The contribution of the human factor in major oil and gas accident events is fully-fledged and admitted. The root cause analysis and incident investigation of these accidents reveal that many of them could have been prevented, with the perception that there was a cascade of failures in human factor elements. This is easy to comprehend, as the human factor has not been accentuated thoroughly in this industry and traditionally the focus has been on personnel knowledge and competence.
A previous paper presented at OMAE 2018 had 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 was addressed. Furthermore, an outline of the newly implemented SEMS II regulations was also offered, with insight into adjustments that could enhance this program’s modest requirements.
In this paper, the goal is to examine the key heuristics that operational people employ in well integrity procedures. Some of these cognitive biases include status-quo and confirmation biases. Several examples will be discussed to show how underlying biases can lead to improper decisions. Unfortunately, some of these biases have been embedded in companies cultures for several decades now, and are hard to change overnight. Some of these can often lead to tremendous operational costs and not necessary solving the problem. It is highly recommended that training schools consider the problems of psychological biases and start implementing case studies for improvement in judgment and decision making.