ITF and Tullow to Tackle Well Integrity and Safety Issues

ITF is working with Tullow Oil plc to establish a comprehensive, global wells and completions reliability database and is urging more operators to join the project.

Simon Sparke, Group Head of Well Integrity for Tullow Oil

The aim of the joint industry project is to tackle efficiency and safety issues associated with well integrity through the creation and management of a global library of well data.  This will provide users with accurate and reliable information about a broader range of well types than is currently available, allowing a wealth of knowledge to be shared across the industry.

Though there are a number of useful wells databases in existence, they tend to be quite specific in their subject matter, focusing on, for example, electric submersible pumps, progressive cavity pumps or subsea wells.

In contrast, the proposed database will be more comprehensive, consisting of a broad range of well types and the associated construction components such as tubulars, completion components, wellhead and Christmas tree items.  It will allow wells to be constructed using factual reliability information, thereby allowing accurate assumptions to be made in relation to a number of conditions such as mean time to failure for completion components, prediction of workover or intervention requirements, flow assurance, scaling, corrosion and tendency for hydrate formation.

The initiative is being spearheaded by Simon Sparke, Group Head of Well Integrity for Tullow Oil: “Over time this will develop into a vast library of wells and their associated parts, so that a range of interrogations can be carried out to identify which components provide the most reliable operating efficiencies and under what operating circumstances.  Furthermore, I hope that existing databases can be knitted together into the new package to provide a significantly more powerful tool.”

Discussions are already underway with data librarians and to date more than ten operating companies have shown interest in joining the project.

Will Davies, Senior Technology Analyst and Member Engagement Leader with ITF added: “Information sharing on a global basis could transform the industry’s ability to manage well stock more efficiently and ultimately improve safety. We have already seen a healthy level of interest in this project, but the key to its success is in maximising the amount of data collected in order to build up an accurate and representative picture of the performance of well components operating under a range of conditions encountered by users.  In other words, the value of the database will increase with the number of active participants.”

If successfully launched, the project not only promises to make a positive impact on well reliability and integrity throughout the industry, but would also be aligned to the recent EU Directive on Safety of Offshore Oil and Gas Operations, which aims to ensure that best safety practices are implemented across all active offshore regions in Europe as well as promoting high safety standards by European companies operating outside EU regulated waters.

Press Release, March 18, 2014
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