The Oil & Gas Technology Centre has launched its first ‘Call for Ideas’ inviting innovative technology concepts and ideas to transform the way that offshore hydrocarbon wells are plugged and abandoned, and will invest nearly £1 million to fund a portfolio of projects that result from the call.
The Centre is looking for innovative concepts that will have a material impact on this transformation, against three specific themes: modelling the probability of hydrocarbon flow to surface; verification of permanent barriers; and new and alternative methodologies and barriers.
Malcolm Banks, Well Construction Solution Centre Manager at the Oil & Gas Technology Centre said:
“Over the next decade, 1,400 wells are forecast to be abandoned on the UKCS, at a cost of c.£7 billion creating a significant burden for the industry and UK taxpayers. Reducing the costs of drilling, maintaining and abandoning wells is a key priority for the Oil & Gas Technology Centre.
“A large proportion of these costs are driven by the need for drilling rig-based activities. Therefore, a significant opportunity exists to significantly reduce well plug and abandonment costs, and thus total decommissioning costs, through ‘rigless’ methodologies.”
The Technology Centre will welcome submissions from 1 May to 11 June through its website, where full details of the process are available.
Submissions will be evaluated against a range of criteria including value creation, sound scientific principles, time, cost and risk reduction. Successful organisations will receive professional guidance, funding, and support to develop their idea towards the next stage of development.
The Calls for Ideas process is part of the Oil & Gas Technology Centre’s Open Innovation Programme which helps the Centre to identify, accelerate and deploy innovative technologies to unlock the full potential of the UK North Sea.