ITF seeking more effective barriers for P&A’d wells

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UK – The Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF) has issued a call for proposals for alternative approaches to cement plugs used in well P&A operations.

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to lead their own joint industry project (JIP) with support, funding, and participation provided by members of ITF.

Throughout the JIP, ITF’s operator and service company members will provide technical guidance on developing technology to best meet their needs.

Currently, cement plugs are the most conventional barrier material applied to isolate and protect all potential producing or water-bearing zones from leaks, and to allow safe removal of subsea equipment.

However, there are issues concerning the associated cost and the hydration and placement process.

ITF is pursuing an alternative or revised permanent well barrier that is durable, strong, of extremely low permeability, which can be pumped, and which can operate at different temperatures and pressures while maintaining its strength.

The alternative material must also adhere to best practice guidelines. Proposals must be submitted by July 22.

Dr. Patrick O’Brien, CEO of ITF, said: “There is now a clear impetus from energy leaders to address decommissioning challenges from the outset before real activity begins. We are looking for solutions which will safely improve operability, increase reliability, and cut the cost of conventional technologies.

“Collaboration in technology development and delivery provides risk and cost reduction for the industry. We welcome submissions from all sectors, such as aerospace, medical and automotive, as often the answer can be transferred from out with our own field of expertise.”

This is the third of six calls to improve or develop technologies to address problems when decommissioning a well, as identified by ITF members. Potential solutions for through tubing logging and removal of casing and tubing are under review.


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