You are on page 1of 9

OTC 23703

The activities and guidelines of the Well Life Cycle Practices Forum
Theodora Tucker, Oil & Gas UK

Copyright 2012, Offshore Technology Conference


This paper was prepared for presentation at the Offshore Technology Conference held in Houston, Texas, USA, 30 April3 May 2012.
This paper was selected for presentation by an OTC program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been
reviewed by the Offshore Technology Conference and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Offshore Technology Conference, its
officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Offshore Technology Conference is prohibited. Permission to
reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of OTC copyright.

Abstract
The Well Life Cycle Practices Forum (WLCPF) was formed following the UK response to the Macondo tragedy in the Gulf of
Mexico in April 2010. In response to Macondo, Oil & Gas UK brought together representatives of operators, drilling
contractors, regulators and trade unions to form the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group (OSPRAG). In
addition to developing and building an emergency capping device, assessing and improving oil spill response capability, and
reviewing indemnity and insurance liabilities, OSPRAG also carried out a review of the UK industrys approach to various
aspects of well control. OSPRAG published a series of recommendations in October 2010 which led to the creation of the
WLCPF under Oil & Gas UK to help the UK upstream industry implement the recommendations. The WLCPF also serves as
a forum to discuss pan-industry well-related issues and to interface with the UK regulators.
Results, Observations, and Conclusions
The WLCPF has published a series of guidelines to help UK operators comply more effectively with regulations and to
improve the UK industrys understanding of well integrity issues. Six workgroups, with input from over 60 companies and
organisations, have produced guidelines on: BOP issues; relief well planning requirements; well integrity throughout the well
life cycle; competency; behaviours and human factors; well examination and verification.
Significance of Subject Matter
The UK upstream industry has confidence that the UK regulatory environment drives the right behaviours to prevent a major
well-control incident. Nevertheless, there are areas in which there is scope for improvement. The guidelines produced by
WLCPF, and the WLCPF model itself, could be used by other oil and gas producing provinces to reduce risks in well
operations.

OTC 23703

Introduction
The Well Life Cycle Practices Forum (WLCPF) was formed by Oil & Gas UK in late 2010 and met for the first time on 10
December 2010. It is a permanent industry forum for discussing well-related issues. It has its roots in the work carried out in
the UK by the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group (OSPRAG). This paper outlines the steps leading up to the
formation of the WLCPF, the relationships with various stakeholders at each stage, and the current activities of the WLCPF
including the development of a series of guidelines to share good industry practice. The paper also covers how the WLCPF is
resourced, the importance and usefulness of such a forum and its value to the UK oil and gas industry (and therefore the
potential value of the WLCPF model applied in other basins).
Setting the scene: the UK regulatory climate and response to Macondo
To appreciate how the WLCPF is structured, it is useful to have an understanding of the UK offshore oil and gas industry.
The UK offshore oil and gas industry
Over 99% of the UKs oil and natural gas production is from offshore (source: DECC UK production data). Production of
gas from the UK continental shelf (UKCS) began in 1967, with oil production starting in the 1975. Since then, over 40 billion
boe have been recovered with the remaining recovery estimated to be between 14 and 24 billion boe (2011 Economic Report,
Oil & Gas UK). The UK offshore oil and gas industry is of economic importance to the UK and provides energy security in
2010 enough oil was produced from the UKCS to satisfy 87% (net) of the UKs demand for oil, with the figure for natural gas
being 61% (source: Digest of UK Energy Statistics, 2010). It is therefore important that the UK offshore industry continues its
operations to recover the maximum amount of hydrocarbons from the UKCS which is economically possible, whilst ensuring
safety and well integrity.
UK regulators and regulations
The UK offshore oil and gas industry is regulated by two independent UK government bodies the Department of Energy
and Climate Change (DECC) and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). DECC manages the licensing of the blocks in the
UKCS to operators and gives consent to well operations. DECC also enforces environmental legislation. The HSE regulates
the industry from a health and safety perspective and requires 21 days notification of well operations.
There are two pieces of legislation that particularly apply to any offshore wells drilled with a view to extracting
hydrocarbons (and as such applies to oil, gas, condensate, and injector wells) The Offshore Installations and Wells (Design
and Construction, etc) Regulations 1996 (known as DCR) and The Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations 2005
(known as SCR).
Whilst the environmental legislation is mostly prescriptive, the relevant health and safety legislation is not. The wells
aspects of DCR, in particular, is goal setting with only a few prescriptive elements requiring that
The well-operator shall ensure that a well is so designed, modified, commissioned, constructed, equipped, operated,
maintained, suspended and abandoned that:
So far as is reasonably practicable, there can be no unplanned escape of fluids from the well, and
Risks to the health and safety of persons from it or anything in it, or in strata to which it is connected, are as low as
is reasonably practicable (ALARP)
Wells be examined by an independent and competent person
An assessment of conditions below ground is conducted before starting a well
The design and construction of the well satisfactorily addresses its subsequent suspension and abandonment
Suitable materials are used in the well
Suitable well control equipment is provided
Regular reports of well operations are provided to the HSE, including the 21 days notice period, and
Operations are carried out by persons who have received the appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision
UK precedence for good practice guidelines
The UK regulations are viewed as goal-setting because they do not specify how a well should be designed or how
operations should be carried out. The well-operator (as defined in DCR) or the dutyholder (as defined in SCR) should have the
best understanding of the hazards of the operation and it is their responsibility to assess and reduce the risks. Accordingly, the
UK industry has developed a culture in which sharing good industry practice is commonplace. One way in which this sharing
is achieved, is for cross-industry groups to develop guidelines. Examples include the Oil & Gas UK Guidelines on Suspension
and Abandonment of Wells and the Energy Institutes model code of safe practice for high pressure and high temperature
wells. These guidelines are extensively used in the UK oil and gas industry.

