Thursday, July 10, 2014

CHANGES TO LOUISIANA REGULATIONS GOVERNING STORAGE WELLS IN SALT DOME CAVITIES

By TONI ELLINGTON

The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources has promulgated new rules related to salt caverns.

The rules related to Class III solution mining injection wells can be found at Louisiana Administrative Code, Title 43, Part XVII, Subpart 5, Chapter 33, Section 3301, et seq..  The new rules related to hydrocarbon storage wells in salt dome cavities can be found at Louisiana Administrative Code, Title 43, Part XVII, Subpart 3, Chapter 3, Section 301, et seq.

The rules apply to all applicants, owners, and operators of solution mining wells in the State of Louisiana. The regulations govern the requirements for the structure of salt dome caverns which are used as injection wells and filled with oil, natural gas, or brine.  The rules for Class III solution mining injection wells or brine caverns establish standards which are equivalent to the standards for hydrocarbon storage caverns.  The new rules require a 300-foot separation between the walls of new brine caverns and a salt dome’s outer edge. The rules are aimed in part at preventing sinkholes like the one in the Bayou Corne,Assumption Parish area.

The complete text of the rules is available online on the DNR website at http://dnr.louisiana.gov, or contact Toni Ellington at 504-599-8500.

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