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DEP 25.80.10.22-Gen.

February 2013DEP SPECIFICATION

TOP-SEAL INTEGRITY ASSESSMENT FOR PRIMARY


RECOVERY, WATERFLOOD, EOR AND CO2 STORAGE

DEP 25.80.10.22-Gen.
February 2013

DESIGN AND ENGINEERING PRACTICE

DEM1

2013 Shell Group of companies


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, published or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior
written permission of the copyright owner or Shell Global Solutions International BV.

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PREFACE
DEP (Design and Engineering Practice) publications reflect the views, at the time of publication, of Shell Global Solutions
International B.V. (Shell GSI) and, in some cases, of other Shell Companies.
These views are based on the experience acquired during involvement with the design, construction, operation and
maintenance of processing units and facilities. Where deemed appropriate DEPs are based on, or reference international,
regional, national and industry standards.
The objective is to set the standard for good design and engineering practice to be applied by Shell companies in oil and
gas production, oil refining, gas handling, gasification, chemical processing, or any other such facility, and thereby to help
achieve maximum technical and economic benefit from standardization.
The information set forth in these publications is provided to Shell companies for their consideration and decision to
implement. This is of particular importance where DEPs may not cover every requirement or diversity of condition at each
locality. The system of DEPs is expected to be sufficiently flexible to allow individual Operating Units to adapt the
information set forth in DEPs to their own environment and requirements.
When Contractors or Manufacturers/Suppliers use DEPs, they shall be solely responsible for such use, including the
quality of their work and the attainment of the required design and engineering standards. In particular, for those
requirements not specifically covered, the Principal will typically expect them to follow those design and engineering
practices that will achieve at least the same level of integrity as reflected in the DEPs. If in doubt, the Contractor or
Manufacturer/Supplier shall, without detracting from his own responsibility, consult the Principal.
The right to obtain and to use DEPs is restricted, and is typically granted by Shell GSI (and in some cases by other Shell
Companies) under a Service Agreement or a License Agreement. This right is granted primarily to Shell companies and
other companies receiving technical advice and services from Shell GSI or another Shell Company. Consequently, three
categories of users of DEPs can be distinguished:
1)

Operating Units having a Service Agreement with Shell GSI or another Shell Company. The use of DEPs by these
Operating Units is subject in all respects to the terms and conditions of the relevant Service Agreement.

2)

Other parties who are authorised to use DEPs subject to appropriate contractual arrangements (whether as part of
a Service Agreement or otherwise).

3)

Contractors/subcontractors and Manufacturers/Suppliers under a contract with users referred to under 1) or 2)


which requires that tenders for projects, materials supplied or - generally - work performed on behalf of the said
users comply with the relevant standards.

Subject to any particular terms and conditions as may be set forth in specific agreements with users, Shell GSI disclaims
any liability of whatsoever nature for any damage (including injury or death) suffered by any company or person
whomsoever as a result of or in connection with the use, application or implementation of any DEP, combination of DEPs
or any part thereof, even if it is wholly or partly caused by negligence on the part of Shell GSI or other Shell Company. The
benefit of this disclaimer shall inure in all respects to Shell GSI and/or any Shell Company, or companies affiliated to these
companies, that may issue DEPs or advise or require the use of DEPs.
Without prejudice to any specific terms in respect of confidentiality under relevant contractual arrangements, DEPs shall
not, without the prior written consent of Shell GSI, be disclosed by users to any company or person whomsoever and the
DEPs shall be used exclusively for the purpose for which they have been provided to the user. They shall be returned after
use, including any copies which shall only be made by users with the express prior written consent of Shell GSI. The
copyright of DEPs vests in Shell Group of companies. Users shall arrange for DEPs to be held in safe custody and Shell
GSI may at any time require information satisfactory to them in order to ascertain how users implement this requirement.
All administrative queries should be directed to the DEP Administrator in Shell GSI.

