Ensuring long-term integrity of existing plugged and abandoned (P&A) and active wells that penetrated the selected CO2 storage reservoir is the key to reduce leakage risks along the wellpath for long-term containment sustainability. Restoring the well integrity, when required, will safeguard CO2 containment for decades. Well integrity is often defined as the ability to contain fluids with minimum to nil leakage throughout the project lifecycle. With a view to develop depleted gas fields as CO2 storage sites in offshore Sarawak, it is vital to determine the complexity involved in restoring the integrity of these P&A wells as well as the development wells. Leakage Rate Modeling (LRM) was performed to identify and evaluate the associated risks for designing the remedial action plan to safeguard CO2 storage site.
The P&A wells in the identified depleted gas fields were drilled 35–45 years ago and were not designed to withstand high CO2 concentration downhole conditions. Corrosive-Resistant Alloy (CRA) tubulars and CO2 resistant cement were not used during well construction and downhole pressure and temperature conditions may have further degraded the material strength and elevated the corrosion susceptibility. As a proof of concept, single well was selected to assess the loss of containment along the wellbore and to determine the complexity in resorting the well integrity, multiple scenarios were considered in LRM and composite structure and barrier parameters were assigned to estimate possible leakage pathways. Detailed numerical models were simulated for estimating leakage from reservoir to the surface through possible leakage pathways. Risks were identified and remedial action plan was designed for restoring well integrity. Post remedial plan covers Marine CO2 dispersion modeling to design comprehensive monitoring and mitigation plan for potential CO2 leakage in the marine environment.
This study summarizes the unique challenge associated with estimating well integrity and re-entering existing P&A wells. Leakage rate modeling along these wells involves uncertainties but when carried out with realistic parameters, it can be used as a predicting tool to determine the nature and complexity of leakage. Integrating with site survey results for any indication of gas bubbling, decision can be made to restoring the well integrity. The paper outlines the detail strategic options to safeguard CO2 storage by restoring well integrity using LRM and integrating with marine CO2 dispersion modeling. Assessing well integrity of P&A wells on individual basis, risk is assessed and identified. Proper remedial actions are proposed accordingly. Quantification of all the uncertainties involved needs to be conducted that may affect long-term security of CO2 storage site.