The recent Macondo tragedy changed the health and safety landscape throughout the petroleum industry. Through such incidents, oil well cementing operations have gained widespread attention. Detailed technical reports of the Macondo well control incident outline the significance of the competent and efficient cementing operations.
The voluntary API RP 75 standard was recently modified into the current mandatory offshore Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS II) regulations. The regulatory guidelines in the United States, dormant over the past 20 years, are finally being updated to meet current industry and public expectations. The human factor, overlooked for decades in the petroleum industry, serves as the catalyst behind the newly adopted offshore regulations.
This paper provides a brief overview of well integrity, and the pivotal role of cementing operations in well control. The critical role of human and organizational factors in cementing operations and well control is addressed. Furthermore. an outline of the newly implemented SEMS II regulations is also offered, with insight into adjustments that could enhance this program’s modest requirements.