§ 88 Securing wells
All wells shall be secured before they are abandoned so that well integrity is safeguarded during the time they are abandoned. For subsea-completed wells, well integrity shall be monitored if the plan is to abandon the wells for more than twelve months.
Exploration wells commenced after 1.1.2014 shall not be temporarily abandoned beyond two years. In production wells abandoned after 1.1.2014, hydrocarbon-bearing zones shall be plugged and abandoned permanently within three years if the well is not continuously monitored.
It shall be possible to check well integrity in the event of reconnection on temporarily abandoned wells.
Abandonment of radioactive sources in the well shall not be planned. If the radioactive source cannot be removed, it shall be abandoned in a prudent manner.
Section last changed: 01 January 2018
To fulfil the requirement relating to securing as mentioned in the first subsection, the NORSOK D-010 standard, Chapter 10 should be used in the area of health, working environment and safety. For information, see also Section 48 of the Facilities Regulations.
The monitoring as mentioned in the first subsection, should be carried out by monitoring the pressure above the lowermost barrier.
In order to control the well integrity as mentioned in the second subsection, one should, inter alia, be able to monitor pressure conditions or set a blind plug just above or below the packer element. For surface-completed wells, it should be possible to monitor the pressure in the annulus and in the production tubing, or as an alternative, in the last casing set. For subsea-completed wells, it should be possible to monitor the pressure in the production tubing and in the production annulus.
If it is necessary to abandon the radioactive source in the well, as mentioned in the third subsection, the NORSOK D-010 standard, Chapter 10 and table C.24 should be used, with the following additions:
- an internal overview of abandoned sources should be established and maintained. The overview should contain details about every single source and its position,
- radioactive sources abandoned in work strings should be secured in a manner which clearly indicates any unintentional drilling close to/in the direction of the source’s position.
Section 14 second subsection of the Radiation Protection Regulations (in Norwegian only) also requires that information on abandoned sources shall be given to the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority.