Emerging technologies

Well plugging and abandonment - new and emerging technologies

Areas Technologies
Well inspection and cement conditions
  • Advanced cement bond logging interpretation (BP)
  • Advanced bond logging e.g. pulsed neutron (Premier)
  • Bond logging through multiple casing strings (ConocoPhillips)
Intervention equipment
  • LWIV riserless P&A subsea wells (Ithaca, Spirit Energy)
  • Casing punch tool to intervene in HPHT anulus (Shell)
Tubing and casing section removal
  • Next generation tubing casing removal solutions (ConocoPhillips)
  • Improved section milling tooling (Fairfield)
  • Innovative casing removal methods (Fairfield) laser technology (Total, Shell, ConocoPhillips)
  • Plasma bit (Repsol)
Barrier materials and placement
  • Swelling shale & swelling clay barrier (BP, ConocoPhillips)
  • Squeezing salt barrier (ConocoPhillips)
  • Scale formation barrier (RepsolSinopec, Spirit Energy)
  • Thermite plug (6+ operators)
  • Bismuth alloy plug (RepsolSinopec, Shell, ConocoPhillips, BP
  • Resin barrier (ConocoPhillips)

Supporting information

Cement and multiple casing logging


  • Effective cement logging through multiple casing strings would provide cost and time benefits, but remains challenging
  • The OGTC are supporting a tier one supplier on an early stage multiple casing logging tool
  • The wider supply chain is working to develop a range of additional technologies (e.g. enhanced ultrasonic, X-ray, advanced algorithms)

Casing removal


  • To improve work flows and reduce costs further, alternatives to section milling are being sought
  • Shell and ConocoPhillips have undertaken trails of a conductor laser cutting system
    - capability to sever multistring casings
    - fast and accurate

Barriers (alternatives to cement)


  • Alternatives to cement, could result in significant operational and cost benefits
  • In 2019 Spirit Energy and OGTC tragetted an offshore test of a thermite based technology
  • Resin has been used as a temporary barrier.  Use as a permanent barrier is under assessment
  • To reduce the need for remedial cementing there are ongoing studies on the functional of natural barriers (e.g. swelling shales, squeezing salt)

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