INNOVATION AWARD: A well of opportunities

At ONS 2018 Interwell P&A won the Innovation Award for their ´Thermite P&A barrier´, an innovative and rig-less approach to well abandonment. A year later we visited them at their premises outside Stavanger to check the status of their groundbreaking development project.

Their ultimate ambition is to deliver an Eternal Formation Barrier, independent of well design, application and formation type; first time, every time using wireline as the deployment method. This unique thermite-based solution delivers a targeted exothermic reaction that melts the wellbore elements and creates a formation-to-formation barrier.

– We started the development of this unique concept in 2012 and started field testing in 2016, says Christian Rosnes, Commercial Manager in Interwell.

Since then Interwell P&A has completed 18 field trials; 15 wells onshore Canada, two wells in the UK, where the last UK well was the first deployment offshore and one onshore Italy.

– Our technology has the potential to provide an alternative to today’s time-consuming practice of cement plugs. Although it´s not yet a commercial product we´re firmly on-route to get there, he says.

The most recent trial campaign was this winter and spring in Canada, with three different operators and nine wells. The focus was Surface Casing Vent Flow/ Sustained Casing Pressure fix.

– So far, we´ve gained some very promising results from the campaign. One well has been cut and capped while the remaining eight will be further evaluated this autumn, Rosnes says.

Interwell P&A are fortunate to have a full-scale test rig, which allows them to build a wellbore replica to test and inspect the concept and results. In the coming months, they are using the experience gathered in both testing and field trials with their strong R&D capabilities to prepare for more trials with several operators, in H1 2020.

– We´re very proud of last year’s ONS Innovation Award. The prize was an important recognition and milestone of our project, and we´ll be even more proud of it when we´ve succeeded to disrupt well plug and abandonment with our patented solution, says Rosnes.