas wells.

4.5

Well Burn Pits


Well burn pits shall be subject to the same spacing from population and major
facilities as well spacing. Minimum spacing shall meet Table 2 below.

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Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


~\.J\C}(jJ

Ministry ofInterior

</c...JI .:r-)U \,WI "",I

High Commission for Industrial Security

;;"..W\4..j\...o\1I

Secretariat General

SAF-07

Wellsite Safety

Table 2 - Minimnm Spacing from Well Bnrn Pits

60 (All Oil & LP Gas

Existing Wellheads

Wells)

150
(Above

100

Other Roadways
Divided Limited-Access Expressways
(Priima'rv Highways)

Low Pressure (LP) where the shut in wellhead pressure is not expected to exceed 20,700
kP"<&,,,,,) (3000 psig).
*'High Pressure (HP) where the shut in wellhead pressure is expected to exceed 20,700
kPot..,.,) (3000 psig).

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Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Ministry ofInterior
High Commission for Industrial Security
Secretariat General
SAF-07

""WIer-)\! \,WI >.;J.I


:uwl6Jl..o\q

Wellsite Safety

4.6

Additional Safety Measures for Populated Areas

4.6.1

Wells in a populated area shall implement the following additional precautionary


measures in addition to the normal drilling safety program during drilling of
hydrocarbon zones or during well maintenance.

4.6.2

An emergency response plan shall be in place to meet SAF-20, Pre-Incident


Planning and Management of Emergencies. The emergency response plan for all
wellsite related operations in populated areas shall include identification of
occupied buildings, compounds, shopping complexes, office buildings, manned
plant facilities, factories, or similar occupied developments, whether permanent or
temporary, within 5 kilometers of a drilling location. The wellsite Owner shall
acquire the emergency contact phone numbers for each and create a protocol and
means to communicate with public agencies, to summon offsite assistance, and, if
need be, to warn the occupants of potentially impacted developments. Refer to
SAF-20 for details.

4.6.3

Rig-site H2S continuous gas detection monitoring systems, making certain the rig
site and remote H2S monitoring systems are installed in adequate numbers and
locations and that they work correctly and measure accurately (if H2S is in the
formation being drilled). The gas detection systems shall be listed.

4.6.4

Additional kill-weight drilling fluid (mud) available near the drillsite for immediate
use in an emergency.

4.6.5

A Blow-Out Preventer (BOP) stack with pipe rams or blind rams and shear rams
with capability of cutting the drill pipe shall be in place and operational on the rig.

4.6.6

On-site coverage 24 hours-a-day by on-site foremen with authority and the means
for immediate ignition of the well without prior management approval in the event
of loss of well control.

4.6.7

Capability of safely incinerating natural gas and handling other fluids in a


controlled way by using equipment designed for such service during a kick.

4.6.8

Under no circumstances shall population or manned facilities be exposed to over 30


parts per million H2S gas concentration for more than I hour.

4.6.9

For existing wells in populated areas, the special precautions in Section 4.6 shall
also be used for well maintenance workovers. Stimulation and wireline work on

Issue Date: 12i6/1431H 126/05/2010

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Pagellofl4

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


~LU\;;)\)J

Ministry ofinterior
High Commission for Industrial Security

""WI .:/)u !,WI '-<,kl

Secretariat General
SAF-07

.toW\ ;i.i\....\l1

Wellsite Safety

existing wells shall have adequate safety precautions to protect employees,


facilities, and population from harm.
4.7

Automatic Closure
Where wellheads have an automated shut in system, the system shall close the
valves if the wellhead is directly involved in a fire.

4.8

High-Pressure Gas Wells


All high-pressure gas production wellhead installations shall have at least two
automated spring-assisted fail-safe surface safety valves (SSVs) or, alternatively,
one subsurface and one surface safety valve with the same features. The valves
shall be automatically triggered when an abnormally high or low pressure is sensed
in the piping to the well.

4.9

Wellhead Equipment
All wellhead installations shall meet API SPEC 6A and shall have a manual lower
master valve.

4.1 0

Automated Safety Systems

4.10.1 Where a new oil well or low pressure gas well is completed in a populated area, the
wellhead installation shall be provided with an automated shut in system with
surface safety valve (SSV) and subsurface safety valve (SSSV) to close the well
when an abnormally high or low pressure is sensed in the wellhead piping.
4.10.2 The upper wellhead master valve shall be a spring-assisted fail-safe SSV.
4.10.3 A fail-safe SSSV, per API RP 14B specification, shall be installed 60 meters or
more below ground level.
4.1 0.4 For all existing oil wells and low pressure gas wells in popUlated areas or where
areas become populated due to growth of communities, those wells shall remain
active, but shall require installation of a SSV and SSSV. The upgrade shall be done
only when other needs justify the use of a rig on the well.
4.1 0.5 Hydrocarbon injection well flowlines shall each be provided with a check valve in
the wellsite piping.
4.1 0.6 Observation wells shall be equipped with the same safety devices that would be
required for a producing well.
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Page 12 of 14

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


~\.J\;;~(iJ

Ministry ofInterior
High Commission for Industrial Security

ifUI 0")U \.,WI ",.,


;i...WI a;L.o)!\

Secretariat General

SAF-07

4.11

Wellsite Safety

Suspended Wells
Suspended wells shall be suspended in accordance with established procedures
documented by the Owner. Suspension procedures, equipment in the well and other
related records shall be kept as part of the Owner's permanent well records.

4.12

Vehicle Barrier
All wellheads shall be protected with a barrier to prevent work vehicle impact.

4.13

Fencing in Populated Areas


Wellsites in populated areas shall be enclosed by a fence that meets Security
Directive SEC-02, Security Fencing. For other producing related facilities, the
Owners shall ensure that they provide an adequate level of security measures to
protect their facilities by applying the requirements of SEC-O I, Application of
Security Directives, and other security directives issued by the HCIS.

4.14

Indication of Wind Direction


A wind sock pole shall be permanently installed at each hydrocarbon production or
injection wellsite in populated areas.

4.15

Access to Wellsites
Two accessways shall be available to each wellsite. Each access shall be wide and
high enough to allow unobstructed rig and heavy vehicle access and oriented 90 to
270 degrees from each other.

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Page 13 of 14

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


~LU\';~\)J

Ministry ofinterior
High Commission for Industrial Security

</L.>JI 0")U !.,WI ..".'

Secretariat General

SAF-07

a...WI ;;";L.)!l

Wellsite Safety

QUICK UNION TREE CAP

SWAB OR CROWN
VALVE
_

WING VALVE

"

-::::::=1F:::-

UPPER MASTER VALVE AS


HYDRAULIC ACTUATED SSV

LOWER MASTER VALVE -too-

Figure 1- Example of Wellhead

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