What is Well Examination?

Well Examination1Operators and holders of licenses for hydrocarbons or geothermal energy are obligated to follow regulations given in the Danish Sub-Soil Act.

In order to ensure full compliance with the guidelines from the regulators, local municipalities, individual company policies and good industry practice, all operators should have a well examination process in place to provide independent and competent review of well operations throughout the well life cycle from initial design to final abandonment.

The operator should ensure there is continuity in the well examination process. If responsibility is transferred between departments, organizations or positions, then part of the handover should be a formal transfer of responsibility.

Why is Well Examination Done?

Well examination will help ensuring the operator that the well is designed, constructed and maintained in a safe condition and that all risks are thoroughly assessed according to the ALARP principle. It serves as an independent review of the operator’s well delivery process to verify that it is adequate and robust.

The depth of the well examination will depend on the criticality of the project and the identified hazards associated with the specific operations.

Part of the well examination process might be to ensure that:

  • Internal processes are adhered to
  • Suitable well control equipment is in place
  • The project organization is competent and adequate
  • The pressure boundary of the well is controlled

When is Well Examination Done?

Well examination must ensure that all aspects and phases of a well operation are covered by a well examination process. This entails that the well examination must cover the well from design until abandonment.

For all operations and projects, the key document must be defined. For a typical drilling project a number of well examinations may take place before issuing the key documents such as:

  • Governmental Applications
  • Basis of Design
  • Drilling Programme
  • Well Test Programme

Well examination may also be implemented in the execution phase of a drilling operation or project. In this case the well examiner will serve as an independent advisor for the operator or license holder. Daily operations reports are then used by the examiner to verify that operations have been carried out in accordance with the well programme.

Who is Doing Well Examination?

The person or persons carrying out the well examination should be independent of the immediate line management of the well operations involved.  It is important that the well examiner is impartial and is independent from pressures, especially of a financial nature.

Well examiners should maintain their independence but should be allowed to review whatever information is required to perform their role. They should never be part of the decision making process. They should only assess and comment on work done by the operator or the operator’s subcontractors.

WellPerform is an established engineering company with the objective of providing quality project management and consultancy to the industry for drilling, completion and work-over activities. We have a proven track record in delivering complete well engineering services from concept through to execution.

Based on our extensive experience and careful selection of quality professionals, WellPerform has performed several well examinations and peer reviews including all aspects of the well life cycle.