A New Recommended Practice for Fit-for-Purpose Well Abandonment

Topics: Decommisioning/site remediation Offshore
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DNV GL is introducing a new, risk-based recommended practice for performing and qualifying well abandonments titled DNVGL-RP-E103, Risk-Based Abandonment of Offshore Wells. Most of the current regulations use prescriptive requirements for well‑abandonment design and the necessary plugging operations. As an alternative to the established one-size-fits-all approaches, the DNV GL recommended practice analyzes the abandonment requirements for each well and field using a quantitative method that takes into account subsurface uncertainties.


There is an ongoing paradigm shift toward differentiating plug-and-abandonment requirements on a well-by-well basis instead of having prescriptive requirements, which not only will provide the appropriate focus for complex wells and facilitate development of new technology but also will potentially reduce plug-and-abandonment expenditures.

The recommended practice is intended to provide an alternative approach based on functional requirements and risk-acceptance criteria to assess abandonment designs. This is consistent with offshore engineering practice and is intended to facilitate cost-efficient solutions, including the development of new technology. By calculating the risk levels for the proposed solutions and cross checking them with the risk-acceptance criteria, more-cost-effective solutions can be identified and implemented.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper OTC 27084, “Introducing a New Recommended Practice for Fit-for-Purpose Well Abandonment,” by David Buchmiller, SPE, Per Jahre-Nilsen, Stian Sætre, and Eric Allen, SPE, DNV GL, prepared for the 2016 Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, 2–5 May. The paper has not been peer reviewed. Copyright 2016 Offshore Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission.
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A New Recommended Practice for Fit-for-Purpose Well Abandonment

14 December 2016

Volume: 69 | Issue: 1