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Sudelac examines methods with the potential to optimise P&A techniques

Project Summary

With +/- 1,400 wells in the UKCS to be abandoned over the next ten years, NZTC has supported a project with Sudelac to examine methods to optimise plug and abandonment techniques that also reduce cost.

Sudelac’s technology concept is the creation of a tool that can dimple tubulars to improve centralisation of the tubing inside the casing, improving tubular stand-off and optimising the annular area for cementing.

The aim of the project was to perform FEA (finite element analysis) modelling of various configurations of a new device (TubeFORMER) designed to dimple tubulars and also centralise completion tubulars in a casing string. Having the ability to do this will allow the tubing to be cemented in place, eliminating the need to recover completion tubulars during the well abandonment process.

This work was carried out at the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) at Glasgow University, and consisted of computational modelling of the forces and pressures the TubeFORMER device will need to achieve in order to deliver successful operation.

Industry value:
If the TubeFORMER technology is successfully developed and implemented, it could save between two and five days per abandonment operation.

Studies into tubing deformation show it has potential to eliminate tubular removal and optimise P&A techniques, saving up to £1million per well.

Key results:
The project team were able to generate a process model to assist in the development of a tubular deformation tool – the results confirmed feasibility of the concept.

Increased use of NII will require management drive and continued Regulator support.

Lessons learned / Next steps:
Further FEA modelling will be undertaken to optimise the design of the deformation pins. Any further work will depend on industry interest in this as a solution for plug and abandonment.


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