Well integrity management (WIM) is an art of managing the well to reduce risk applying technical, operational and organizational solutions. With maturing fields and the evolution of advanced technologies, the industry has significantly improved in terms of WIM, though the art is still to be mastered. Nevertheless, WIM over the years has evolved and to some extent has become reliable enough to provide high confidence to operators to safely operate and manage matured fields. In spite of all the WIM practices in place, failure does happen. The root cause of the failure is carefully studied and necessary changes in process/technique are incorporated to ensure that such reoccurrences are not repeated.
Well integrity management starts from the stage of designing a well and continues throughout the life cycle of a well. The risk management becomes intense and difficult as the well gets older. Investment in gathering valuable well data remains a key to mitigate from risk and to better anticipate potential failures. Classical approaches to WIM are mainly for detecting a failure. Now, there is a paradigm shift, thanks to advanced technology at our disposal, to go for a predictive approach in forecasting a problem before it happens.
This paper describes the evolution story of proactive WIM at Saudi Aramco with emphasis on the utilization of corrosion monitoring tools as a predictive approach. The results of such a methodology can predict many "to-be" failures and allow for the timely resolution of expected integrity related challenges. The paper also narrates one case study for an oil well-A from Saudi Aramco, which developed a failure. The study of the root cause of the failure and lesson learnt were applied in improving the risk mitigating technique, and so inching toward complete WIM.