A safe and cost-effective reservoir barrier for well plugging and abandonment, that can be applied without a rig or heavy pumping equipmentEnquire
Current practices require a rig to plug and abandon a well at an
average cost of £5M each, leading to well abandonment being the biggest
single decommissioning cost that North Sea operators currently face.
This prohibitive cost has prompted the search for new “rigless” abandonment techniques to lower costs and as a result of working with Heriot Watt University, OGIC and OGTC, Aubin has devised a new reservoir barrier technology called Xclude.
Xclude is safe, environmentally friendly and can be applied with
existing equipment and without a rig. Unlike existing techniques where a
barrier is made in the well-bore, Aubin’s technique involves creating
the barrier in the reservoir.
The company’s Xclude technology takes scale formation - a problem the North Sea has faced for over forty years - and uses it to form a permanent mineral barrier in the rock, isolating any further hydrocarbon from entering the well. Xcludes specially formulated fluids are easily mixed and deployed using standard pumping equipment.
Xclude uses a chemical reaction to create calcium sulfate (gypsum) mineral scale in the near wellbore formation, blocking pore throats and significantly reducing permeability.
Permeability is reduced such that a zone that could previously be described as a "zone of flow potential" is sufficiently restricted to prevent flow.
The reaction is controlled so a scale barrier is formed in the reservoir and not in the wellbore. Scale reaction is not reversible, and forms a solid mineral that is precipitated in the reservoir reducing/blocking permeability.
"This is a simple, well understood reaction using cost effective, readily available materials. In addition to our in-house lab testing, this technology has also been independently tested by Heriot Watt University, supported by OGIC."
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