San Juan Decommissioning

From 2007 through 2010, Pioneer completed the decommissioning of nine abandoned Central Delivery Point (CDP) compressor stations in the San Juan Basin near Durango, Colorado. The CDP sites that were decommissioned included: Chiparosa, Empanada, Treating Site 9, Treating Site 9B, Picnic Flats, Treating Site 5, Treating Site 6, Treating Site 7, and Old Wolf Point. Pioneer prepared cost estimates, a prioritization schedule, decommissioning work plans, oversaw the decommissioning work, tracked spend and budget status, and prepared the final decommissioning completion report for each site. Pioneer also coordinated all decommissioning work with the property owners of the site, either private entities or the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, as well as coordinating between BP NAG and the Atlantic Richfield Company. Pioneer was responsible for managing the day-to-day work crews and overseeing the safety aspects of the project, including the issuing of Control of Work documents including job safety and hazard analysis, lifting permits, hot work permits, ground disturbance permits, and any other safety related meetings and control documents.

The decommissioning work included site assessments for the presence of Natural Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM), Asbestos, Lead based batteries, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB), phyropropic materials, barrels, tanks, contaminated soils, or any other chemical or materials that would require proper assessment, handling, and disposal during decommissioning. Equipment that could be salvaged or sold was inventoried and equipment model numbers, size, condition, and photographs were provided to BP NAG such that BP could try to either re-use the equipment or sell the equipment to a third party.

Pioneer was responsible for coordinating with BP and third parties who purchased equipment, the loading and off site transport of the equipment. Prior to offsite transfer, the equipment was cleaned and all pipe openings were capped to prevent any material spills during transport. After equipment salvaging was completed, then remaining equipment was sold as scrap metal. Large equipment such as compressor skids, coolers, or towers, were loaded and transported to the scrap yard as is. Smaller equipment, pipe, and other miscellaneous metal were cut up and consolidated into scrap trailers.

Pipe was excavated and then cut up into pieces, pressure washed, and then placed in scrap trailers. In some instances, pipe could be abandoned in place if the pipe was purged to be free of hydrocarbon containing materials, purged with nitrogen, and buried a minimum of 30 inches below final grade. For pipe that met these criteria, the pipe was purged with a combination of air, water, and nitrogen. All pipe that was abandoned in place was surveyed such that an accurate as-built map could be prepared and provided in the project completion report.

All equipment, including pipe, that had come into contact with hydrocarbon containing materials, such as gas, oil, or oily water, was pressure washed prior to scrapping and hauling off site. To facilitate washing activities, a wash pit was constructed onsite that allowed the pipe and other equipment to be lifted into the wash pit and washed using a pressure washer, inspected, and placed into the scrap trailer. The wash pit allowed the wash water to be contained, pumped with a water truck and properly disposed of in a nearby BP injection well. All concrete foundations were broken up using excavators and hydraulic hammers. Some concrete foundations required pressure washing to remove oils prior to demolition. All concrete was certified as either clean concrete or contaminated concrete, and hauled to the appropriate landfill for disposal. Any contaminated soils located on the site or underneath concrete foundations were excavated and hauled to the appropriate disposal location.

After contaminated soils were removed, the site was sampled, per the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Rules 906 and 910, to determine if any additional contamination was present that required removal. The sites were regarded to restore the site to original contours, cover soil was placed, and the site was seeded, fertilized, and mulched. Storm water channels were constructed to control storm water run on from up gradient of the site and run off from within the reclaimed site. Rock riprap aprons were used within the storm water channels, where necessary, to control storm water flows and minimize erosion. Straw wattles were placed on the seeded site to minimize erosion. Trees and limbs, stockpiled adjacent to the site during the original site construction, were pulled onto the site to add diversity to the reclaimed area.

Pioneer coordinated the work with other oil and gas companies, whose gas lines crossed through or nearby the sites, including Conoco Phillips and the Red Cedar Gathering Company. Pioneer coordinated with the property owners on the progress of the work and also to conduct site inspections to determine if the work was progressing per the land owner requirements. Once the projects were completed, Pioneer coordinated sign off walks such that BP could be released of all future liabilities on the site. The sign off walks included conducting an inspection of the vegetation and storm water controls on the reclaimed sites. Currently, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe has released BP from the Chiparosa site and BP is anticipating sign off of the Empanada site in early 2010.