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.
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.
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.†
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.†
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