Managing well integrity is essential to economically develop oil and gas resources while preserving the environment and assuring safety to personnel.
The industry accepted definition of well integrity management is the application of technical, operational and organizational solutions to reduce the risk of uncontrolled release of formation fluids over the entire lifecycle of the well. (NORSOK-D010)
Well Integrity assurance on the other hand is to ensure the availability and functionality of at least two well barriers during its drilling, production and abandonment phases.
The current worldwide focus is on the development of systems and processes to manage the well operations and interventions to assure well integrity with many claims to have a workable system that verifies and confirms the status of wells with suspect integrity.
The bases for well integrity management systems can be categorized as;
R & D oriented systems that are built around the development of technical solutions to well construction and operational problems. For example, the development of new inspection logs, cements, materials, equipment and techniques.
Statistically driven, those are based on the study of the historical failure frequencies and the assessment of associated risk.
Well pressure monitoring and assessment and wellhead maintenance.
Reservoir model based system that takes into consideration the reservoir development to ensure well integrity throughout the field development and production life.
In this paper different well integrity management systems were reviewed against worldwide industry expectations for a system that can manage well integrity that starts at the exploration phase and continues through its abandonment.
Developing and implementing well integrity management systems has lately been the focus of the oil and gas industry worldwide.
During the periods of high demand for energy to fuel the expanding world economies, oil and gas fields were developed on a fast tract basis. Wells were drilled and put online in record time as drilling days, footage, and direct costs became the exclusive performance indicators in those periods. In addition, and in order to keep the high production potential, old wells were kept on production beyond their projected life span.