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Well Integrity—Planning Ahead for the Late Life Cycle Phases

15 – 16 September 2014

Dubai, UAE | The Address Dubai Marina

Technical Agenda

Session 1: Life Cycle Introduction

Session Chairs: Bipin Jain, Schlumberger; Ibrahim A. Ghamdi, Saudi Aramco

Session 2: Design Phase

Session Chairs: Inge Carlsen, Weatherford; Nigel Snow, Maersk Oil

The design phase of well life cycle is critical to the long term well integrity of the completed well. It is within design phase that the well specifications are defined in terms of hardware and equipment, as well as well operating envelope. This envelope defines operating and design parameters; for example, reservoir pressure, fluid composition including the ability of well’s functional design to handle corrosive products such as H₂S and CO₂, or shallow saline aquifers.

This session will discuss these design topics, as well as how well integrity design is addressed in international standards, guidelines, and local legislation.

Session 3: Construct Phase

Session Chairs: Bipin Jain, Schlumberger; Mahmoud Zakaria, Archer

Having competent barriers is an essential requirement for well integrity. Certain countries have clear guidelines on barrier definition and others may have very generic guidelines. In developing a barrier philosophy, consideration must be given to barrier envelopes and individual barrier elements that make them up. In reality there are always operational issues and well construction never goes as per design plan. Acceptance criteria and tolerance levels should be clearly defined for the different elements and industry standards referenced to support in creating such definitions. 

During their operating life, wells go through material degradation normal wear and tear and component failures. Therefore the use of contingent (secondary, tertiary, etc.) barriers is necessary in case failures happen especially as our industry faces a constantly growing inventory of aging wells. Proactive monitoring the integrity of well barriers is equally important throughout its life cycle. New wells have to be designed with provision for proper monitoring and completed wells intervened on regular basis to diagnose the root causes of any symptoms of failure.

Standards are not the same across the industry as there are different regulatory regimes, variable understanding, and differing attitudes to risk. This session will encourage delegates to explain how proper barriers are created and managed in their own companies and to think about philosophy, standards, and practices related to barrier management.

Session 4: Well Well Lifecycle Monitoring and Diagnostics

Session Chairs: Jean-Philppe Bedel, Schlumberger; Liane Smith, Wood Group Intetech; Sherif Refaat, Archer

Governments and oil companies have adopted rigorous approaches to managing integrity of their wells in order to protect personnel, avoid environmental damage, optimise production, and avoid reputational loss. These consist of numerous monitoring and diagnostics approach throughout the lifecycle of the well—from basic corrosion monitoring and rapid detection of unexplained surface pressure at one end of the spectrum, to more sophisticated surface and down hole technologies detecting undesirable flow or leaks through several parts of well barriers and components.

Session 5: Work Over and Intervention Phase

Session Chairs: Ibrahim A. Ghamdi, Saudi Aramco; Stuart Girling, Girling and Company

Work overs and interventions are used to investigate well integrity issues and to fix them. The process that is followed from identifying a well integrity issue to fixing it is typically detection, initial investigation, risk assessment, further investigation, repair planning and repair: with the repair to restore well integrity being a well intervention or work over.

This session will explore risk assessment and prioritisation of well integrity issues in how well barrier failure (and degradation) is evaluated and addressed to make the process as safe and efficient as possible.

Attendees will be invited to share their experience and views about how wells with imperfect barriers are assessed, ranked, and prioritised for action and repair. This will include consideration of barrier philosophies, barrier criteria, risk assessment techniques and well failure modelling, assessment of the end of safe well life, and how to determine when wells need to be abandoned for well integrity reasons. The session will also look at industry trends in well risk assessment and deployment of intervention and work over techniques, and how best practice, industry guidelines, standards, and legislation are driving this.

Session 6: Abandonment

Session Chairs: Einar Molnes, ExproSoft; Muhammad Sofyan, Total E&E Qatar

Well abandonment is normally considered when a well is no longer considered economical. A well may be temporarily suspended until a decision on permanent abandonment is made. Following incidents where suspended and/or abandoned wells have developed leak paths with hydrocarbon leakages to environment, both regulators and operators are now taking a more cautious look at how such incidents can be avoided in the future.

This session examines the different philosophies for well abandonment for different well types and locations. Criteria for well abandonment are reviewed and discussed from the perspective of balancing abandonment cost versa risk of future oil and gas contamination of ground water and environment. The current status on rules and regulations are reviewed, both from a regional and global perspective. Different abandonment schemes are reviewed supplemented by discussion on pros and cons of the various solutions.