Trending Content

Idle & Orphan Wells — Addressing Integrity Concerns with New P & A Technologies & Methods

Add to Cart
Course Credit: 0.15 CEU, 1.5 PDH

Idle wells are a growing challenge for Operators and Regulators, especially those that are “orphaned” without a known or solvent owner. Potential repurposing for geothermal energy and/or dissolved mineral extraction or waste disposal requires a realistic assessment and assurance of well integrity, including aquifer isolation and emissions management. In reality, many of these heritage wells need to be plugged and abandoned (P&A) in a manner that takes care of existing and/or potential future leaks. These assessments need to consider that all well penetrations into gas storage or CO2 sequestration horizons may be subject to changing or additional stresses, as a result of future injection operations.

This webinar will focus both on assessment of existing and emerging threats and risk control measures required to provide stakeholders with reasonable assurance future integrity. After reviewing the broad concept of idle wells and the concerns about injection wells that are neither operating nor decommissioned, we will discuss when is the best time to bring those wells with casing vent flows under control (- spoiler: now!). We will also address the challenges posed by unidentified orphaned or grandfathered wells within the Area of Review of injection wells. This is especially important for acid gas disposal or CO2 sequestration projects.

We will then examine new alternative barrier materials and placement methods that offer opportunities to improve well integrity, lower costs and/or reduce emissions. Ongoing joint industry projects aim to qualify wellbore remediation and plugging technologies with the more stringent and extensive laboratory tests. Pilot programs designed to assess or prove performance in the field will be discussed, along with the opportunities for collaboration with similar initiatives in other regions and settings. Some of the available options and the results from recent testing programs will be reviewed. Recent work reveals the potential of new barrier materials and/or construction methods, while supporting the understanding that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions.

The webinar will be rounded-off with a discussion about the opportunity to drive down P&A costs by taking a factory approach to area-based closure programs. This will be demonstrated with a discussion of the approach being used by a major Operator in the Rocky Mountains. The presentation will include workflows for selecting wells that are similar enough for inclusion is such a program, and deselecting the potential problem wells that require a custom P&A program. The discussion will touch on planning, organization, execution, and performance review processes to capture lessons learned. All content contained within this webinar is copyrighted by Matteo Loizzo, Jonathan Heseltine and Samuel Rondon and its use and/or reproduction outside the portal requires express permission from Matteo Loizzo, Jonathan Heseltine and Samuel Rondon.

This webinar is a collaboration between SPE, IOGCC, and EDF.

Post Tags

 1 chapter

Course Chapters

  • 1Idle & Orphan Wells — Addressing Integrity Concerns with New P & A Technologies & Methods - Chapter 1
    Media Type: Video


Earn credits by completing this course0.15 CEU credit1.5 PDH credits


Gavin Synder
Jonathan HeseltineSenior ResearcherJonathan is a Senior Researcher with InnoTech Alberta. In his 19 years in the energy industry, he has conducted and managed a range of analysis and testing projects related to wellbore equipment and materials, technology development and risk assessment. He has a background in open hole logging and cement integrity log interpretation. Over the years, he has been active with the SPE and is currently a chair on the SPE Plug & Abandonment Technical Section. Jonathan holds a master’s in degree mechanical engineering from the University of Saskatchewan and is a registered professional engineer in Alberta.
Matteo LoizzoConsultantMatteo Loizzo has been an international consultant in well integrity and CO2 storage for 12
years. His previous career with Schlumberger spanned field operations, research & development,
QHSE and carbon dioxide geological storage (CCUS). His current research interests include
harnessing creeping formations (such as salt and shales) to help control well leaks, modeling
leaks through cement, inverting geophysical measurements and quantifying methane emissions
from oil & gas wells. He also provides technical training in the field of CCUS, plug &
abandonment, well integrity, management systems, and process safety.
Matteo holds an Master’s degree in aerospace engineering from Rome university “La Sapienza”,
Italy, has authored or coauthored 31 technical papers as well as a book chapter on CO2 storage,
and he’s the Program Chair of the SPE Well Integrity Technical Section.
Samuel Rondon
Todd Boesiger