Assessing Well Integrity Risk: A Qualitative Model

Reservoir Descriptions and Dynamics


For successful delivery of Well Integrity, there needs to be an understanding of the risks that can cause undesirable events such as safety hazards or loss of containment. Performing a risk assessment on a well, or type of well, will determine and rank the potential risks and provide information that allows limited resources to be applied in the most effective manner. 

  • This Well Integrity Risk Assessment model follows a common qualitative risk assessment process; a team-based, structured brainstorming format, utilizing the What-If Methodology, to identify potential hazards associated with well barrier failure modes. In addition, the model has the following attributes: 
  • Incorporates a method to segment well barriers into discrete sections for evaluation. The list of analyzed well barrier failure modes, along with their risk ranking, becomes the risk register for the well or type of well. 
  • Is adaptable for assessing well barrier failure modes on a single well, or a group of wells having the same general design parameters. 
  • Can be used to assess well barrier failure risk for any type of well and can be modified to conform to any company’s risk model. 
  • Can be used as a management tool to provide guidance for how limited resources can be used effectively to continuously deliver well integrity. 
    Students will participate in the process with the goal of being able to apply the methodology to their own well portfolio."

Learning Level


Course Length

Half- Day (4 hours)

Why Attend?

There are several methods of assessing well integrity risk and the most common of those will be discussed in this class. A qualitative method specifically designed to address well integrity issues will be demonstrated in detail with the intention the student will learn how to apply it on their own well stock.

Who Should Attend

This training is appropriate for those that may be tasked to perform risk assessments on any type of oil, gas or service well. Engineers that are involved with managing well integrity or have the need to assess the risk on wells prior to intervention or workovers will benefit from this training.


0.4 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) will be awarded for this half-day course.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be received no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14 day window will not be refunded.  Refunds will not be given due to no show situations.

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SPE reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule courses at will.  Notification of changes will be made as quickly as possible; please keep this in mind when arranging travel, as SPE is not responsible for any fees charged for cancelling or changing travel arrangements.

We reserve the right to substitute course instructors as necessary.

Full Regional cancellation policies can be found at the “Cancellation Policy” link on the SPE Training Course Catalog page.



Jerry Dethlefs is a Well Integrity Engineer with ConocoPhillips in Houston, Texas. Jerry has 35 years’ experience with well operations, intervention, production operations, and drilling. For 17 years his focus has been on well integrity issues including policy, diagnostics, best practices, program management, risk assessment and regulatory compliance. Jerry is an active member of industry standards committees on well integrity.

Jerry has a Bachelor of Science in General Engineering, a Master of Science in Civil Engineering and a Masters of Business Administration. He was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer during the 2010-11 season and has authored or co-authored six SPE papers on well integrity issues.

Bettina Chastain works as a Principal Consultant through her private consulting company, Arktis LLC.  Ms. Chastain spent the previous 15 years as President and CEO of Alaska’s premier process safety and risk management firm, Emerald Consulting (Doyon Emerald), which she founded in 1996.   Ms. Chastain has over 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry working as a process engineer with OSHA’s Process Safety Management Program (1910.119) and in the risk management field.
She is a registered Chemical Engineer in the State of Alaska and received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arizona.  Ms. Chastain, was co-author with Mr. Dethlefs, of the SPE paper “Assessing Well Integrity Risk:  A Qualitative Method”, which was presented at the 2011 SPE/ICOTA Conference.