Effective management of asset retirement obligations is a paramount objective for operators in the oil and gas industry. As the industry undergoes significant shifts in focus towards environmental sustainability and regulatory compliance, ensuring the efficient and thorough decommissioning of wells and the permanent sealing of potential reservoirs during plug and abandonment (P&A) procedures has become imperative. Operators seek additional assurances both before and during the P&A process to confirm the integrity of cement barriers and plugs, as well as the overall effectiveness of containment measures. (G. Ishmukhametova,2017)

In the pursuit of achieving long-term integrity in well abandonment while optimizing the utilization of limited rig resources, operators must grasp the intricacies of potential flow paths. This knowledge is critical for the strategic placement of the most effective barriers to prevent any future environmental or safety risks associated with well abandonment.

One of the primary challenges in well abandonment is the possibility of annulus pressure or fluid flow at the surface resulting from barrier failures. While surface diagnostic techniques such as flow checks and gas or fluid sampling can provide valuable insights into the origins of leaks, they often fall short in precisely identifying the source and leak path with complete certainty. In most cases, this ambiguity hampers traditional methods for re-establishing cement barriers, such as cement squeezing, section milling, or casing expansion.

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