Well Abandonment Policy Issues and Knowledge Gaps

Public Policy Issue

Knowledge Gaps

Cut and Cap Policy for Low Risk SCVF Wells

  • Risks associated with a non-zero threshold for SCVFs.  Processes to facilitate site closure / progress sites to re-certification under this policy. Options in consideration of existing policies and regulations.
Establish a Gas Emissions Reduction Strategy for Surface Casing Vents in Thermal Operations
  • Characterization of methane emission volumes and their relationship to methane concentrations in surface casing vents from thermal operations
  • Identification of methane sources (shallow vs. production zone) to evaluate operational impacts
  • Risks associated with the environmental impacts and public/operational safety associated with measured concentrations of gases complicated by steam flow in thermal vents

Evaluate Cement Alternatives for SCVF/GM Repair

  • Evaluate acceptable cement alternatives for SCVF/GM repair that meet or exceed established regulatory requirements for cement properties
  • Improve repair success metrics
  • Assess the bond quality behind pipe for cement alternatives

Identify Long Term Monitoring & Management  Solutions

  • Identify a cost-effective long-term monitoring solution – continuous and semi-routine
  • Identify options for managing non-serious SCVF/GM prior to abandonment
  • Cost effective quantitative measurement of SCVF (emission calculation)
  • There are regulatory instruments that provide industry options for active and inactive wells with non-serious SCVF/GM that are cost-effective.  For leaking abandoned wells, this initiative does not support public interest in addressing long-term liability concerns, nor is it in alignment with the AER mandate.
  • Long-term strategies do not align with AER’s current focus on addressing liability reduction.

Data Analysis

There is an ever-growing amount of data generated by oil and gas companies and various repositories collecting data.  It would be useful to analyze the data into meaningful insights that will help industry address ongoing challenges.

  • Data analysis aimed at informing and helping industry to make better, smarter, cost-effective decisions.
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