Well integrity is an initial line of defense against water contamination. The pre-drilling subsurface evaluations conducted by our geologists and engineers are used to determine the depths of formations that contain underground drinking water, the proximity of that water to potential oil and natural gas intervals, and the integrity of the confining layers above and below the target completion zone. Our engineers then design a casing and cementing plan that shows how the well will be constructed.
In accordance with best practices, we utilize multiple strings of casing and cement to prevent natural gas migration or drinking water contamination. We monitor our pump pressures and fluid returns during the cementing process to ensure adequate coverage of cement across the production and groundwater zones. At various stages of the drilling and completion process, mechanical integrity of the casing and cement is tested to ensure proper installation. During the well construction process, various methods may be used to test the mechanical integrity of the well, such as pressure testing, and various types of wire line logs (including, in some cases, bond logs). We also have well control procedures in place to prevent events, such as loss of well control, from occurring. During the production phase, we continuously monitor flow rates and annular pressures, and we regularly inspect the wellhead assembly and other equipment for leaks, corrosion or damage.