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Audit of "Intelligent well completion on Snorre"

During the periods 10-12 and 29-30 September and 20-21 October 2003 the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) conducted an audit of Statoil ASA. The audit concerned Statoil's management system for qualifying new technology for completion of the wells on Snorre B (picture), plus planning and implementation of the completion activities.

Background for the audit

New technology has been employed on Snorre B that allows for continuous monitoring of pressure and temperature data from the reservoir zones and selective production from these.

In this connection the NPD wanted to audit Statoil's management system for qualifying this type of technology, plus planning and implementation of the completion activities.

Statoil took over Snorre B from Norsk Hydro on 1 January 2003 and work is still in progress on developing technology for existing well completion solutions.

Focus areas for the audit were:

  • Qualifying of new technology

  • Use of experience

  • Well management

  • Well and completion design

  • Use of risk analyses in connection with the qualifying of technology and design

  • Implementation and follow-up of the activities

  • Well barriers

  • Competence

  • Any challenges linked to future plugging and abandonment

Purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit was to verify that Statoil's management system for qualifying new technology for completion of the wells on Snorre B, plus planning and implementation of the completion activities, were in line with relevant standards and in accordance with the regulatory requirements.

Result of the audit

It is our impression that substantial progress has been made both by Statoil and the supplier company WellDynamics by employing SCRAMS completion and well management technology.

The NPD takes a positive view of the use and further development of this technology for well management, and has noted that this may provide considerable gains in relation to isolation of undesired water production, less well intervention and increased production as a result of continuous monitoring and selective production from the reservoir zones.

We formed a good impression of the activity seen in the light of the audit's focus areas.

However, some deviations from the regulatory requirements and a potential for improvement have been identified.

The deviations identified can briefly be summarized as follows:

1. No requirements were stipulated for the competence and manning in Statoil's working group for qualifying and follow-up of technology.
2. No plans have been prepared for permanent plugging and abandonment of the wells on Snorre B.
3. No requirements for competence in SCRAMS completion solutions have been defined by Statoil, and the manning is a challenge both for Statoil and WellDynamics.
4. Well control drills during completion are not adapted to the characteristics of the well and equipment, and no adequate evaluations/calculation have been made concerning a potential need for killing the well in this phase.
5. No application has been submitted to the NPD for an exemption regarding well 34/4-C-4H in connection with deviations from Section 47 of the Facilities Regulations.
6. Maintenance of and measures for the BOP and X-tree equipment on Snorre B were constantly postponed and were not given adequate priority.