Projects

Award winning collaboration accelerates development of thermite wellbore barrier for P&A, avoiding the use of traditional cement techniques

The OGTC is supporting Interwell's development of a new wellbore barrier for the plug and abandonment of a well. The thermite plug is designed to create a high temperature chemical reaction in the wellbore. It creates a molten metal plug that melts the adjacent casing strings and, on solidification, fuses to the rock. This creates a metallic barrier in the wellbore and is an alternative to conventional cement.

Industry Value

This has the potential to substantially reduce the cost of plug and abandonment, saving approximately 10-14 days per well. This equates to £200,000 - £400,000 per well, per day, or £3.6 million per well overall.

By applying this approach to just 10% of the projected 1,400 wells to be abandoned over the next 10 years, could save the UKCS around £0.5 billion.

Technology Organisation

Interwell

Interwell, established in Norway in 1992, has become an international service company providing technologies from wellbore construction right through plug & abandonment.

http://www.interwell.com/

ProjectInterwell - Thermite Plug

Challenge

Wells

Vision

Maximise Recovery

Entry TRL

7

Field Trial

Completed

Technology

Thermite Plug

Type

Develop

Achieved TRL

8

Technology Organisation

Interwell

Interwell, established in Norway in 1992, has become an international service company providing technologies from wellbore construction right through plug & abandonment.

http://www.interwell.com/

Key Results

During recent field trials, the thermite plug was deployed and successfully set across a salt formation in a UK land well with no harm to people, the environment or equipment. Further trials will enable the technology to develop and mature.

Lessons Learned

Offshore deployments continue and barrier verification methods are being developed.

A key driver in developing this technology was establishing a Thermite Collaboration Forum. This cross-industry partnership was established by The OGTC and Spirit Energy, making it possible to accelerate development and qualification of the technology. The OGTC and Spirit Energy were recognised for their "Excellence in Collaboration" at the Decom North Sea 2019 Awards, which recognised the outstanding teamwork in delivering a transformational approach for developing decommissioning technology.

https://www.theogtc.com/newsroom/news/2019/ogtc-and-spirit-energy-celebrate-excellence-in-collaboration-at-decom-north-sea-awards/

Next Steps

Deploy technology in an offshore well and continue to work on evaluation/verification methods.