ABERDEEN, UK – The Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC) has initiated a collaborative program to speed up qualification and commercialization of well P&A technology.
Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) and the Technology Leadership Board are supporting the initiative, which will allow new technologies to be tested in multi-operator field trials, with a view to achieving faster, lower-cost, and wider adoption.
According to OGUK, well P&A accounts for around 45% of decommissioning costs on the UK continental shelf, equivalent to £23 billion ($31.21 billion) over the life of the basin.
However, best practice and innovation can help operators reduce cut P&A costs and deliver CO2-compatible well P&A techniques, NZTC claims.
Over the next two years the partners will work to increase the number of technology field trials, initially in low access cost land wells.
This should assist validation and qualification of alternative P&A barrier materials, inspection and verification technologies, and allow other P&A enablers to expand the reach of rigless well P&A.
NZTC will manage the program, with oversight provided by a multi-operator steering group: Spirit Energy, Repsol and Harbour Energy have already pledged support.
The steering group will review up to five technologies each year, performing at least three field trials in each case, and the aim is to have six technologies qualified and in use by 2025.
Under a pilot earlier this year, Interwell qualified its formation-to-formation thermite barrier in Canada. With support from Spirit Energy and Harbour Energy, five successful field trials were conducted. The Alberta Energy Regulator now recognizes the technology as part of the standard ‘non-routine’ abandonment procedure.