Technology Focus: Well Integrity (January 2013)
- Otto Luiz Alcantara Santos (Petrobras)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- January 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 104 - 104
- 2013. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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I am honored to be the first JPT Editorial Committee member to write the introduction of January’s Technology Focus section under a new title: Well Integrity. With this alteration, this section broadens its scope, not only focusing on topics related to well control but also now covering all safety aspects concerning the construction, maintenance, and abandonment of wells.
The importance of well integrity has been recognized by the oil industry for a long time, and great effort has been made to improve the design and operational procedures during the well design and construction processes and throughout the entire well life cycle. Despite these efforts, many well integrity related problems still occur. This indicates that investing in well integrity is a strategic approach to minimize design and operational risks that may jeopardize personnel safety, the environment, and the operator’s image, reputation, and assets.
Last November, I had the opportunity to be the chairperson of an Applied Technology Workshop (ATW) in Salvador, Brazil. This ATW was the third of the Global Integrated Workshop Series on Well Integrity and focused on deepwater issues. The quality and appropriateness of the presentations were remarkable, as were the discussions following the presentations.
In the area of well construction, the challenges of drilling in near-salt rubble zones were presented in relation to well integrity (lost circulation and wellbore instability) and the use of high-performance water-based drilling fluids as an alternative to synthetic oil-based fluids considering the borehole instability. It is important to note that borehole instability issues are also considered part of the well integrity domain. Concerning producing wells, the most important aspects discussed were the importance of managing annulus pressure during production, the use of solid expandable liners in recompletions in mature fields, and solutions for casing leaks. The importance of safety barrier assurance was stressed. Zonal isolation by cementing was an important point when considering the integrity of the well during and after its abandonment. Revisions or elaborations of new standards were presented with emphasis on American Petroleum Institute RP 96, NORSOK D-010, and a new International Organization for Standardization standard on well integrity production operations. The most important aspects regarding deepwater well integrity were reliability of subsea blowout preventers, evaluation of the probability of uncontrolled leakage in subsea producing wells, a nonintrusive device for monitoring B-annulus pressure in subsea wells, and cementing of shallow hazard zones.
Recommended additional reading at OnePetro: www.onepetro.org.
SPE/IADC 151381 Dynamic Modeling of Gas Distribution in the Wellbore During Kick Situations by H.F. Spoerker, OMV Exploration/Production, et al.
SPE 146231 Casing- and Screen-Failure Analysis in Highly Compacting Sandstone Fields by Kenji Furui, ConocoPhillips, et al.
SPE/IADC 151181 Use of Liner Drilling Technology as a Mitigation to Loss Intervals and Hole Instability: A Case Study in Mississippi Canyon by Steven M. Rosenberg, Weatherford, et al.
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