The Wells & Subsea Abandonment department is responsible for two distinct work streams for the Greater Dunlin Area Decommissioning Project, namely the Platform Wells Plug & Abandonment (P&A) Programme and the Subsea Wells P&A Programme. The first of these, involving the plug and abandonment of the 45 platform wells on the Dunlin Alpha platform, has commenced and is a time-critical and significant work scope, involving numerous technical challenges. The Dunlin Alpha wells are being plugged and abandoned in accordance with Oil and Gas UK recommended standards and the well activity governed by our Well Integrity Management System (WIMS) and Well Operating Procedures (WOPS) standards and procedures to ensure safe and technically appropriate methodologies are applied. The second work stream, involving the plug and abandonment of the 16 Osprey and Merlin subsea wells, is being executed in a single campaign with a Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU), the Transocean 712. These wells will be plugged and abandoned in accordance with the same rigorous standards as the platform P&A programme.

Ed Pritchard, Drilling Manager comments: “The team has managed the transition to well abandonment operations within a short timeframe and this was only achievable due to their success in completing the Dunlin platform rig refurbishment project. They have been working hard to overcome the challenges associated with the abandonment of mature asset wells. A robust planning process and efficient work execution has ensured that any downtime is minimised when problem wells are encountered and there is an ongoing challenge to investigate and deploy new technology and techniques to continuously improve the well abandonment process.”