Breathing life into ageing wells: a guide to subsea and platform well intervention
WHAT IS SUBSEA AND PLATFORM WELL INTERVENTION?
In short, subsea or platform well intervention is the practice of intervening on a well to repair it and / or stimulate production to enable profitable operations to continue. With the oil price levelling out at ~$55-65, we’ve seen an increased focus on well intervention as an option for operators of all sizes.
WHY WELL INTERVENTION?
Well intervention offers huge potential. In 2017 alone, there was an increase in reserves of 21 million boe in the UKCS through well intervention. But it isn’t just the North Sea where it has been a proven success. Globally, well intervention improvements include increased operational efficiency with some regions also experiencing a 10% production gain.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO CONSIDER?
While the decision to intervene can make commercial sense, many elements need to be considered. Each decision will be driven by the asset, level of production and accessibility to end of well reports and wellbore schematics. Once these have reviewed, riser analysis can play a critical part in ensuring the right equipment is ready to access and intervene on the well.
HOW TO APPROACH WELL INTERVENTION
Once the decision to extend asset life through well intervention has been made, approaches such as using surface risers and marine risers or vessel-based operations need to be considered.
Here, at Aquaterra Energy, we offer a range of riser systems both for drilling new wells and well intervention – such as surface riser packages, marine risers and work over risers depending on the type of work you’re looking to complete and if the platform is already installed. When installing any of these risers, if operators were to use our AQC Connector for well intervention, it can minimise rig time by providing a safe and expedited connection between the rig BOP and the riser’s joints below.
THE GROWING TREND
The mature UKCS basin is increasingly seeing a trend of larger operators selling ageing assets to smaller, independent operators. These smaller, leaner operators can squeeze every last drop of performance out of these assets to maximise their returns following well intervention. To help with maximising the value, they often turn to companies who can offer a low-cost, low-risk approach to intervention, like Aquaterra Energy, who have extensive experience of providing packages of well intervention services.
As assets in the North Sea and beyond are reaching end of life, the opportunity for well intervention only continues to grow. A buoyant oil price and an increasing opportunity to create value from ageing assets suggests breathing life into wells will be a trend we continue to see in the 2020s.
Want to know more? Read more about our decommissioning and well re-entry solutions.