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Land Well Integrity—Current Challenges

8 – 10 April 2014

Banff, Alberta, Canada | The Rimrock Resort Hotel

About this workshop


In this workshop we will examine, discuss, and challenge the participants with a range of well integrity topics including unconventional wells, single barrier wells, and wells with barriers under threat or already compromised. This workshop will not cover, but will complement, the thermal well topics of the Fall 2013 Thermal Well Integrity Workshop.

In the last few years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of unconventional wells being drilled, completed, and produced. These wells, completed primarily in shale formations, have employed cost-efficient construction techniques. They have been designed and constructed to provide appropriate integrity, based on perceived risks through the well’s lifecycle. However, a simple design does not necessarily equate to simple engineering and construction. Have practices and standards for construction been adequate based on the well integrity issues now being encountered?

Land wells without redundant barrier envelopes are currently being successfully drilled, completed, and produced. How this is done safely raises questions such as:

  • What defines a single barrier well?
  • When is it prudent to have 2 barriers?
  • Do redundant barrier elements provide more reliable risk mitigation?
  • Can process-based barriers be substitutes for physical barriers?

For over a century, hydrocarbons have been produced from a vast number of oil and gas wells, with thousands being added annually. Many of these wells have been operated long past their initial life design. What challenges do these wells present with regard to well integrity?  Are these issues adequately addressed within the operator’s well integrity management processes?  What information and technology is required to manage and mitigate risk within this group of wells?

Focus and Objectives

This workshop will provide excellent networking opportunities for the sharing of latest technologies, applications, and best practices. Among the topics and issues to be discussed are:

  • Unconventional wells and their barriers
  • What is a barrier element and barrier envelope?
  • What makes a dependent or independent barrier element/envelope?
  • What impact does hydraulic fracturing have on well integrity issues?
  • How to risk assess and prioritize well integrity issues
  • Old wells and compromised barrier elements
  • When to abandon old wells
  • Design and execution of lifecycle well management

Who Should Attend

The intended audience of this workshop is engineers, geoscientists, and production technologists who are involved in well integrity, planning, design, construction, drilling, completion, operating, intervention, maintenance, inspection, and abandonment.  The workshop hopes to attract a balanced mix of disciplines to enhance the exchange of information, ideas, and technologies.  Participants will be encouraged to present their case histories (successes and failures).

Workshop Details

This workshop is part of the groundbreaking new Global Integrated Workshop Series that takes a regional look at a topic of global interest. Each new workshop in the series is held in a different geographic region, and the discussions and findings from each workshop will be compiled into extended scribe reports.

The scribe reports will be gathered and shared among all participants though an online community to provide continuity between the individual workshops. The scribe reports on the online community will then become a growing body of global knowledge on the topic, and all workshop series participants are invited to join the online community to view and comment on the reports.

Workshop Format

Workshops maximize the exchange of ideas among attendees and presenters through brief technical ‎presentations followed by extended Q&A periods. Focused topics attract an informed audience eager to ‎discuss issues critical to advancing both technology and best practices.‎

Many of the presentations are in the form of case studies, highlighting engineering achievements, and ‎lessons learned. In order to stimulate frank discussion, no proceedings are published and members of the ‎press are not invited to attend.‎


Proceedings from the workshop will not be published; therefore, formal papers and handouts are not ‎requested of speakers or panel members. A URL containing released copies of the workshop presentations ‎will be available to attendees following the workshop. A workshop summary will be prepared by the ‎technical program committee for public release, but no other information.


In remaining consistent with workshop objectives and SPE guidelines, commercialism in presentations will ‎not be permitted. Company logos should be used only to indicate the affiliation of the presenter(s).‎

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Attendees will receive 2.0 CEUs.

One CEU equal 8 contact hours of participation. CEUs are awarded through SPE Professional Development ‎for participation and completion of SPE workshop. A permanent record of a participant’s involvement and ‎awarding of CEUs will be maintained by SPE.