OGTC Invests $1.8MM in P&A Technology

The UK’s Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) is investing $1.8 million (GBP 1.3 million) in four well plugging and abandonment (P&A) projects, which are expected to help drive an industry commitment to reduce decommissioning costs by a minimum of 35 percent.

The four projects, which were selected from a total of 48 submissions to the OGTC’s call for ideas initiative, were sent through by BiSN, the University of Strathclyde, Heriot-Watt University and Baker Hughes – a GE company (BHGE).

BiSN’s idea provides an alternative to traditional elastomer seals, resins and cement by utilizing a modified thermite heater, in conjunction with bismuth-based alloys, to form a permanent barrier.

The University of Strathclyde’s idea uses enzymes to repair or improve cement barriers in wells that have been plugged and abandoned, and Heriot-Watt University is developing a modelling framework for well isolation design that would help evaluate and manage risk, increase efficiency and enhance decision-making.

BHGE is working on technology that delivers cement logging through multiple casing strings, improving on existing solutions which deliver logging behind only one casing or tubular.

“It’s great to see this considerable investment in innovative technologies following the Technology Centre’s call for ideas,” OGA’s Head of Decommissioning, Nils Cohrs, said in an organization statement.

“The OGA’s 2016 Stewardship Survey showed that well P&A represents 48 percent of the total cost of UKCS decommissioning, and developing transformational ideas such as these has the potential to help industry to reduce this cost,” he added.

In its 2017 UKCS decommissioning cost estimate report, the OGA confirmed plans to try and reduce decommissioning costs from $81 billion (GBP 59.7 billion) to less than $53 billion (GBP 39 billion), a saving of at least 35 percent.

Malcolm Banks, OGTC well construction solution centre manager, said the centre was delighted to be investing in four ideas that could have a ‘transformational impact’ on well P&A.

“Competition was tough and required a rigorous review process. We’re addressing key challenges facing the industry and look forward to working with the successful organizations to develop their ideas into solutions that deliver real benefits,” Banks said in an organization statement.

In a short video posted on the OGTC’s Twitter page, OGTC project engineer Iain Martin said the Centre was ‘really excited’ to be investing in four innovative ideas that had been chosen by industry specialists.

The OGTC’s next call for ideas, which launches in the next few weeks, will focus on new well systems, seabed pressure isolation and ways to stimulate well flow.

“We’re hoping to replicate the success of our well P&A call when we seek ideas on challenges for new wells. Further information will be communicated in the coming weeks and we’d encourage anyone with an idea to take part,” Banks said.

The OGTC is a not-for-profit, industry-led, technology research and development organization based in Aberdeen. It was established in October 2016 with $244 million (GBP 180 million) funding as part of the Aberdeen City Region Deal.

For more information on the four projects chosen for investment, see the video below.




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