DEP 25.80.10.22-Gen.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.6

INTRODUCTION.......................................................................................................
SCOPE......................................................................................................................
DISTRIBUTION, INTENDED USE AND REGULATORY CONSIDERATIONS..........
DEFINITIONS............................................................................................................
CROSS-REFERENCES............................................................................................
SUMMARY OF MAIN CHANGES..............................................................................
COMMENTS ON THIS DEP......................................................................................

2.

BACKGROUND........................................................................................................

3.

APPLICATION AND RESPONSIBILITIES................................................................

4.
4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5
4.6

TOP-SEAL INTEGRITY RISK ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS............................


GENERAL.................................................................................................................
RISK IDENTIFICATION.............................................................................................
RISK ASSESSMENT.................................................................................................
RISK TREATMENT....................................................................................................
RISK VERIFICATION...............................................................................................
RISK UPDATES.......................................................................................................

5.

REFERENCES........................................................................................................

6.

BIBLIOGRAPHY.....................................................................................................

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1.

INTRODUCTION

1.1

SCOPE
This new DEP specifies requirements and gives recommendations for top-seal integrity
assessment and is applicable to primary recovery, waterflood, EOR and CO 2 storage
projects. Additional requirements may be applied on individual projects to mitigate specific
local risks.
The purpose of this DEP is to ensure containment of fluids and gases within a geological
reservoir or storage complex by requiring that all relevant containment risks are consciously
assessed and that the evidence supporting the selected remedial actions, including
underlying assumptions and reasoning, are being documented. It covers the risk of leakage
through geological seals, along existing (natural) or induced faults or fractures and by
lateral migration of fluids. It also considers the potential impacts of wells on geological seal
integrity, but minimum standards are provided by other DEP documents.
NOTE:

Cap-Rock integrity assessment, Top-Seal integrity assessment and Geological Seal integrity
assessment refer to the same activity definition. Furthermore, Top-seal integrity assessment in this
DEP covers the same activities as Containment assessment for CO 2 projects, with the exception of
Well leakage assessment, which is covered in a separate DEP.

The scope of this DEP is displayed graphically in the yellow portion of Figure 1.

Figure 1

Assessment tree for top-seal integrity (containment)

It is not in the scope of this document to specify which discipline(s) will perform the
assessment of top-seal integrity. This responsibility varies between regions and OUs, and is
therefore specified in the region or OU-specific governance.
The custodianship and accountability for this DEP resides with the Petrophysics Discipline
Head.
This DEP contains mandatory requirements to mitigate process safety risks in accordance
with Design Engineering Manual DEM 1 Application of Technical Standards.

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1.2

DISTRIBUTION, INTENDED USE AND REGULATORY CONSIDERATIONS


Unless otherwise authorised by Shell GSI, the distribution of this DEP is confined to Shell
companies and, where necessary, to Contractors and Manufacturers/Suppliers nominated
by them. Any authorised access to DEPs does not for that reason constitute an
authorization to any documents, data or information to which the DEPs may refer.
This DEP is intended for use in facilities related to oil and gas production as well as for
produced water disposal, acid gas injection and CO 2 storage. This DEP may also be
applied in other similar facilities.
When DEPs are applied, a Management of Change (MOC) process shall be implemented;
this is of particular importance when existing facilities are to be modified.
If national and/or local regulations exist in which some of the requirements could be more
stringent than in this DEP, the Contractor shall determine by careful scrutiny which of the
requirements are the more stringent and which combination of requirements will be
acceptable with regards to the safety, environmental, economic and legal aspects. In all
cases, the Contractor shall inform the Principal of any deviation from the requirements of
this DEP which is considered to be necessary in order to comply with national and/or local
regulations. The Principal may then negotiate with the Authorities concerned, the objective
being to obtain agreement to follow this DEP as closely as possible.

