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Laws and regulations

Regulations & Regulators

The regulation of Well Integrity around the world differs from Operator to Operator and from country to country, but in general, all regulations are at least based upon 3 highly regarded standards:


ISO-16530-1, Norsok D-010, and Oil and Gas UK Well Life Cycle Integrity


Part 1: Life cycle governance


This largely targets wells in the operation phase but is a global document and a standard applicable to all wells operated by the petroleum and natural gas industry. This document applies to any well or group of wells, regardless of their age, location (including onshore, subsea, and offshore wells), or type (e.g., naturally flowing, artificial lift, injection wells).

  • Norsok D-010 was written explicitly for Norway. It was initially published in 1986 and has undergone several revisions. It is very easy to use, covers the whole life cycle of the well, and launches the concept of the barrier diagram.


  • Oil and Gas UK Well Life Cycle Integrity: Oil & Gas UK’s well integrity guidelines update well operators on methods to reduce the risk of uncontrolled fluid release throughout a well’s life cycle, from early design and construction, maintenance and repair throughout its productive life, to its suspension and final decommissioning. Issue 4 of the Integrity Guidelines now includes a section on drilling BOPs and references API S53 4th Edition, enabling the Oil & Gas UK BOP Guidelines to be retired.


Interpretation of these standards by Operators and National Regulators is quite variable.


Of course, all standards evolve over time and reflect societal changes and the industry’s attitudes to health, safety, and environmental issues. Standards can only require feasible and practical actions, but as new technologies and techniques emerge, operators and Regulators should routinely review current procedures to ensure best practices.

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