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Well integrity assessment under temperature and pressure stresses by a 1:1 scale wellbore experiment

  • Manceau, Jean-Charles
  • Trémosa, Joachim
  • Audigane, Pascal
  • Lerouge, Catherine
  • Claret, Francis
  • Lettry, Y.
  • Fierz, T.
  • Nussbaum, C.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2015
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A new in situ experiment is proposed for observing and understanding well integrity evolution, potentially due to changes that could occur during a well lifetime. The focus is put on temperature and pressure stresses. A small section of a well is reproduced at scale 1:1 in the Opalinus Clay formation, representative of a low permeable caprock formation (in Mont Terri Underground Rock Laboratory, Switzerland). The well-system behavior is characterized over time both by performing hydro-tests to quantify the hydraulic properties of the well and their evolution, and sampling the fluids to monitor the chemical composition and its changes. This paper presents the well integrity assessment under different imposed temperature (17-52 degrees C) and pressure (10-28 bar) conditions. The results obtained in this study confirm the ability of the chosen design and observation scale to estimate the evolution of the well integrity over time, the characteristics of the flow along the well-system and the reasons of the observed evolution. In particular, the estimated effective well permeability is higher than cement or caprock intrinsic permeability, which suggest preferential flow pathways at interfaces especially at the very beginning of the experiment; the significant variations of the effective well permeability observed after setting pressure and temperature stresses indicate that operations could influence well integrity in similar proportions than the cementing process.

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