The most recent insight comes from our seasoned expert in Well Intervention and Production Optimization, Trina Morillo at our Perth office. She offers a wealth of well integrity insight drawn from her extensive career in the oil and gas sector. Her journey has taken her from Venezuela to Australia, providing a rich tapestry of well servicing experiences.
Continue reading as Trina delves into the exciting potential of emerging technologies that are poised to redefine the landscape of well integrity and production.
What value can independent Well Intervention Team bring to O&G clients?
“As many wells are coming to the end of their life, the current attitude within the oil and gas industry is very much focused on maximizing the production of wells already operating in the field. This is a result of increasing budget constraints and many companies considering an overarching goal of investing in new energy solutions as opposed to drilling in new areas.
An industry trend shows that the well intervention spending will be increasing in the coming years as the focus on efficiency intensifies.
“Our work requires significantly less investment for clients than starting new projects or drilling new wells, as we have the ability to identify any inefficiencies and make improvements to maximize the production of the wells currently in the field. So although these assets are now surpassing their design life, the goal of the Well Intervention team is to gain a clear understanding of the integrity and operating limits of the wells and review how these can be recovered and extended safely and responsibly.
“We help clients gain an economical edge, as our work aids the life extension of wells already in production which reduces their need to invest huge amounts of money in producing new wells.”
What is the main challenge facing Well Intervention teams and how would you recommend they overcome it?
“After three harsh consecutive downturns in the industry and financial crisis all over the world, the recurrent words are becoming uncertainty and adjustment. This spreads across all key areas of the operation and are reflected in lead times, freight delays, costs, and so on. In addition to this, the industry is also facing a shift in the ability to retain experience and development of skills across teams, as more people are retiring or leaving the industry than those joining.
“Addressing the requirements of aging well infrastructures will require ingenuity, experience and courage to adopt new technologies and innovative intervention techniques. This is becoming more relevant these days as Operators embrace the responsibilities of infrastructure abandonment whilst maintaining fair costs.”
Real life example
“A good example of this reprioritization and flexible planning in action is when we had a well intervention project scheduled for over a year but then, due to a well failure, we immediately had to reshift our priorities. We implemented crucial decision-making in a short timeframe and asked ourselves what priority number one was based on integrity and production issues – what needed to be addressed first?
“In this case, the decision was easy and selection was made on a risk basis to ensure that we met all assurance processes. The intervention program was changed to remediate the emergent failure issue and successfully returned the well to service.”
What makes a well intervention team successful?
“In terms of aging assets, it’s important that a well intervention team have clear predetermined plans for when a well reaches the end of its field life. This is something we at AGR review annually, so we always have a good grasp of where the well is in terms of production life and when it will reach the end of its field life.
“The reason this is so important is to ensure that we are ready if an opportunity arises where the well’s life can be extended. If you fail to prepare for these opportunities then you may miss out on them as the economics may no longer support the initiative.”
Are there any hot topics related to well intervention area of expertise in the industry right now?
“As we enter a significant Plug and Abandonment wave, early strategy is key. Instead of carrying out the entire process all at once, P&As can be done in various stages until a well is finally abandoned. Breaking up the process by completing reservoir permanent isolations means you can make significant savings through optimized maintenance, monitoring and surveillance, reducing the requirements for surface equipment and reducing well integrity testing and instrumentation testing activities.
“By starting a plug and abandonment process earlier rather than waiting until the end of a field life, you can also remove integrity risks for shut-in wells and lower risk for well abandonment activities with early identification of well accessibility issues.
What does the future look like for well integrity and production optimization?
“I think the future of well integrity and optimization will have a focus on testing new technologies, and evaluating how these can merge into our operations.
“Implementing new technologies is a long process that can often take over a year to complete, as there are many elements to consider, such as:
– A thorough risk assessment
– Regulatory approvals
– A strong business case
– Agreement with varying stakeholders
“It takes time, but it’s so important to have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the new opportunities developing across the world and to have conversations with the developers of these new technologies.
“A good example of implementing new technologies is well plugs. Previously, a traditional well plug was carried out with cement, which required pumping units and made this an intense operation. Now there are better alternatives, such as metal alloy plugs, although they are categorized as incipient technologies, which have already been implemented in different parts of the world to make the process quicker and cost effective.”