1.3

DEFINITIONS

1.3.1

General definitions
The Contractor is the party that carries out all or part of the design, engineering,
procurement, construction, commissioning or management of a project or operation of a
facility. The Principal may undertake all or part of the duties of the Contractor.
The Manufacturer/Supplier is the party that manufactures or supplies equipment and
services to perform the duties specified by the Contractor.
The Principal is the party that initiates the project and ultimately pays for it. The Principal
may also include an agent or consultant authorised to act for, and on behalf of, the
Principal.
The word shall indicates a requirement.
The capitalised term SHALL [PS] indicates a process safety requirement.
The word should indicates a recommendation.

1.3.2

1.3.2

Specific definitions
Term

Definition

Region

An organisation within Upstream International or Upstream Americas that


represents a group of Assets involved in hydrocarbon exploration and
production, often spanning across national boundaries.

Specific abbreviations
Term

Definition

ALARP

As Low As Reasonably Practical

DCAF

Discipline Controls and Assurance Framework

EOR

Enhanced Oil Recovery

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1.4

FDP

Field Development Plan

GP

Geophysics

HSE-CA

Health, Safety & Environment Critical Activity

OU

an organisation within a region involved in hydrocarbon exploration and


production within a country

OFG

Opportunity Framing Guide

ORP

Opportunity Realisation Process

PP

Petrophysics

RE

Reservoir Engineering

RAM

Risk Assessment Matrix

RMS

Risk Management System

VoI

Value of Information

WE

Well Engineering

WRM

Well & Reservoir Management

CROSS-REFERENCES
Where cross-references to other parts of this DEP are made, the referenced section
number is shown in brackets ( ). Other documents referenced by this DEP are listed in (5).

1.5

SUMMARY OF MAIN CHANGES


This is a new DEP.

1.6

COMMENTS ON THIS DEP


Comments on this DEP may be submitted to the Administrator using one of the following
options:
Shell DEPs Online
(Users with access to
Shell DEPs Online)

Enter the Shell DEPs Online system at


https://www.shelldeps.com
Select a DEP and then go to the details screen for
that DEP.
Click on the Give feedback link, fill in the online
form and submit.

DEP Feedback System


(Users with access to
Shell Wide Web)

Enter comments directly in the DEP Feedback


System which is accessible from the Technical
Standards Portal http://sww.shell.com/standards.
Select Submit DEP Feedback, fill in the online form
and submit.

DEP Standard Form


(Other users)

Use DEP Standard Form 00.00.05.80-Gen. to record


feedback and email the form to the Administrator at
standards@shell.com.

Feedback that has been registered in the DEP Feedback System by using one of the above
options will be reviewed by the DEP Custodian for potential improvements to the DEP.

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2.

BACKGROUND
Top-seal integrity assessment is an HSE critical activity (HSE-CA) for the design of
Development Engineering and Exploration.
In general, the production of oil and gas, whether or not enhanced by the injection of water,
gas, steam or other injectants, will cause a change of pressure, stress and temperature in
the reservoir and its surrounding formations. Additionally, chemical characteristics of the
injectant, such as when injecting CO 2 or other reactive gases for storage or production
enhancement, may lead to changes in petrophysical, geomechanical and chemical
properties of subsurface formations, faults and wells equipment. These changes may or
may not have a detrimental effect on the containment of toxic or otherwise harmful fluids
and gasses in the subsurface. Loss of containment may lead to, e.g., blow-outs,
contamination of shallower aquifers, tremors due to fault slippage, escape of fluids and
gases to surface, cratering, seafloor/land instability, and damage to facilities or the
environment, health hazards and potential loss of life.
Top-seal integrity or containment risks are strongly determined by the geological and
petrophysical nature of the subsurface and the planned operations. Therefore, this DEP
focuses on adequate risk management:

fit-for-purpose assessment of risks relevant to top seal integrity, and;

implementation of remedial actions to reduce risk to As Low As Reasonably Practical


(ALARP).

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3.

