Management of well barriers and challenges with regards to obtaining well integrity
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Well integrity is a result of technical, operational and organizational barriers applied, with the intention to contain and control the reservoir fluid and well pressures. Failure to obtain and maintain adequate barriers could lead to catastrophic events, like demonstrated in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, with the Deepwater Horizon incident. Since then, the petroleum industry has experienced an increased focus on well integrity. Recent surveys conducted on the Norwegian Continental Shelf indicate shortcomings and insufficiencies regarding implementation of technical, operational and organizational barriers. Overview of the current well integrity on the NCS was also lacking. With the expected increase in well-operation activities on the Norwegian Continental Shelf the coming years, ensuring secure wells should be a main priority. Integrity of well barriers is a factor that must be included from the design and planning phase, and be present throughout the entire lifecycle of the well. Different challenges related to barriers do however present difficulties achieving this. Some of which, include accessibility and understanding of regulations and standards, technical implementation and long term effects of well barriers, and insufficient training and well integrity competence of personnel. By studying the causes of well incidents and blowouts, and by conducting surveys of wells and operating companies, a better overview of the different challenges and shortcomings resulting in these incidents, can be achieved. In order to prevent major accidents in the future, one must acknowledge and understand the past.
Master's thesis in Petroleum engineering