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Oil and Gas Well Drilling and Servicing eTool

Site Preparation Site Preparation

JSA
Figure 1. Clearing the drilling site

Figure 1. Clearing the drilling site

Site preparation for an oil and gas well, in most instances, looks like any other construction site. OSHA uses Safety and Health Regulations for Construction (29 CFR 1926) to assess safety compliance during this phase of the development of a drilling site.

Hazards may be related to the following:

The site is leveled (if necessary) with a bulldozer and/or a grader.

Figure 2. Leveling uneven ground

Figure 2. Leveling uneven ground

Potential Hazards:

  • Damaging buried pipelines and cables.
  • Unpredictable weather changes can create unexpected hazards.
  • Irritant and toxic plants, pollens, and other entrained materials.
  • Uneven ground may cause bulldozers to roll over.

Possible Solutions:

  • Perform a site line location survey.
  • Plan for hazards due to unpredictable changing weather.
  • After weather changes, conduct inspections for new hazards.
  • Protect employees engaged in site clearing from hazards of irritant and toxic plants. Teach the employees about available first aid treatments. [29 CFR 1926.604(a)(1)]
  • Provide rollover guards on all equipment used in site clearing operations. [29 CFR 1926.602]
  • Provide overhead and rear canopy guards on rider-operated equipment. [29 CFR 1926.604(a)(2)]
Figure 3. Reserve pit

Figure 3. Reserve pit

Figure 4. Excavating at a drill site

Figure 4. Excavating at a drill site

The scale and duration of excavating and trenching are very minor and site-specific. On some drilling sites, a below-ground-level cellar may be excavated. This is where the main borehole is to be drilled. A reserve pit and settling pits may be excavated and are used for water or drilling fluid (mud) discharges.

Potential Hazards:

  • Dust and other airborne contaminants can cause respiratory problems or allergic reactions.
  • Damaging buried pipelines and cables.

Possible Solutions:

  • Wear appropriate respiratory protection. [29 CFR 1910.134]
  • Perform a site line location survey.

#19. Reserve Pits

A mud pit in which a supply of drilling fluid has been stored. Also, a waste pit, usually an excavated, earthen-walled pit. It may be lined with plastic to prevent soil contamination.

Reserve Pits

#31. Cellar

A pit in the ground to provide additional height between the rig floor and the well head to accommodate the installation of blowout preventers, ratholes, mouseholes, and so forth. It also collects drainage water and other fluids for disposal.

Cellar
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