Safety analysis of plugging and abandonment of oil and gas wells in uncertain conditions with limited data

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Well plugging and abandonment are necessitated to ensure safe closure of a non-producing offshore asset. Little or no condition monitoring is done after the abandonment operation, and data are often unavailable to analyze the risks of potential leakage. It is therefore essential to capture all inherent and evolving hazards associated with this activity before its implementation. The current probabilistic risk analysis approaches such as fault tree, event tree and bowtie though able to model potential leak scenarios; these approaches have limited capabilities to handle evolving well conditions and data unavailability. Many of the barriers of an abandoned well deteriorates over time and are dependent on external conditions, making it necessary to consider advanced approaches to model potential leakage risk. This paper presents a Bayesian network-based model for well plugging and abandonment. The proposed model able to handle evolving conditions of the barriers, their failure dependence and, also uncertainty in the data. The model uses advanced logic conditions such as Noisy-OR and leaky Noisy-OR to define the condition and data dependency. The proposed model is explained and tested on a case study from the Elgin platform's well plugging and abandonment failure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-141
Number of pages9
JournalReliability Engineering and System Safety
Early online date11 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2019


  • Bayesian network
  • decommissioning
  • plugging and abandonment
  • well barrier failure

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