OTC 23703

The trade association for the UK offshore industry


Oil & Gas UK is the trade association for the UK offshore industry. It was set up in 2007, following the remodelling of the
United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA) in order that a single trade association could represent both
operators and contractors. As of January 2012, Oil & Gas UK had 60 operator, 129 contractor, and 5 associate members. The
contractor members cover all areas of industry: wells; reservoirs; support and services; marine and subsea; and facilities. This
wide range of members and Oil & Gas UKs relationship with UK government and other trade bodies (e.g. IADC and OGP)
has been important in ensuring appropriate representation in the activities of the WLCPF. Table 1 shows a comparison of UKbased post-Macondo work with that of OGP.
TABLE 1EQUIVALENT UK AND GLOBAL GROUPS
UK

Global

Trade organisation

Oil & Gas UK

International association of oil and gas producers


(OGP)

Membership

Operators and contractors involved in the UK


offshore oil and gas industry

Operators and major contractors

Post Macondo response


group

Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group


(OSPRAG)

Global Industry Response Group (GIRG)

Long term body set up


following various post
Macondo and Montara
recommendations

Well Life Cycle Practices Forum (WLCPF)

Well Expert Committee (WEC)

UK response to Macondo
After the Macondo tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico on 20 April 2010 the UK industry, led by Oil & Gas UK, set up
OSPRAG in May 2010. This group was created to address the immediate concerns raised by the Macondo incident. As such
OSPRAG was designed with a limited life, with the anticipation that longer-term work would be carried out by the appropriate
existing or specially created groups.
The work of OSPRAG has been covered extensively in other publications (OSPRAG Final Report Strengthening UK
Prevention and Response), and so it will only be mentioned briefly here in relation to WLCPF. Other groups to address issues
raised by Macondo were also set up, including OGPs Global Industry Response Group (GIRG) and the Joint Industry Task
Forces (JITF) assembled by the US oil and gas industry with the assistance of the American Petroleum Institute.
The work and the direction taken by the WLCPF have been influenced by the lessons learned from Macondo and also the
earlier Montara incident in the Timor Sea off the northern coast of Western Australia in August 2009. In the aftermath of these
incidents, a series of reports were released by various official bodies, many of which included recommendations. A selection
of the key reports is shown in Table 2.
TABLE 2KEY REPORTS FOLLOWING THE MACONDO AND MONTARA INCIDENTS
Title

Published by

Publish date

Increased safety measures for energy development


on the outer continental shelf

US Department of the Interior

May 2010

Outer Continental Shelf Safety Oversight Board Report to Secretary of the Interior

US Department of the Interior

September 2010

Deepwater Horizon Accident Investigation Report

BP

September 2010

Montara Commission of Inquiry Report Australian


Government Response

Commonwealth of Australia Department of Resources, Energy


and Tourism

November 2010

Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of


Offshore Drilling. Report to the President

US National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill


and Offshore Drilling

January 2011

UK Deepwater Drilling Implications of the Gulf of


Mexico Oil Spill

UK House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select


Committee

January 2011

Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigation

US Coast Guard (USCG) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy


Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE)

