Skip to main content

Well Design in Permafrost

The Industry Challenge:

Wells that penetrate permafrost are prone to subsidence caused by thawing of the soils that surround the well as the warm produced fluid is pumped to surface. Subsidence can damage the well casing, leading to hydrocarbon liquid leaks into the surrounding formations.

Furthermore, it can cause damage to the surface facilities and flow lines connected to the wells. Understanding the factors contributing to the rate of thawing and subsidence are necessary to design wellbores and surface facilities that minimize the amount of soil thaw and that are resistant to subsidence when it occurs.

How We Help:

C-FER develops detailed numerical models of the wellbore and surrounding frozen formations to assess the rate of heat loss, the amount and rate of permafrost thaw, the resulting formation subsidence and its effects on the structural integrity of the well casing.

Single well models are used to assess different well completion options to minimize heat loss and reduce the magnitude of thaw subsidence. Multi-well models are used to investigate well-to-well interactions of subsidence zones for pad wells to allow operators to optimize well spacing.

Want to learn more?

Contact Us

Upstream Oil & Gas / Other Industries



Midstream & Downstream Oil & Gas


A wholly owned subsidiary of

A wholly owned subsidiary of Alberta Innovates