Aberdeen firm’s tool promises decommissioning savings

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An Aberdeen-headquartered firm that has developed a “first of its kind” well abandonment tool has agreed further testing following a successful offshore debut.

Deep Casing Tools’ first prototype “casing cement breaker” has gone from concept to offshore trial with Equinor in just nine months.

The tool was trialled in a well on Equinor’s Huldra field, in the Norwegian North Sea, as part of a plugging and abandonment programme, just weeks after the Norwegian operator’s staff were introduced to the technology by drilling services company Archer.

By breaking down the structure of the cement behind the casing, well abandonment methods are simplified, saving operators time and costs, the firm said.

Well abandonment is estimated to account for 45 per cent of the entire cost of decommissioning. In the next decade, some 1,400 wells are due to be abandoned on the UK Continental Shelf alone.

Following the trial, Deep Casing Tools has two more offshore tests lined up with another major oil company, for later this year and early 2020.

David Stephenson, the firm’s chief executive, said: “This was an idea on a white board just nine months ago. We have now proven it works with our very first prototype.

“Our expert in-house engineers have” developed this technology, but it’s thanks to Archer’s support that we got it to trial so quickly.”