September 2011

Offshore Oil and Gas in the UK an independent


review of the regulatory regime

Independent review panel led by Professor Maitland

December 2011

In July 2010, the UK House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee announced an inquiry into UK
deepwater drilling and the implications of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The inquiry reviewed reports on Macondo and Montara

OTC 23703

as well as evidence submitted from industry groups, including Oil & Gas UK. The Select Committees report was published in
January 2011. This led to ministers ordering an independent review of the UK regulatory regime for offshore oil and gas. The
review, Offshore Oil and Gas in the UK an independent review of the regulatory regime, was published in December 2011.
Setting up a permanent industry forum
The OSPRAG Technical Review Group Recommendations
In October 2010, OSPRAG published a series of recommendations that were based on examples of good industry practice
collated following a review of self-assessment questionnaires issued to the UK industry. This review and development of
recommendations was carried out by OSPRAGs Technical Review Group (one of four groups under OSPRAG) and has
previously been covered in greater detail in Kinkead (2011). The cornerstone recommendation was that a permanent industry
forum should be set up to help companies implement the OSPRAG Technical Review Groups recommendations and to
address additional pan-industry issues relating to the well life cycle. Further information on OSPRAG and its work has been
published in the OSPRAG Final Report (2011).
Interface with regulators
In November 2010, the head of the HSEs offshore division wrote to UK well-operators and offshore installation
dutyholders asking them to apply the OSPRAG recommendations. Later, following the publication of the Select Committees
report in January 2011, the HSE was asked to consider several issues relating to well integrity. These issues included whether
there was a case to prescribe the use of BOPs with two blind shear rams for UK drilling operations.
Rather than address the HSEs queries on an individual company basis, the UK offshore oil and gas industry recognised
that it could benefit from having a focal point which could interface with the regulators (HSE and DECC), and other official
bodies, on well-related issues. This need for a focal point was one of the key drivers in forming the WLCPF.
Remit of the WLCPF
The formation of the WLCPF was approved by the Oil & Gas UK Board in late 2010. The WLCPF held its inaugural
meeting in December 2010 at which the chair and vice chair were elected, and the need for the workgroups identified. The
terms of reference of the WLCPF state that it exists to
Help companies implement the OSPRAG Technical Review Group recommendations
Act as the chosen interface for HSE and DECC to discuss well-related issues with industry
Discuss other well-related industry issues that may arise
Structure and activities of the WLCPF
Membership
The WLCPF is coordinated and funded by Oil & Gas UK. Forum membership is limited to Oil & Gas UK member
companies that have responsibility for well design, construction and management, and intervention operations. Member
companies are asked to provide representatives of an appropriate seniority, so in practice the WLCPF membership comprises
mainly drilling and wells managers from operating companies and well management companies. At the time of writing this
paper, WLCPF members included representatives from 39 operators and 6 well management companies. The WLCPF
membership includes the current owners of 92% of the wells drilled in the UKCS in the last 5 years, and Oil & Gas UK
membership covers 95% of the current owners of wells drilled in the UKCS in the last 5 years (Source: DECC).
Structure and meetings
The structure of the WLCPF in 2011 is outlined in Figure 1. There are six workgroups, each led by two co-leads, who in
turn are their companys representative on the WLCPF. A steering committee comprising the WLCPF chair and vice chair
and the workgroup co-leads was created to facilitate discussion. The WLCPF and its steering committee each meet six times a
year, so that there is a meeting every month. Workgroups meet monthly, or more frequently as required. The vast majority of
meetings take place face-to-face, rather than by tele or video conference.

OTC 23703

Figure 1WLCPF structure in 2011 including the six workgroups

Resourcing
The forum is coordinated by a permanent staff member at Oil & Gas UK. Additional resources comprise firstly, a full-time
contractor in a fixed term position to assist with administration, formatting and proofing of guidelines. Secondly, a drilling
engineering consultant was contracted to write the guidelines and align the technical discussions of each of the workgroups, to
avoid duplication or omission in the workgroups output. The level and type of resourcing for the WLCPF in future will be set
according to the content and timescale of deliverables.
Each workgroup is populated by member companies providing representatives on a voluntary basis. Workgroups typically
have 8 to 12 members. Many workgroup members also sit on other industry groups, e.g. ISO and API committees, and OGPs
Well Expert Committee. This crossover helps to reduce duplication of effort where appropriate. However, it should be noted
that some apparent duplication of work may be required in order to produce country-specific guidelines in the appropriate
timeframe.
Where engineering consultancy is required, the WLCPF funds small projects with external contractors.
TABLE 3WLCPF MEMBERSHIP (AS OF END DECEMBER 2011)
Applied Drilling Technology Inc.
AGR Petroleum Services
Apache North Sea Limited
ATP Oil & Gas (UK) Limited
BG Group plc
BHP Billiton Limited
BP plc
Canadian Overseas Petroleum (UK)
Centrica Energy
Chevron Upstream Europe
Chrysaor Limited
CNR International (U.K.) Limited

