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Formation as a self-sealing barrier

Formation as a self-sealing barrier

Leakage outside the casing is still an unresolved problem in well plugging. The annulus between casing and rock is traditionally filled with cement in selected sections of a well. SINTEF is studying how the formation itself sometimes creep towards the casing and form an even more efficient sealing barrier in a long term perspective.

This process – if it occurs – imply huge cost savings for P&A operations. However, the mechanisms that promote or prevent natural barrier formation are not yet fully understood. We study the process of forming a shale barrier experimentally, analytically and numerically:

  • SINTEF has specially designed a Shale Barrier Test; a downscaled simulation of the gap closure process enabling monitoring of sealing capacity and stress on the casing. Pre- and post-test CT scans reveal the extent and nature of the formation barrier.
  • Rock characterization tests and traditional hollow cylinder tests are also a part of the study.

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Chief Scientist