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Maersk Oil Qatar – safer wells, higher production, enhanced reputation

I Stock 1174511165 qatar City

Shell recognised the benefits of preemptive risk assessment for wells with their first Well Failure Model (WFM) in the early 2000’s.

Maersk Oil Qatar developed an Advanced WFM, based on Shell’s concept and with our help, with more granular detail and more explicit action plans. The WFM was developed in two phases. Phase 1, a qualitative model, based on the subjective judgement of experienced wells and production experts. Phase 2 added quantitative assessment of repair response times (grace periods).

Benefits were realised in risk management and financial performance.

Phase 1 outcomes:

  • Well risks fully assessed pre-emptively by the best-qualified team
  • Avoided making decisions for the wrong reasons, based on different individual attitudes, or driven by divergent performance targets
  • Risks assessed consistently relative to one another
  • Clearer understanding of well issues across the organisation
  • Wells in elevated risk state for less time
  • Management assured that engineers were on top of well integrity priorities
  • More efficient well work planning and reduced well services workload
  • Reduced man hours effort as failures occurred
  • Improved production volumes with reduced well shut-in times from faster risk assessment turnarounds

Additional Phase 2 benefits:

  • Accepted well risk levels not exceeded using QRA calculated grace periods
  • Assurance that wells managed within risk levels accepted when wells were designed
  • Recognised some failures were higher risk than subjective WFM indicated; grace periods reduced, and repairs done on a higher priority basis
  • Production Operations and asset management has greater confidence that grace periods are objectively based on robust risk management rather than subjective intuition of a small number of individuals
  • Many xmas tree and wellhead repairs, including those requiring workovers, safely deferred
  • Reduced well shut-in time, with better availability and greater production volumes
  • Well work costs safely deferred by working on wells less frequently

This work, an early foundation for Empirica, is documented in more detail in SPE paper SPE-175473. The paper, co-authored by Peter Lumbye and Nigel Snow from MOQ, concludes:

Reductions in risk exposure and improvements in risk management are the biggest benefits realised from this approach, while it has also had a positive impact on the company’s reputation as a responsible operator within Maersk Oil, with its partner Qatar Petroleum and the Qatar government.