Natural sealing salt plug

Downhole field lab - Wellbore sealing by rock sallt (natural sealing salt plug)

Publieke samenvatting / Public summary

De motivering is "goedkoper en beter".

Bij het verlaten van een olie/gas veld moet de put worden afgesloten.
Dit project heeft als doelstelling om een betere en goedkopere afsluiting te realiseren met een zout-plug:
Downhole field lab - Wellbore sealing by rock sallt (natural sealing salt plug).

Korte omschrijving
The total inheritance costs for P&A (plug & abandon) will be tens of billions globally and a few billions for the
Netherlands only and despite the long history of O&G operations, there is uncertainty about the long
term reliability of materials used for zonal isolation during conventional well sealing and abandonment.
Consequently, the abandonment of thousands of wells in NL in the near future requires more costefficient
and reliable technologies than those available today.
Using rock salt to re-install the original cap rock and seal wellbores permanently, presents a promising
abandonment option which needs to be verified and tested downhole so that technical and regulatory
criteria can be fulfilled.
The project is split up into two phases. The goal of the feasibility study (Phase 1) is to provide an
optimized design for a field lab to test, monitor and verify in-situ the wellbore sealing by natural
formations. At the end of Phase 1 a go/no-go decision is foreseen by the project team, SoDM and TKI
gas advisory board to initiate the operational part in Phase 2.
The second phase is the conduction of this test, including a comprehensive monitoring and verification

The project will validate if and how salt plugging can be used for cost-effective and safe long-term
sealing and abandonment of wellbores (in NL). In depth knowledge on the process and mechanism,
the verification of the sealing integrity and the developed methodology will enable a rapid field
application in compliance with regulations in force. The NL can be established as frontrunner of this
new sealing method. Overall, this idea could be a game-changing approach providing long term zonal
isolation performance and economic abandonment procedures at the same time.