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08 February 2016

Astrimar to present at ITF Technology Showcase in Aberdeen on 9th March

Astrimar will be joining RECL to talk about their new well plugging technology including prediction of reliability performance

Over the next 20 years, North Sea platform decommissioning and well ‘plugging and abandonment’ (P&A) is estimated to cost > £50billion. Current P&A technologies are based on cement plugs, which are known to be unreliable, leading to potential environmental damage, and expensive well re-abandonment.

In light of these current issues Rawwater Engineering Company Limited (RECL) has, in the last two years, been working on finalising a new technology based on non-shrinking bespoke bismuth alloys which expand upon solidification when cast at target depth within the bore of a well casing. These highly advanced bismuth alloys, termed metallic cement, offer high integrity metal-to-metal seals for zero leakage P&A plugs. The application of the metallic cement technology in spent oil wells will lower the cost of permanent P&A as well as meet regulators demand for a lifetime of >3000 years.

Through a combination of field trials and workshop trials on higher performance alloys, RECL has proved the concept of deploying the metallic cement technology,   successfully qualifying to ISO 14310 and API 11D (V0) with Certificate of Feasibility and Statement of Endorsement from Bureau Veritas. The metallic cement technology has now achieved EU technology readiness level 6 (API RP 17N TRL 4) pending commercialisation. The current metallic plug seals are less than 600 mm in length and are designed to function effectively at operating temperatures and differential pressure of 70°C - 160°C and 6000 psi respectively.

Plug reliability is an important requirement and RECL and Astrimar have been working together to identify and develop models for predicting plug reliability performance. These advanced modelling tools have the potential to enable both measurement data and theoretical models to be integrated in reliability predictions.