Why the UK may hold the key to successful well abandonment - Aquaterra Energy

Why the UK may hold the key to successful well abandonment

Choosing the right well abandonment services when decommissioning your assets is a complex business. It’s a decision that not only requires an understanding of the remaining structural capacity of the well, but also the type of well and its surrounding conditions. Of course, today’s oil and gas operations are focused on the drive for cost efficiency, adding another layer to decision making.

To compound this, the design of a plug and abandonment (P&A) procedure may differ significantly across regions too. Guidelines towards well abandonment and decommissioning varies by operator and country, with some countries working to drilling and completion regulations.

Two of the most highly-regulated areas for well abandonment are the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea. In both areas, many fields nearing the end of their productive lives and consist of ageing infrastructure. In the UKCS, well abandonment activity has increased four-fold since 2016, with a similar trend predicted, with over 150 wells per annum being slated for P&A.

Approaching well abandonment

It’s because of this that much of the P&A technology development has taken place in the North Sea and specifically Norway, due to its tax breaks. There are a variety of P&A technologies and ways of working globally, including options like cement, thermite or resins.

To date there’s been no one accepted technology or approach that has revolutionised well abandonment. The well abandonment services that are most effective are still traditional: it's risers, it's downhole tooling, it's surface severance tooling that make the difference and the North Sea excels in the development of these too.

The UK leads the way

The good news is that the UK’s expertise, as well as hardware, can be exported all over the world. The UK is becoming a centre of excellence for P&A and its skills can be exported globally. From subsea high-pressure riser systems, to clean out kits and flushing tools, at Aquaterra Energy we have a range of specialist well abandonment solutions to help you deliver safe and successful abandonment for decommissioning oil and gas wells.

Whichever well abandonment service you opt for, a partner with extensive experience of working in UK waters is ideally placed to help you navigate the complexities and drilling and completions guidelines of any well worldwide.

Want to know more about our well abandonment services? Find out more.