Abandonment of Oil and Gas Wells: A Major Upcoming Challenge

Nair drillers chair

It is estimated that a there are currently 10 million wells worldwide producing oil and gasses and many of the wells are coming to the tail end of their production life. Currently American Petroleum Institute requires placement of a 500 ft long cemented plug to abandon a well. Since cement slurry takes a few hours to gain strength, during hydration it is possible for unwanted migration of oil and gasses leading to the formation of permanent channels. To address this issue there is an ongoing collaborative effort with WellSet, a startup company based in Norway to ensure wells are adequately abandoned.

Photo of Dr. Nair trying out the driller’s chair at XRig, Norway where pilot experiments will be conducted to evaluate the performance of MRBC.