Downhole casing leaks in oil and gas wells will highly impact the shallow water horizons and this will affect the environment and fresh water resources. Proactive measures and forecasting of this leak will help eliminate the consequences of downhole casing leaks and, in turn, will protect the environment. Additionally, downhole casing leaks may also cause seepage of toxic gases to the fresh water zones and to the surface through the casing annuli. In this paper, we introduced a risk-based methodology to predict the downhole casing leaks in oil and gas wells using advanced casing corrosion logs such as electromagnetic logs. Downhole casing corrosion was observed to assess the remaining well life. Electromagnetic (EM) corrosion logs are the current practice for monitoring the casing corrosion. The corrosion assessment from EM logs is insufficient because these logs cannot read in multiple casings in the well. EM tool gives average reading for the corrosion in the casing at a specific depth and it does not indicate the orientation of the corrosion. EM log does not assess the 360 deg corrosion profile in the casing and it only provides average value and this may lead to wrong decision. All of this makes EM logs uncertain tools to assess the corrosion in the downhole casing. A unified criterion to assess the corrosion in the casing and to decide workover operations or not has been identified to minimize the field challenges related to this issue. A new approach was introduced in this paper to enhance the EM logs to detect the downhole casing corrosion. Corrosion data were collected from different fields (around 500 data points) to build a probabilistic approach to assess the casing failure based on the average metal loss from the EM corrosion log. The failure model was used to set the ranges for the casing failure and the probability of casing failure for different casings. The prediction of probability of failure (PF) will act as proactive maintenance which will help prevent further or future casing leaks.
Risk-Based Approach to Evaluate Casing Integrity in Upstream Wells
Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received December 15, 2017; final manuscript received May 6, 2018; published online July 2, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Ray (Zhenhua) Rui.
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Al-Ajmi, M. D., Al-Shehri, D., Mahmoud, M., and Al-Hajri, N. M. (July 2, 2018). "Risk-Based Approach to Evaluate Casing Integrity in Upstream Wells." ASME. J. Energy Resour. Technol. December 2018; 140(12): 122901. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4040237
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