Well Abandonment

The committee will support industry’s desire for shared research to develop credible and relevant information to address knowledge gaps related to suspended, abandoned, remediated, and reclaimed wells.  A collaborative approach engages subject matter experts, from industry, government, and academia, to identify and prioritize knowledge gaps resulting in research projects addressing high priority environmental and social matters. These research projects will help in development of smart regulations, and best practices, and identification of potential technologies to find cost effective approach in managing and mitigating environmental footprint.

This committee works on high priority environmental and social matters related to suspended, abandoned, remediated, and reclaimed wells.

2018 Well Abandonment Public Policy Issues and Knowledge Gaps

Regulation Public Policy Issue Associated Knowledge Gap(s)

GM/SCVF Source Identification and Evaluation of Impact

  • Improving source identification for SCVF/GM
  • This could include proposals to investigate both tools for source identification and methods to determine bleed off rates (the amount of time industry needs to wait between attempts).
  • Gas sample collection practices, sampling standards, database references.
  • Evaluating the impact of the SCVF/GM and the repair operations – looking for a cut and cap threshold
  • Looking to determine an appropriate threshold below which repair of SCVF/GM at the time of abandonment would not be required
AER’s D020
  • Investigate alternatives to permanent bridge plugs
  • Look at the longevity of all mechanical plugs and cost, identify failure points and probability of the failure
  • Assessing plug/annular cement integrity
  • Investigate the longevity of cement plugs and the integrity of the seal between the cement and the casing.
  • Establishing permanent barrier criteria
  • Conduct research to determine what would be considered a permanent barrier (inside casing):  What is considered a permanent barrier? Cement, mechanical or both?
  • Establishing vertical zonal isolation barrier criteria
  • Ensure that there is a vertical barrier inside pipe across non-completed zones that could potentially have a negative impact (i.e.: sour zones); similar to how non-completed thermal zones must be abandoned if part of a thermal scheme

AER’s D09(?) – use of cement alternatives

  • Assessment of current repair and remediation “cement” technologies for SCVF/GM
  • Determining a usable set of criteria for cement and cement alternatives to meet to be allowed to pump them for SCVF/GM Repair