Well abandonment operations are currently considered to be the most costly decommissioning activity undertaken by North Sea operators, with an average cost of roughly £5m each.
This is because current practices require a rig to plug and abandon a well. This has prompted the search for new ‘rigless’ abandonment techniques in order to lower costs.
Working with Heriot Watt University, OGIC and OGTC, Aubin has devised a new reservoir barrier technology called Xclude.
It 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 40 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.
The scale inhibited solution can be pumped to various depths and is time-controlled to ensure that the scale forms where it is needed. By using this new approach, Aubin believes operators could significantly reduce risk and cost.
Aubin CEO Paddy Collins said: "Xclude was developed with extensive laboratory work collaborating with some of the leading scientists in the field.
"The technology is ready for field trials so that the industry can begin to see significant cost reductions in its P&A activities".
With OGTC support, Aubin want to engage with operators to identify candidate wells to take this technology forward.
Please contact Aubin via the enquiries form for more information.