5 things you should know about the ISO 16530-1 Well Integrity Standard

By Mark Plummer MSc BEng, Passionate Drilling Engineer – Oil & Gas | Geothermal | HPHT | Well Abandonment (P&A) | Well Examiner

In March, 2017 ISO released their Latest Well Integrity Standard, ISO 16530-1: Life Cycle Governance. In this article I will provide the background to the standard and discuss some of the key sections contained within.


1. It was developed by producing operating companies for oil and gas, and is intended for use in the petroleum and natural gas industry worldwide

2. It is intended to provide guidance to the Well Operator on managing well integrity throughout the well life cycle. Furthermore, it addresses the minimum compliance requirements for the well operator to claim conformity with ISO 16530-1.

3. It provides recommendations and techniques that well operators can apply in a scalable manner, based on a well’s specific risk characteristics

4. ISO 16530-1 is intended to compliment the 2014 issued ISO 16530-2 Technical Standard (TS) – Well Integrity for the Operational Phase, which is intended to provide the requirements to manage Well Integrity during the operation (production) phase only.

5. The standard is not applicable to:

  • Well control activities implemented to prevent or mitigate unintentional release of formation fluids from the well to its surroundings.
  • Wellbore integrity, sometimes referred to as “borehole stability”


All well life cycle phases have common elements, methods and processes, which are integral to well integrity management. ISO 16530-1 identifies and discusses key considerations for 12 common elements, as detailed in the figure above.

Assuring well integrity comprises two main building blocks: the first is to ensure well integrity during well design and construction, and the second is to manage well integrity throughout the remaining well life thereafter

ISO 16530-1 addresses the six phases of the well life cycle, and their interrelationships, as illustrated above.



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