With the changing nature of our world and the drive for environmentally friendly action, the Oil and Gas Industry is moving forward in addressing the carbon emissions challenge. The new concept of a Circular Carbon Economy calls first to reduce emissions. Every Oil and Gas well drilled will, at some point, have to be plugged and abandoned (P&A), including wells being prepared for carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). The integrity of these permanent barriers in CCUS applications is extremely critical. Improving the reliability and efficiency in such P&A operations, such as the use of Swarf-less Milling Technologies, can have a direct impact on reducing the CO2 emissions over the life of a well. Swarf-less Milling is the process of section milling a wellbore while leaving all cuttings downhole, rather than returning them to surface. This technology requires less equipment, chemicals, and time than conventional milling operations. Novel swarf-less section milling turns conventional section milling upside down, milling the window from the bottom up. Milling in this manner allows for the use of a mechanical pump to drive all cuttings downhole. The cuttings can then be disposed of in the abandoned well below the caprock barrier, and forgo the need to dispose of this material at surface. In addition to significant cost reductions, these efficiencies have resulted in the reduction of emissions by up to 70%. It also eliminates the need to handle, clean, and dispose of contaminated cuttings at surface, reducing the negative impacts to the environment. Results of emissions reduction by utilizing swarf-less milling will be presented and strategies for furthering the carbon reduction initiatives will be discussed.

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