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A customer wanted to plug and abandon (P&A) one of the deepest wells ever drilled in Vietnam. Another operator had attempted the P&A, but had failed after four days and many trial runs. The well had 20 in. (1 in. wall thickness [WT]) x 36 in. (2 in. WT) casing set at 2,172 ft (662 m) with water depth at 1,867 ft (569 m). The customer then called in Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), who successfully performed the P&A in two days.

The customer had a second well needing a P&A and, because of BHGE’s successful first operation, hired BHGE to do the second operation. After careful planning and preparation, the BHGE team deployed a proprietary universal wellhead retrieving system (UWRS) for the Vetco Gray MS-700 high-pressure wellhead housing (HPWH) and HERCULES™ multistring cutter system to cut and recover the casing in one trip.

The HERCULES multistring cutter’s three knives were dressed with METAL MUNCHER™ advanced milling technology (AMT) carbide. METAL MUNCHER cutting inserts are extremely durable and greatly reduce milling time even through the most abrasive materials.

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Challenges & Results


  • An operator failed to P&A the first well after 4 days and numerous attempts


  • Cut and recovered 20-in. x 36-in. casing in one trip
  • No NPT incurred
  • Successfully and safely performed P&A on two wells