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SPE Subsea Well Abandonment Workshop

23 – 24 September 2014

Houston, Texas | Houstonian Hotel

Technical Agenda

Tuesday, 23 September


SESSION I: Subsea Well Abandonments - Size of the Prize

Chairs: Cindy Taff, Shell; Aaron Byrd, Anadarko

Subsea well abandonment liabilities will be discussed for the two major locations of the North Sea and the US Gulf of Mexico.  Projections on the number of subsea wells to be abandoned, the timing, and the per well expenditure will be shared by major operators for these two areas.  This session will begin to paint the picture of the current and future subsea well abandonment liabilities, and as an industry, how we can share ideas to positively impact subsea well abandonments with improved well integrity, new technologies, and other efficiencies.


SESSION II: Regulator and Legislation View on Challenges

Chairs: John Griffin, FTO Services; Aaron Byrd, Anadarko

This session will address current challenges and future perspectives concerning subsea well abandonment liabilities in the US Gulf of Mexico.  Expected topics include views on overall subsea well abandonment liability, current and future regulatory developments, and development and application of new technologies to meet demand of subsea well abandonment market in US Gulf of Mexico regulatory environment.


SESSION III: Pre-Work and Diagnostics for Well Abandonments

Chairs: Donna Birbiglia, Shell; Leopoldo Sayavendra, Halliburton

Any well activity in deepwater undergoes extensive and detailed planning, due to the high cost of the equipment and services involved. Abandonment activities are no different. Good quality data is critical when developing a credible execution plan and then delivering that plan within budget. This session will discuss the business and health, safety, security, and environment (HSSE) risks associated with abandoning wells in the absence of full datasets. Also, it will highlight what data acquisition programs and opportunities are currently available.


SESSION IV: Initial Well Design and Remedial Cementing to Ensure Well Abandonment Integrity

Chairs: Max Baumert, ExxonMobil; Dave Barrow, Chevron

Well abandonment costs are highly dependent on the initial design and the production and workover history of a well. Sketching the final well abandonment early in the well design process for a new well can reduce well abandonment costs and improve long-term well abandonment integrity. But many subsea well abandonments will require tubing recovery, and some will require remediation of inadequate primary cement. This session will explore how subsea wells can be designed to simplify well abandonment, and how current section milling (and alternative) technologies can be used as efficiently as possible.

Wednesday, 24 September


SESSION V: Barrier Placement and Verification

Chairs: Bart Joppe, Baker Hughes; Donna Birbiglia, Shell

The ability to reliably install and verify barriers that can retain their integrity indefinitely is a key element in managing abandonment costs and protecting the environment. The discussions in this session will focus on the types of barriers that are being installed today, and discuss alternative options that could lead to reduced costs. Additionally, the discussion will focus on the challenge of verifying the integrity of a barrier.


SESSION VI: Current Subsea Well Abandonment Technologies and Capabilities

Chairs: Bjorn Ronning, Helix Energy Solutions; Bart Joppe, Baker Hughes

Subsea well abandonment operations today can be categorized by the type of vessel and well control equipment used. This equipment ranges from vessel of opportunity to purpose built light/medium-well intervention vessel to drilling rigs. The operational capabilities are often related to the well control equipment deployed, varying from subsea intervention lubricators (SIL) to intervention riser systems (IRS) to marine riser systems to subsea blow out preventer (BOP) stacks. These systems will be reviewed in two case studies. At the end of the session, a comparison of their capabilities, limitations of surface and subsurface equipment will be discussed.

1300 - 1430

SESSION VII: Mid-Term and Long-Term Industry Technologies and Capabilities

Chairs: Alan Fairweather, Schlumberger; John Griffin, FTO Services

This session will address capabilities and technologies that the industry are considering or developing to meet future subsea well abandonment liabilities in the US Gulf of Mexico. These new technologies and methods aim to reduce cost, improve safety, and improve integrity. Additionally, these methods may include proposed advances in riserless operations, communication, well control, fluid conveyance, annulus remediation, barrier placement and verification, and casing removal.

1500 - 1630

SESSION VIII: Use of Rig-Less Platform for Well Abandonments

Chairs: Bjorn Ronning, Helix Energy Solutions; Steinar Strøm, Statoil

The session will focus on possibilities and opportunities to perform plug and abandonment activities in subsea wells from floating vessels rather than very costly drilling/completion rigs. The surface platform and corresponding capabilities are very closely linked to the downhole work to be performed, and should be regarded as a complete solution. The focus of this session will be on both existing vessels and potential new vessels with ‘fit for purpose’ capacity.