Test Methods

1.  Conventional Completions
  • Pressure test the tubing-packer-casing annulus for a stabilized 30 minutes at a pressure between 200 and 500 psi. See instruction 4(c) on Form H-5.

    Permitted Maximum Injection Pressure
    H-5 Test Pressure
    200 psig or less 200 psig
    200 to 500 psig permitted maximum pressure
    500 psig or more 500 psig
  • Maintain a 200 psig pressure differential between the test pressure and any tubing pressure. The tubing pressure may be 200 psi higher or lower than the test pressure.
  • two-part pressure test can be used to demonstrate mechanical integrity in wells with high shut-in tubing pressure, tension-set packers, or gas lift valves. 

2.  Test Methods for Tubingless Completions

Most injection and disposal wells are required, by permit and rule, to inject through tubing set on a mechanical packer. Some older injection wells (1.5%) continue to inject down casing as authorized by their original permits. 

NOTE: Casing is defined by Rule to be pipe that has been wholly or partially cemented in place.

  • Pressure test.
    • Pressure test againsta temporary bridge plug, wireline plug, or tubing with packer set immediately above the injection perforations.
    • Follow instruction 4(c) on the back of Form H-5. Indicate type and depth of plug/packer in Item 16 and explain in Item 24.
    • Casing injection wells must be tested at the maximum permitted injection pressure. The test pressure is not limited to 500 psi as with conventional wells.
  • Radioactive tracer survey.
    • Pump fluid into the well at the maximum permitted injection pressure. Eject radioactive iodine into the flow at various depths (approximately 500 feet apart) from the ground surface through the injection perforations and measure its flow down the wellbore. After each ejection, the tool should be lowered to catch up with the radioactive material and then raised back up to the prior ejection depth. If any radioactive material leaves the wellbore, the measuring tool will lose contact with it and/or record a "hot spot" where the radioactive material is leaking from the wellbore. Note that "hot spots" will be assumed to be leaks unless further testing eliminates that possibility.
    • Run gamma-ray base log prior to survey.
    • Run gamma-ray log after survey for comparison with base log.
    • Run before and after base logs at the same sensitivity. The sensitivity should be set high enough to see background level variation.
    • File Form H-5, with the radioactive tracer survey attached, to document the mechanical integrity test.
    • Prior approval from the Commission is needed for this type of survey unless it is required by permit.
  • Differential temperature survey.
    • Record the geothermal gradient and the rate at which that gradient is changing differential curve from the ground surface through the injection perforations. Abrupt shifts in temperature readings indicate possible wellbore integrity problems and further testing will be required to demonstrate mechanical integrity.
    • Water injection wells must be shut in 12 to 18 hours after normal injection activity is suspended before the survey is run.
    • Gas injection wells must be shut in 1 to 4 hours after normal injection activity is suspended before the survey is run.
    • File Form H-5, with the differential temperature survey attached, to document the mechanical integrity test.
    • Prior approval from the Commission is needed for this type of survey unless it is required by permit.
  • "ADA" Pressure Test
    • Measure the static fluid level in the well and calculate the air/gas pressure needed to displace the fluid down to the injection perforations. Then apply the calculated air/gas pressure. A 60 minute stabilized test pressure at the calculated value demonstrates mechanical integrity.
    • File Form H-5, with the fluid level measurement data and/or Echometer logs attached, to document the mechanical integrity test.
    • Prior approval from the Commission is needed for this type of test unless it is required by permit.

 3. Test methods for dual completions.

The injection permit will typically contain specific testing and monitoring requirements for the specific type of dual completion. If the permit application did not clearly state that the well was a dual completion, then a conventional permit would have been issued. Conventional permit conditions do not allow any perforations outside the permitted injection interval. This is because of the general rule requirement that injected fluids be confined to the authorized injection interval. Mechanical integrity testing and monitoring requirements are cumbersome because of perforations in the tubing-packer-casing annulus. 

Typical annual testing procedure for wells with productive perforations in tubing and packer annulus

  • Pull production and/or injection tubing and packer.
  • Set a temporary plug within 100 feet of lower perforations.
  • Run tubing and test packer to just below the upper productive perforations and perform an H-5 pressure test on the casing between the two zones.
  • Reset the tubing and test packer to just above the upper productive perforations and perform an H-5 pressure test on the casing above the upper zone.
    • Remove the tubing, test packer, and temporary plug, then reset the injection string.
    • Run a radioactive tracer survey down the injection string to prove tubing integrity and packer seal.
    • File the pressure test report (Form H-5) for each of the three parts of the test procedure.

Last Updated: 3/24/2016 2:06:44 PM