Oil, gas well failures show more public data needed, study says


Oil, gas well failures show more public data needed, study says


DURHAM, United Kingdom (Bloomberg) -- The European public needs more data on exploiting onshore fossil fuels to gauge shale oil and gas risks as failure rates for drilling in the past century vary from 1.9% to 75%, the authors of a study said.

“The findings of this research confirm that well barrier failure and well integrity failure in hydrocarbon wells is an issue and that publicly available data in Europe on this seems to be sparse,” said Richard Davies, Durham University professor and project leader for the Researching Fracking in Europe group.

Of 8,030 wells targeting the Marcellus shale in the U.S. inspected between 2005 and 2013, 6.3%  were reported as having failures, the group said in the peer-reviewed study published in the Marine and Petroleum Geology journal. Of 143 conventional wells producing in the UK at the end of 2000, one had evidence of failure, it said in a statement.

Public domain data on well barrier and integrity failure rates for onshore wells in Europe is scarce, it said.

“Data from the monitoring of active wells and the carrying out of periodic surveys of abandoned wells would help assess the impact of shale exploitation and it is important that the public should have access to this information,” Davies said.

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