APPLICATION AND RESPONSIBILITIES


Specific organizational roles and responsibilities for this standard are covered in global,
regional or OU-specific governance such as DCAF.
The final deliverables specified in this DEP shall be signed off by the Accountable Technical
Authority and Responsible Technical Authority (where applicable) as specified by the
Regional/OU standard as well as DCAF.
NOTE:

This standard is related to DCAF control(s) Screen Geomechanical Risks, Assess Geomechanical
Risks and Mitigate Geomechanical Risks.

For exploration projects, the standards and signoff specified by the XORP shall be followed.
In case the design is to be re-used for further activities, including but not limited to
production wells, injection wells, well interventions and disposal wells, the assessment shall
be updated at defined intervals and when new data is acquired. An audit trail of these
changes shall be maintained.
Where this DEP is applied to individual wells in large projects with multiple wells, or where
the maturity and size of an existing asset makes it impractical to follow this DEP on an
individual well level, a modified approach may be taken that is suitable for the scale of the
project. Any scaling of the DEP shall be documented as ALARP and approved based on the
regional or OU operational and technical controls.

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4.

TOP-SEAL INTEGRITY RISK ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS

4.1

GENERAL
Top-seal integrity risks shall be an integral part of the Risk Management System (RMS) for
projects as outlined in the Opportunity Framing Guide (OFG). This Risk Management
System shall contain at least the following elements:
1. Identification of all credible potential threats to top-seal integrity. A fit-for-purpose,
project-specific risk assessment for top-seal integrity shall be documented within the
Project Risk Register or in Easy Risk.
2. Assessment of each identified threat for the likelihood and potential impact as
defined in the Risk Assessment Matrix. This assessment should consider the
effectiveness of any mitigation measures already in place.
3. Treatment of every threat assessed as HSE-critical with an action plan to develop
additional mitigations measures to reduce the risk to as low as reasonably
practicable.
4. Verification through monitoring should be considered to demonstrate the
effectiveness of mitigations for any HSE-critical risks.
5. Updates to the preceding four steps should be completed and approved during each
stage of the Opportunity Realisation Process.
The identified risks discussed in (4.2) shall be evaluated by asking questions such as:

what could happen?

what are the consequences (worst credible case)?

what are the chances of it happening?

For each identified risk, the position on the RAM and a Risk Response Strategy shall be
documented.
NOTE:

For application of the RAM, refer to the HSSE Control Framework.

The Risk Response Strategy may be either Take, Treat, Transfer or Terminate as per
OFG. The Project Risk Register should include a risk description, the status, when in the
ORP the risk must be addressed, the current status and assessment (with assumptions and
reasoning).
4.2

RISK IDENTIFICATION
In ORP Identify phase, at least the following risks shall be considered for inclusion in the
project risk register, covering the main elements of the Assessment Tree for top-seal
integrity in Figure 1:
a. Fault/Fracture leakage
i.

Fluid migration via existing faults or fractures

ii.

Induced stress opens a fracture

iii.

Induced stress re-activates a fault

b. Top-seal leakage
i.

Fluid migration via a matrix pathway

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c.

ii.

Induced stress creates a permeable pathway

iii.

Reactive fluid erode a geological seal

Lateral migration
i.

Fluid migration via a reservoir spill point

d. Well leakage
i.

Fluid migration along an active project well (injection, production, observation wells).
ii.

Fluid migration along an abandoned well.

Additional risks may be identified to cover all credible site-specific threats to top-seal
integrity.
4.3

RISK ASSESSMENT
A risk assessment shall be conducted for the risks identified in ORP Identify phase. Initially,
this can be based on analogues or other experience in the industry, or through rudimentary
or analytical models when available. A more thorough risk assessment may be conducted
after appropriate field data has become available and may include complex analysis
(experimental, non-linear, 3-dimensional, coupled geomechanical, reservoir engineering
and geo-chemical) as deemed necessary.
For each risk assessment:
a. The top-seal integrity risk assessment shall be made considering various
development concepts (reservoir pressure and temperature scenarios) as appropriate
for the development phase of the project.
b. A bow-tie analysis shall be conducted for any risks assessed to be high (Red or
Yellow 5A or 5B) on the RAM. A bow-tie analysis should be considered for all other
risks assessed to be medium (Yellow) on the RAM.
c.

