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A major operator in the North Sea planned a decommissioning campaign to safely abandon more than 100 wells. Traditionally, the operator had removed the completion, then evaluated the cement behind the casing to establish cement isolation over the producing and water-bearing zones. Subsequently, cement barriers were pumped into the identified zones and the plugs were set at the desired depths.

Because of the large number of wells to be decommissioned, the operator needed a less time-consuming solution that would increase efficiency and optimize costs without compromising safety.

There were some difficulties to be overcome. The first well in the campaign to be decommissioned was completed with 7-in. production tubing that extended from the 9-5/8 in. casing above. To reduce time, cost, and risk, the operator needed to evaluate annular isolation at the interval behind the casing without fully pulling the tubing. The well also had a 20° deviation, further complicating the operation.

The Segmented Bond Tool™ (SBT™) well integrity evaluation service from Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), was deployed for the operation. With its fully collapsible, motorized arms, the SBT can be run through smaller tubing and then opened to log the exposed casing section. After logging, the arms can be closed to safely extract the tool out of the borehole.

Download the PDF to read the full case study.

Challenges & Results
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Challenges

  • Cement evaluation to be completed without full removal of the completion tubing
  • Well deviated at 20°
  • More than 100 wells to decommission

Results

  • Operator proceeded with confidence to carry out a safe and efficient operation
  • Saved days of time, significantly reducing operational costs
  • Accommodated the smaller tubing without risk to equipment
  • Acquired quality data needed to make fast, informed decisions