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Audit of temporarily abandoned wells

Audit: During the period November 2007 to June 2008, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) audited operating companies on the Norwegian Shelf which have temporarily abandoned wells. The topic of the audit was well safety. Similar audits were conducted out in 1994, 1998 and 2006. It is our impression that the companies now follow up their temporarily abandoned wells better than in previous years.

The regulations contain requirements for clarifying the number, location and risk of the wells, both when they are temporarily abandoned and during further activity in the wells.
The audit was conducted in two phases:
Phase 1 consisted of data acquisition from all operating companies with temporarily abandoned wells. This included the companies' work on risk assessment and barrier overview for the relevant wells.
During Phase 2, we obtained more detailed clarification from the companies with temporarily abandoned wells older than eight years. This was done on the basis of the PSA's main priority related to ageing and lifetime extension, as well as our follow-up of well integrity during the period 2006 - 2008.
During the audit, it emerged that temporarily abandoned wells on the Norwegian Shelf in 2007/2008 totalled 44, of which 32 are exploration wells and 12 are production wells, 37 subsea wells and 7 facility wells . There are specific plans for use for 13 of the 44 wells, i.e. 30 per cent. All of these 13 wells are younger than eight years.

Further follow-up:
The PSA plans a similar follow-up activity in 2010, focusing on the risk aspect and ageing in temporarily abandoned wells.

Link: Summary report following the audit

Contact in the PSA:
Sissel Østbø