D-01 was an exploration well requiring a Plug-and-Abandonment (P&A) procedure with sustained casing pressure up to 2,000 psi on the B annulus. The presence of Sustained Casing Pressure (SCP) is one of the major technical challenges to decommission and abandon the well safely. Several attempts to secure the well using the perforation-and-squeeze method were performed – but failed. It was decided to perform section milling operations to create a viable rock-to-rock barrier. In this operation, the key factor in determining success, is selecting the correct depth to mill safely and secure the annular pressure source.

A comprehensive approach was taken to determine the optimum depth for the section milling by evaluating existing open-hole and cased-hole data. Additionally, triple-detector Pulsed Neutron Log (PNL) was also performed prior to the section milling operation. The triple-detector PNL tool offered not only behind casing porosity (TPHI) and sigma (SIGM) measurement, but also a relatively new measurement in the oil and gas industry called Fast Neutron Cross Section (FNXS), which were expected to provide more accurate gas detection and gauge the condition near the borehole. By combining all the logs and reservoir data, the milling interval was selected and the section milling and subsequent cement plug operations were performed.

Evaluation of existing open-hole and cased-hole logs provided geological and petrophysical insights which were useful in determining the hydrocarbon source charging the B-annulus. Further analysis on PNL data provided indication of possible gas pockets in the B-annulus. This information was used to distinguish between shallower formation sources or gas pockets that were not yet bled off. The operation on D-01 successfully resolved the B-annulus issue and the well was properly abandoned per regulatory requirements.

Considering the complexity and high cost of section milling operations, a thorough review of data and pre-job logging increases the probability of selecting the optimum intervals needed to successfully complete P&A operations on SCP wellbores.

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