The purpose of the mechanical integrity test, as defined in Rules 9(12)(A) and 46(j)(1), is to demonstrate the absence of significant leaks in the tubing, packer, and casing.
- A successful test is one in which the applied test pressure stabilizes within 10% of the required test pressure and remains stabilized for a minimum of 30 minutes (60 minutes if testing with a gas-filled annulus). The applied test pressure may vary up to 10% prior to stabilizing, but must not gain or lose any pressure for the 30/60 minute stabilization period.
- An "inconclusive" mechanical integrity test is one that does not stabilize, but loses less than 10% of of the test pressure within the 30 minute test period (60 minutes if testing with a gas-filled annulus). The test may also be ruled inconclusive for various procedural problems.
- A "failed" test is one in which the applied test pressure loses 10% or more within the 30 minute test period (60 minutes if testing with a gas-filled annulus).
An inconclusive mechanical integrity test is one that fails to demonstrate the absence of tubing, packer or casing leaks but does not clearly indicate leaks. This outcome may be the result of operational problems such as fluid temperature fluctuation, dripping wellhead valves, packer being moved uphole, etc. In these cases, the operational problem should be addressed before retesting the well. In other cases the outcome may be the result of incorrect filing If a corrected filing resolves the problem such that the test does demonstrate the absence of leaks, then the test will be re-evaluated.
Common Errors Resulting in an Inconclusive Test
- The completed interval (Item 18b) is not fully within the permitted interval (Item 18a).
- The pressure table (Item 19) does not match the attached chart or District Office inspection report.
A well that fails a mechanical integrity test must be repaired and successfully retested or plugged. A form letter is sent, advising the operator to repair and retest or plug the well within 60 days, upon receipt of the failed mechanical integrity test. Note that the leak must be repaired before the well can be converted to production or other use.