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Girling McIntosh awarded OGTC funding to develop innovative well risk software

Well management software specialist, Girling McIntosh, has been awarded funding by the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) to develop pioneering software, ‘Empirica Q’, designed to model well risk. The project is being supported by industry partners, Total E&P Denmark and Premier Oil.

Well and petroleum engineers using the software will evaluate risks in well design and operations, with a digital capability not available before now.

In this industry first, users of Empirica Q will build well risk models using an intuitive graphical interface. They will use these to dynamically evaluate risk for entire well systems. Crucially, the software shows how well conditions, design architecture, component failures and anomalies interact. This will support objective risk management and improve decision making.

Wells are safer, production efficiency is improved and costs are minimised when risks are objectively assessed and understood. The benefits of using Empirica Q include:

  • Increased production: Protracted risk assessments and conservative well integrity practices result in unnecessary well shut-ins. Eradicating these has an estimated value in excess of $500 million per year across the UKCS;
  • Reduced costs: Optimising well work schedules and averting unnecessary or inefficient repairs could save a typical operator tens of millions of dollars per year;
  • Improved safety: Catastrophic well failures can be prevented by having an enhanced understanding of well risks. The value of this can be far greater than any production or cost benefit.

Stephen Ashley, Digital Transformation Solution Centre Manager at the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, said:

“We are delighted to be working with Girling McIntosh to support the development of their innovative well risk software, which provides dynamic well integrity results. 

"It’s our role to identify new technologies that will help drive the oil and gas industry to digitally transform, with this software perfectly tying into our ‘Optimised Production’ theme, which provides industry with AI technologies that will contribute to optimised production systems and maximised recovery from the UK Continental Shelf.”

Stuart Girling, Girling McIntosh Managing Director, said:

“Well and petroleum engineers intuitively want to improve well risk management, though they know this is very hard to do objectively. We have been working on a way to crack the code on this and support from OGTC means we can now convert our ideas into reality. Total E&P Denmark and Premier Oil have also enthusiastically encouraged our work and continue to do so in this project.

"Oil companies that adopt Empirica Q will receive valuable benefits, including confidence that their wells are safe.”

Stig Dilling, Head of Wells at Total E&P Denmark said:

“We have been using a new failure model developed by Girling Mcintosh in our TEPDK Well Integrity team for the past six months. The model makes use of the well risk modeller principles for risk quantification which has led to a significant improvement in the understanding of actual risks due to well integrity failures and thus has facilitated a more efficient, safer and consistent approach to integrity management. It facilitates a rapid risk assessment and placing of mitigating actions on well failures.

"We are very pleased to support Empirica Q development which will enhance the flexibility and usability needed for Operators to draw full benefits of the well risk modelling approach.”

Stuart Wheaton, Premier Chief Technology Officer, said:

“Well integrity management is key, both from a safety and production optimisation standpoint, and is a challenge the whole industry faces as wells get older.  Premier has a diverse well stock and it is critical that we continually review our well integrity management systems to ensure integrity risk levels are correctly understood and appropriate risk management strategies are implemented. 

"We are delighted to support the development of Empirica Q as we believe it will provide a game changing analytical approach to ensure integrity risk is identified accurately and quickly, allowing for better decision making and minimising any unnecessary associated production loss.”