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Laws regulating the well drilling phase primarily focus on the structural strength and integrity of the well bore hole. The major focus is on requirements for the steel pipe casing, which separates the drilled bore hole from the surrounding dirt, and the cementing, which is used to adhere the casing to the formation and to support the casing and prevent drilling fluids from migrating between permeable underground zones. Depending on the depth of the casing, different names are used to differentiate the different pipes used – surface casing, intermediate casing, production casing. A great number of regulations address this stage of oil and gas development to protect fresh-water aquifers for the duration of the well’s life.

This dataset captures well-bore integrity standards and verification, types of drilling fluids, cementing requirements, cement-bond logs, mechanical integrity testing, and blowout prevention equipment. This dataset includes laws for 17 states and federal rules for lands and minerals managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the U.S. Forest Service, current as of November 25, 2015. To explore the variation in these laws, use the blue "Start Here" box below. For a summary of all of the law compiled for a specific jurisdiction, click on the corresponding part of the map. 

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Related Resources

LawAtlas Interactive Maps: 
Air Quality:  Air Quality Laws Pertaining to Oil and Gas Development
Water Quality:  Permitting, Design, and Construction
Water Quality:  Well Drilling
Water Quality:  Well Completion
Water Quality:  Production and Operation
Water Quality:  Reclamation
Water Quantity:  Quantity

Did you know?

Laws in 17 of the 18 jurisdictions examined here require testing to verify that cement casings are complete.

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Map Legend: State Included in research. Not included in research.