ConocoPhillips (U.K.) Limited


Dana Petroleum plc
Dong (UK) Ltd
Endeavour Energy UK Limited
ENI (UK) Limited
Enquest
EOG Resources Inc.
ExxonMobil International Ltd
Fairfield Energy plc
Fraser Offshore
GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd

Hess Limited
Hurricane Exploration PLC
Ithaca Energy (UK) Limited
Maersk Oil UK Limited
Marathon Oil U.K. Limited
Marubeni North Sea Limited
Nexen Petroleum (U.K.)
OMV (UK) Limited
Perenco (UK) Limited
Premier Oil plc
RWE Dea UK Limited

Senergy Oil & Gas Limited


Serica Energy (UK) Ltd
Shell U.K. Exploration and Production
SPD Limited
SSE E&P UK Limited
Sterling Resources (UK) Ltd
Suncor Energy UK Ltd
Talisman Energy (UK) Limited
TAQA Bratani Limited
Total E&P UK Limited
Valiant Petroleum plc

Stakeholder engagement
Throughout the OSPRAG and WLCPF work, it has been clear that the issues raised from Macondo affect a range of
companies and stakeholders throughout the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Whilst WLCPF forum membership is limited to
well-operators, the workgroups are actively encouraged to engage with relevant industry groups. In 2011, the WLCPF and its
workgroups engaged with: IADC North Sea Chapter; Well Services Contractor Forum; OPITO; academia (University of
Aberdeen, and the Robert Gordon University); well examiners; the UK Onshore Operators Group (UKOOG); OLF (the
Norwegian oil industry association) and OGPs Well Expert Committee.
HSE and DECC representatives are invited to the WLCPF forum and steering committee meetings so that they are kept
informed of progress.
Workgroup charters
Once the need for a workgroup is agreed by the wider forum and is populated, the workgroup writes its charter for the
upcoming work phase. The goals and objectives of the workgroup, which are outlined in the charter, are designed to be
achievable in 12 to 18 months using the available resources. This ensures that the workgroup has a well-defined deliverable,
over a manageable timescale, which helps maintain focus and motivation.
Once a workgroup has completed its work, it will either be closed out (with a date set for future review if necessary), or
moves onto the next phase of work. At the end of each phase, members of the workgroup will decide if they wish to remain on
the workgroup and new members can join to broaden the workgroups skill set or experience.

OTC 23703

Guidelines written by the WLCPF


The need for guidelines
Following the UK Select Committees report on UK Deepwater Drilling published in January 2011, the HSE formally
requested that the WLCPF consider some of the issues raised by the report, including whether there are any operations on the
UKCS which might require the BOP to have two blind shear rams. The WLCPFs remit also required that it help welloperators implement the OSPRAG Technical Review Group recommendations. The WLCPF decided that the most efficient
way to address both these issues was to write and publish a series of guidelines which would collate industry good practice.
Five of the six WLCPF workgroups were created to produce these guidelines. The WLCPF also identified a need to
compile good practice guidelines surrounding the extent of relief well planning required when submitting oil pollution
emergency plans (OPEPs) to DECC to obtain consent.

Figure 2Timeline of key stages of the well life cycle practices forum

Guidelines content
It should be emphasised that the documents produced by the WLCPF are guidelines only. Whilst they represent good
industry practice, the examples they provide are not the only acceptable way of conducting operations. This is particularly true
for the Guidelines on competency for wells personnel which seek to help individuals and companies understand the issues
surrounding competency for wells personnel.
All guidelines are aimed primarily at individuals in technical roles and have been written so that they are applicable to
individuals just entering the industry and to those who are expert in their fields.
The guidelines each include a section that outlines the applicable UK legislation relevant to the topic. Apart from these
sections, the content is applicable to other countries.