An audit trail shall be maintained for the top-seal integrity risks assessed high (Red or
Yellow 5A or 5B) on the RAM, and should specify:
i.

The evidence that has been used to evaluate each containment threat. For
example the data and model(s) used for:

The static description of the subsurface (reservoir and overburden and


sideburden).

The formation properties, such as compressibility and permeability.

The in-situ stress condition as a function of depth, such as the overburden


stress, minimum and maximum horizontal stress and pore pressure.

The initial and final (abandonment) reservoir and aquifer pressure


distribution.

ii.

The evaluation methods or justifications used to determine the risk


assessment, including a demonstration that assessment was sufficiently
conservative in judging the impact of any uncertainties or incompleteness in
the evidence, methods, or justifications used.

iii.

The conditions under which the assessment is valid (e.g., time limitation,
assumed future production/injection of fluids, temperature range).

d. The final risk assessment shall be signed off by the Accountable Technical Authority

DEP 25.80.10.22-Gen.
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and Responsible Technical Authority (where applicable) as specified by the
Regional/OU standard as well as DCAF.
4.4

RISK TREATMENT
Based on the outcome of the risk assessment phase, the residual risks may require the
development of additional safeguards to reduce the risk to as low as reasonably
practicable. A monitoring program for the verification of containment and the demonstration
of negligible or no adverse environmental effects shall be considered in the ORP Select
phase based on the outcome of the top-seal integrity risk assessment.
A risk mitigation plan SHALL [PS] be established and provided for in the Field Development
Plan (FDP) to ensure any 5A/5B or RAM Red containment risks as described in (4.3) to be
as low as reasonably practicable. The mitigation plan may include operating envelopes for
injector and production wells, as well as for individual reservoir units, and should have a
clear audit trail.
The Field Development Plan and associated Well and Reservoir Management Plan should
describe the locations, coverage and frequency of monitoring and the triggers for control
mechanisms to prevent or mitigate containment risks. Operational decisions to manage the
risk should be identified and appropriate protocols put in place.

4.5

RISK VERIFICATION
The integrity of geological seals shall be verified in accordance with the Field Development
Plan and the Well and Reservoir Management Plan.

4.6

RISK UPDATES
The risk assessment shall be updated when changes are made to the Field Development
Plan or at least every three years whichever is the soonest. Risks that were previously
assessed to be negligible may become larger whilst other risks may become smaller. Each
newly identified risk shall be subject to requirements described above for Risk Assessment,
Risk Treatment and Risk Verification. These updates may also require updates to the Well
and Reservoir Management Plan.

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5.

REFERENCES
NOTES:

1. Unless specifically designated by date, the latest edition of each publication shall be used,
together with any amendments/supplements/revisions thereto.
2. The DEPs and most referenced external standards are available to Shell staff on the SWW (Shell
Wide Web) at http://sww.shell.com/standards/.

SHELL STANDARDS
DEP feedback form

DEP 00.00.05.80-Gen.

Discipline Controls and Assurance Framework (DCAF)

DCAF

https://sww-knowledgeepe.shell.com/teamsiep/livelink.exe/53120776/DCAF_Standard_v3.pdf?
func=ll&objid=53120776&objaction=download

Shell HSSE & SP Control Framework, Design Engineering Manual


DEM 1 Application of Technical Standards.

DEM 1

http://sww.manuals.shell.com/HSSE/
The Royal Dutch Shell Opportunity Framing Guide,
https://swwknowledge.shell.com/knowhow/livelink.exe/open/128563429

OFG

Shell HSSE & SP Control Framework, Risk Management System,


http://sww.manuals.shell.com/HSSE/

RMS

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6.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
NOTE: The following document is for information only and does not form an
integral part of this DEP.

INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS
Risk Management Guidelines

ISO 31000:2009