Well abandonment has traditionally not been thought of as a crucial part of a well’s life, though it is as much a part of a well’s life cycle as drilling and production. As such, traditional methods of abandoning a well utilizing cement and bridge plugs are still common practice among most operators throughout the world. Recently, however, operators have been challenged to find more cost-effective ways to abandon wells without jeopardizing the sealing integrity and have begun to look for "alternative" abandonment materials. Materials such as resins have been utilized by some as an alternative, but there have not been any major new developments in well abandonment materials for nearly 100 years. Although cement, bridge plugs and resins have their benefits, there are also limitations to their sealing capabilities. Bridge plugs lack a high expansion ratio required in some wells and rely on elastomers to seal, limiting their ability to seal in damaged tubing or open hole environments. Due to the unique properties of bismuth, plugs can be achieved with an expansion ratio of 3:1 and take the shape of the environment they are being set in. Cement is porous and lacks the ability to block gasses from migrating through it while bismuth has no porosity, making it an ideal material for stoping gas migration. Resins must be squeezed into an area and can take days to fully cure before a seal is created as opposed to bismuth which flows in a a well via gravity and solidifies to create a seal in a few hours. This paper will demonstrate a new way to create gas tight seals during well abandonment, overcoming the limitations of traditional methods and reducing the operator’s liability and potential environmental impact after decommissioning has been completed.

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