OTC 23703

BOP Issues
The BOP Issues workgroup is currently producing guidelines that provides information to users of subsea BOPs in the
UKCS on
The legal requirements for subsea BOPs
BOP equipment set-up; primary control systems
Emergency and secondary control
Shearing; maintenance, inspection and monitoring; function and pressure testing
Management of change
At the time of writing this paper, a final draft of the guidelines was out for review by the wider WLCPF membership.
Publication of Guidelines on subsea BOP systems is expected in Q2 2012, with work commencing on another guideline to
cover platform stacks commencing immediately after.
Well Life Cycle Integrity Guidelines
At the time of writing this paper, the Well Life Cycle Integrity Guidelines workgroup had prepared a final draft of
guidelines to be reviewed by the wider WLCPF membership.
The guidelines have been structured to help companies better understand their obligations under the UK regulations, and in
particular, DCR. The guidelines start with sections covering the philosophy of well control, integrity and barriers, and then go
on to cover
Well design
Drilling
Testing
Completion
Commission
Operate and maintain
Intervention / workover
Oil & Gas UKs Guidelines for the suspension and abandonment of wells are widely used in the UK, and the Well life cycle
integrity guidelines refer to this existing document.
The guidelines have been written to help the reader understand what they need to consider at each stage of the well life
cycle in order to maintain well integrity. They take into account the need to find the right balance between providing an
educational document, a prescriptive document, and one that has sufficient flexibility to allow operators to apply their own inhouse approach to managing well integrity. The workgroup conducted a thorough review process to produce a guidelines
document acceptable to all parties.
Issue 1 of these guidelines is due to be published in Q2 2012. The delivery of these guidelines to industry in a timely
manner is a priority and the workgroup has already identified topics to cover in issue 2. Work on issue 2 will commence
almost immediately after publication of issue 1, and is likely to cover special cases such as operations from vessels and
dynamically positioned rigs.
Relief Well Planning Requirements
The Relief Well Planning Requirements (RWPR) workgroup has written Guidelines on relief well planning subsea wells
which is due to be published in January 2012, with a second version covering surface wellheads to be written in early 2012.
In the UK, oil pollution emergency plans (OPEPs) are required for any offshore installation involved in oil and gas
exploration or production. Subsea well activities (such as drilling, completion, intervention / workover, and well abandonment)
require an OPEP that includes relief well planning. Following the Macondo and Montara incidents there was a degree of
uncertainty within the industry regarding the extent to which relief well planning should be carried out. The Guidelines of
relief well planning subsea wells were written to help companies understand the degree of relief well planning required for
OPEPs for subsea wells.
The Guidelines on relief well planning subsea wells advise that a complexity assessment of the relief well should be used
to determine the extent of relief well planning required. The guidelines suggest factors that can be used to determine the
complexity of a relief well and provide a check list of relief well planning requirements for basic and complex relief wells.
As with other all other WLCPF guidelines, the aim of the document is to help the reader better understand the issues and how
they can apply this understanding to their own work.
Competency, Behaviours and Human Factors
The Competency, Behaviours and Human Factors (CBHF) workgroup decided to concentrate first on the competency
aspects of their remit. Guidelines on competency of wells personnel is due for publication in January 2012 along with Example
competency profiles for wells personnel.

