Word to the Wise: Regulatory Refresher – STICK Diagram information

June 22, 2021

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Due to a flurry of changes in the workforce of many organizations in our industry, we felt it useful to offer a series of regulatory refreshers for people who may find themselves in charge of new drill programs. In May, we ran an article on H2S Release Rate Assessment Regulations. This week, we wanted to discuss a common noncompliance issue: STICK Diagrams that fail to contain all the required information.

From the AER’s Directive 036: Drilling Blowout Prevention Requirements and Procedures, section 11.1.4:

A STICK diagram is a well data information sheet specific to the drilling operation of a well (obtained from researching offset well records). It must provide [on-site personnel] with sufficient well control information and must be posted in the doghouse.”

At a minimum, the STICK diagram must include:

  • geological tops,
  • anticipated formation pressures and mud weights required to control them,
  • potential problem zones (e.g., lost circulation, water flows, gas flows),
  • abnormal pressured zones (e.g., reservoir pressure maintenance),
  • potential H2S zones, and
  • other well occurrence information.

Traditionally, this information was primarily gathered through manual offset research – digging through AER data stores and other sources to find relevant offset wells and scouring through the PDF Tour sheets for each. The creation of the STICK is often done by engineers who go through the data collected for pressures and offsets in great detail. If the words “tedious” or ‘inefficient” come to mind, you’re right. It’s easy to see why this would be a time-consuming process and how key information might be missed.

Surprise visits at a wellsite by an AER inspector are not uncommon. When carrying out a nonscheduled, unannounced inspection like this, inspector’s expect to see the STICK posted, complete, and accurate. If not satisfied, their corrective measures can range from allowing time to post or correct the STICK, to ceasing operations and/or having the location shut down until the documentation is provided and posted appropriately. So this traditionally time consuming task can also adversely affect your business!

XI Technologies simplifies regulatory application processes involving STICK diagrams, including H2S Reports and SurfaceCasing Reports. Our tools help companies streamline and simplify compliance with AER Directives, including the creation of STICK diagrams. In addition, our Offset Analyst software makes finding STICK diagrams in tour sheets much easier than it is with traditional methods.

To learn more about how XI can help you adhere to AER expectations, visit our website or contact us today.