Exercising environmental responsibility during decommissioning of old assets has become increasingly important during recent years. In addition to increasing awareness in the industry, regulators consistently update and review the regulatory requirements for well abandonment and asset decommissioning.

Operators document liability costs related to decommissioning in their balance sheets. Advancements in project execution and technology adaptation have resulted in regularly scheduled reviews of these liabilities. However, an industry-wide initiative to improve decommissioning execution and efficiency has provided operators direct incentive to review these liabilities more consistently and thoroughly. This paper presents an integrated project methodology to help reduce liability costs by improving efficiency during the decommissioning phase.

This integrated project approach typically begins with a detailed preparation/study phase to predict possible challenges, followed by a design phase for each stage of the project to identify potential costs savings. Well data and regulations are obtained and analyzed according to the specific geographical location and then categorized by the technologies and resources necessary for abandonment. During the technologies and resources phase, potential costs savings are included as part of the plug and abandonment (P&A) service solution. Wells identified as potential candidates for new technology applications are ranked and grouped according to the execution sequence. After this thorough categorization, time and costs estimates are produced for the candidate wells.

This paper presents details of this integrated project methodology combined with recent key technologies to help improve efficiency during well abandonment operations in challenging scenarios. Case histories of the methodology application are also discussed.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.