The integrity of the well is the industry’s highest priority, and here in Britain we have a unique well examination scheme that was set up so that independent, specialist experts could review the design and construction of every well. Contrary to the common perception regarding ‘fracking’ as being the key threat posed to groundwater, in fact the well construction is the most important aspect of ensuring that the freshwater aquifers are isolated and protected from wellbore fluids or deeper horizons. This statement applies equally to conventional as well as unconventional wells.
The well design and construction process is conducted in accordance with industry best practice and guidelines, independent third party scrutiny and a regulatory regime that is considered a global exemplar and presided over by DECC, HSE and the Environment Agency. Onshore well integrity in Britain follows the same stringent guidelines as for the offshore industry.
How we construct the well
Well integrity is achieved by cementing steel pipes in place, known as casings, to provide a multi-layered barrier to protect fresh water aquifers.