The progression of new field developments, including brownfield and deepwater, subsequently increases the volume of cuttings and production waste, and particularly produced water, considerably. The economical impact of missing drilling and production targets due to the failures in the drilling waste injection process represents high risks that demand sound engineering processes to ensure injection assurance.

This paper describes the solution and detailed pressure monitoring methodology implemented to maintain safe injection assurance via regular disposal fracture diagnostics. Timely identification and a thorough evaluation of non-ideal pressure signatures observed during injection and post shut-in periods provided critical information required to detect sub-surface anomalies. This can be an effective tool for the sub-surface risks identification and characterization.

The application of comprehensive fracture-mapping techniques is a major step in mitigating the environmental risks posed by waste. Waste mapping represents valuable information, not only in the overall planning of drilling operations, but in the fundamental and invaluable need to provide sound engineering for waste location and fracture containment assurance, thus minimizing environmental impact. Previous, oversimplified interpretations of multiple fracturing systems (or so-called uniform disposal domain) and new fracture initiation process are demonstrated to be in apparent conflict with fracture mechanics, stress calculations and the general principles of physics.

The authors also describe the results of pressure analysis conducted in a North Sea injection well, which simultaneously was used for production. The well was utilized successfully for Cuttings Re-Injection (CRI) and for the disposal of produced water. The success of the operation was a direct result of close monitoring of key injection parameters and in-depth analysis of injection pressure, despite risky geological conditions. Abnormal pressures increases and restrictions observed during injection were mitigated and addressed via a proper root-cause engineering and sound pressure diagnostic process. The drilling waste injection took place below a 13 3/8-in. casing shoe through the B annulus, in an open-hole section at the depth of 1220m TVD with a 240 deviation in the injection interval. The injection took place in close proximity to a major fault axis.

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