Photo: IRIS

Plug & Abandonment

Plug & Abandonment (P&A) is a target area for IRIS Energy and Ullrigg.

Thousands of wells need to be plugged and abandoned at the NCS over the next few decades, which will be both time-consuming and costly. As most plug and abandonment (P&A) operations currently require drilling rigs, it is important to find less time-consuming and more cost-effective methods for P&A operations.

IRIS has a strong focus on promoting new technologies and methods. Most of the research activities at IRIS are currently through DrillWell.
Completed and ongoing projects include:
  • Tubing left in hole
    A significant portion of time consumption during P&A operations is spent on removing steel tubular from the well. If the production tubing could be left in the well instead of removed, considerable time and cost could be saved, especially for subsea wells. In this project, full-scale tests have been performed to determine if it is possible to obtain a good cement seal when tubing is left in hole. The results are promising.
  • Leakage risk assessment for plugged and abandoned oil & gas wells
    This project aims to develop a methodology for evaluating the quality of the barrier system of a permanently plugged and abandoned well by expressing the quality of the barrier system in terms of leakage probability and potential future leakage rates. Read more. The project is supported by the Research Council of Norway's Petromaks2 programme and DrillWell.
  • Cementing irregular wellbore geometries
    The objective of the project is to improve the current understanding of mud displacement and cement placement in wellbores with irregular shapes, such as hole enlargements and cavities. To achieve this, the project plan to conduct displacement and cementing experiments and to develop a numerical model for simulation of the displacement process. The first displacement experiments in the project are planned to take place during the first half of 2016.
  • Cement evaluation test facility
    When designing a P&A operation the sealing quality of the cemented casing (or other annular material) must be assessed. Borehole cement evaluation logs are primarily used for this purpose and aim to establish the height of the cement, the bond quality to the casing and formation and identify any defects that might impact the quality of the annular seal such as channels or voids. The overall project objective is to establish reference conditions for cement (barrier) logging and execute experiments to investigate the relationship between cement evaluation techniques and the quality of the sealing material.

INTPART: NorTex Data Science Cluster
IRIS is managing the project where GCE NODE is a partner together with The University of Agder, Rice University and The University of Texas at Austin. The project will finance several activities to stimulate and promote research collaboration between Norwegian and US partners, not limited to the mentioned partners, but will include other academic institutions or industrial companies relevant for the proposed Data Science Cluster.

As part of the NorTex Data Science Cluster two workshops were initiated during OTC 2016. NorTex Data Science Cluster is funded by The Research Council of Norway through INTPART.
Read more about the NorTex Data Science Cluster