Offshore Installation Services (OIS), an Acteon company, has successfully completed its 16th rigless suspended-well abandonment campaign involving multiple operators in the Southern North Sea. The multi-operator model for programmes of this kind can deliver significant customer benefits in terms of cost-effectiveness. A total of nine mudline wells in categories 1, 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 were abandoned during the operation including four on behalf of GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd. and two for RWE Dea.
The scope of work for OIS, part of Acteon’s activity and resource management business, included the initial approval processes; formulating the contracting strategy; developing detailed procedures; procurement; appointing specialist service providers; overall logistics; and recycling and disposing of the recovered wellheads.
OIS conducted the two-phase abandonment operation from a chartered DP2-class anchor-handling tug supply vessel (AHTS). During phase one, a proprietary twin low-pressure packer tool from Acteon sister company Claxton Engineering Services Ltd. was deployed through the vessel’s moon pool to set cement plugs across all the casing annuli. The second phase involved abrasive severance of the wells using Claxton Engineering’s SABRE cutting tool.
“We have a strong track record in providing commercially efficient decommissioning solutions which are particularly important for non-revenue-generating assets,” said OIS vice president of commercial and business development Tom Selwood. “Multi-operator campaigns such as this, enable operators to share the associated costs which, when combined with the rigless nature of our offering, makes this the most cost-effective way to comply with UK oil and gas decommissioning legislation.”
Max Proctor, GDF SUEZ E&P UK drilling manager, added, “We are committed to fulfilling our responsibility to the environment as an operator and are leading the way in the North Sea with the decommissioning of redundant wells. We started this campaign immediately after the request came from DECC for operators to fully abandon suspended wells by reviewing the history of the wells and confirming the status of each with an independent well examiner. OIS is a valued partner of GDF SUEZ and the success of this project is testament to the team’s strong technical skills and experience.”
Since 1996, the OIS team has successfully completed more than 100 well decommissioning projects without a single lost-time incident.
Murphy Oil Malaysia recently completed a highly successful, rigless intervention campaign using Welltec services. Not only did the operation allow immediate production from a “lost” well, but it also saved the time and cost of a rig based sidetrack. The end result is expected to add 20 MMscf/d into the production portfolio.
In the first well, the drift run hung up at 945 ft MD when trying to perforate the well. Based on previous experience, the cause was suspected to be part of a cement wiper plug. This was pushed down to a nipple profile at 4,314 ft MD, leaving it still 1,690 ft above the perforation depth. After only minutes of milling, the Well Miller made it through the plug, which allowed the Well Tractor® to push it down to 6,398 ft MD, approximately 380 ft below the target perforation interval. Thereafter the well was perforated and put on production.
In the second well, a poor cement job had made the primary target zone inaccessible and left an obstruction inside the tubing. With pressing rig commitments there was insufficient time to fix the problem, leaving the well temporarily abandoned and a candidate for future sidetracking. Based on the success of the first well, the Well Tractor and Well Miller were used to push the obstruction from 400 ft to 2,132 ft MD , meeting the objective to prepare the well for sidetracking.
However, it was decided to attempt to push the obstruction as far as possible. Using the Well Tractor and Well Miller the well was cleared well beyond the sidetrack target depth to an eventual Hold Up Depth of 8,743 ft MD. Getting this far down the production string allowed access to two of the three reservoirs in this well, which could now be completed for production rather than scheduled for a sidetrack workover.
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