InterAct has provided major input to the recent Oil & Gas UK Well Abandonment Study.
According to a report issued in March by Oil & Gas UK1, there are 4635 exploration, appraisal or development wells in the UK sector of the North Sea. Of these, it is thought that 2749 (roughly 60%) could be decommissioned using existing technology and, crucially, without resorting to a drilling rig. That leaves 1886 wells that are likely to cost a good deal more to decommission – unless the industry can come up with new rigless ways of dealing with at least some of them.
Phil Chandler, senior petroleum engineer with Acteon company InterAct Activity Management Ltd, was instrumental in the preparation of the report on behalf of the well abandonment work group at Oil & Gas UK. He says, “The study has put the spotlight firmly on rigless decommissioning technology. For platform wells, it is the areas of well control and long-string tubular recovery where there needs to be some fresh thinking. Additionally, the lack of accommodation, platform cranes and deck space often poses considerable challenges to rigless well decommissioning in the southern North Sea. There also needs to be greater focus on planning and logistics to tackle the large stock of wells in this sector.
1UK North Sea Well Abandonment Study, March 2009, issued by Oil & Gas UK.