OTC 23703

The guidelines have been written to help individuals and companies better understand the competency issues surrounding
wells personnel, particularly those competencies critical to maintaining well integrity. The guidelines cover competency
assurance and assessment, and provide an example of a method used for developing competency profiles which identifies the
skills elements required in key risk areas. The guidelines emphasise that the example given is not the only suitable way of
managing competency for wells personnel.
A separate document gives examples of competency profiles for four roles: senior drilling engineer, drilling supervisor,
operations geologist and well-examiner. This second document has been written to provide a template on which companies
may choose to base their own competency profiles, tailored to their own operations and company structure.
The CBHF workgroup will now focus its efforts on delivering a tool to enhance further understanding within industry of
the human factors that may impact on well integrity.
Well Examination
Well examination is required by UK legislation (DCR). It involves examination of the well design and operations by an
independent and competent person. Well-operators must ensure that wells are covered by an appropriate well examination
scheme for the entire life cycle of the well. The Well Examination workgroup wrote two sets of guidelines: Guidelines for
well-operators on well examination and Guidelines for well-operators on competency of well-examiners (both published
November 2011 by Oil & Gas UK). These guidelines were written following consultation with, and review by, a group of
well-examiners.
Verification
In the UK, legislation (SCR) requires all installations (including mobile rigs and platforms) to have a safety case and a
verification scheme. Verification requires an independent and competent person to review all safety critical elements. These
include wells and well control equipment.
Five of the OSPRAG Technical Review Group recommendations concerned well-related verification and these needed to
be addressed by the workgroup. However, the well aspects of verification represent a small section of the verification scheme
of an installation. Another UK industry group (Step Change in Safety) had started work on a more general set of guidelines on
verification and it was felt that the WLCPF Verification workgroup should liaise with this other group to ensure sufficient
coverage of well-related verification issues. This approach has the benefit of avoiding duplication of effort and delivering a
single but comprehensive output for the benefit of industry.
Review and approval of guidelines
Figure 3 shows a schematic of the writing, review and approval processes that each of the WLCPF guidelines has
undergone. Some workgroups had initially attempted to write their guidelines using workgroup members only, but it was soon
recognised that this was not feasible in the timescale required. When writing guidelines with the potential industry-wide
impact of the WLCPF guidelines, it is critical that it is industry itself that is involved in their development. Inherently, the
individuals best suited to delivering the guidelines are also the individuals with the least available time outside their day job.
The structure and style of the guidelines was determined by discussion in the workgroup (following stakeholder
engagement). The first draft was written by a combination of the drilling engineering consultant and workgroup members who
made contributions according to their area of expertise. In some cases, another contracted resource authored the guidelines.
Once a first draft of the guidelines had been produced, the workgroup reviewed the draft, discussed the feedback and
agreed on any revisions to be made. This review, feedback, revise cycle was repeated until the draft guidelines were at a stage
appropriate to be reviewed by selected stakeholders.
For most guidelines, a stakeholder engagement review day was set up. This comprised a facilitated discussion of the
guidelines and how they could be improved.
Following stakeholder engagement, the revised draft guidelines were sent to the wider WLCPF membership for review,
usually over three to four weeks. Each paragraph of the guidelines was sequentially numbered in the guidelines. Reviewers
were asked to refer to this paragraph numbering in their feedback and to suggest alternative text where required. All feedback
was collated and provided to the workgroup. The workgroup then discussed each piece of feedback and decided whether
revision was required. A summary of the decisions and revisions made for each guideline document was presented to the
WLCPF at one of the forum meetings.
After approval from the WLCPF, each guideline document underwent a legal review to ensure compliance with the
Competition Act (UK legislation prohibiting anti-competitive behaviour). The final step in the approval process was for the
Board of Oil & Gas UK to endorse the review and engagement process undertaken for each guideline document.

OTC 23703

Figure 3Writing, review, and approval processes for WLCPF guidelines

Conclusions
The WLCPF demonstrates what can be achieved in a short timeframe: within 18 months of its creation, the WLCPF will have
produced a series of guideline documents on the well life cycle that have been developed by the UK upstream oil and gas
industry. The guidelines have been developed in such a way as to further the understanding of individuals in industry on issues
that can affect well integrity. They have been structured to help individuals apply the relevant good industry practice to their
own projects.
Although the guidelines have been written for the UK upstream oil and gas industry, their goal setting philosophy makes
them a useful document compatible with other oil and gas regions. The structure and processes of the WLCPF would also be
applicable to other provinces wishing to tackle cross-industry issues.
The WLCPF is a permanent forum in which well-related issues can be discussed. Following the publication of the first
wave of guidelines in late 2011 and early 2012, work will begin on the next phase of work. A series of seminars designed to
introduce individuals to the guidelines are planned for 2012 and feedback will be collated to ensure improvements can be
made to future guidelines.
The UK oil and gas industry continues to strive to learn from incidents (not just in the oil and gas industry, but also from
other industries) and to make the necessary improvements. The WLCPF is a tool for promoting greater understanding of well
integrity and to lower the risk of a well incident in the UK.
Acknowledgments
The author would like to thank the WLCPF members, workgroup members, and in particular the workgroup co-leads, for their
work in writing and reviewing the WLCPF guidelines in 2011. Thanks also go to the HSE and DECC, and to the Board of Oil
& Gas UK for their continued support of WLCPF activities. Finally, the author would like to thank the 2011 WLCPF chair,
Gregory King (ExxonMobil International Ltd), for his invaluable contribution to the forums development and activities in
2011.
References
2011 Economic Report. 2011. London, UK. Oil & Gas UK
Kinkead, B. 2011. The Activities and Recommendations of the UKCS OSPRAG Technical Review Group Following the Deepwater
Horizon, Macondo Incident. Paper SPE 146072 presented at Offshore Europe, Aberdeen, UK, 6-8 September. DOI:
10.2118/146072-MS
UK Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group (OSPRAG) Final Report Strengthening UK Prevention and Response. 2011.
London, UK. Oil & Gas UK