Casing collapse capacity was identified by Statoil as a critical operational parameter on one of its fields in production. This facilitated the need to re-evaluate the overall well design, specifically the production casing’s collapse capacity. Studies were performed to analyze and objectively increase the documented casing collapse capacity, while maintaining the safety level.
Initially, the casing collapse capacity was evaluated using API TR 5C3 / ISO 10400, with insufficient capacity being documented. In order to investigate further, physical material testing and collapse testing were performed. Detailed finite element analysis was used to evaluate the casing collapse capacity, given well specific input parameters. The four critical parameters of axial load, casing ovality, casing wear, and temperature-dependent material properties were identified and the importance of each parameter was mapped. Using the testing results and the finite element models as a basis, structural reliability analysis (SRA) was applied to calculate the probability of failure for casing collapse of the production casing as a function of the differential pressure.
The SRA provided results for the spread of the field and for individual wells given specific input on the key parameters of casing ovality, wear and temperature. At the selected target reliability level, the SRA results showed a higher collapse capacity of the production casing relative to conservative calculations commonly used from API TR 5C3 / ISO 10400 for well design.
Applying SRA to well design, specifically collapse evaluations, has proven useful in concluding on the probability of failure. The SRA has transformed improved knowledge from testing and measurements to reduced uncertainty and a corresponding reduction in the failure probability. The potential over-conservatism in the conventional deterministic analysis is then avoided, while maintaining the overall safety level. The SRA results were used to assist in the risk evaluation resulting in an allowance for continued production on existing wells.