A large and increasing number of wells must be abandoned or repurposed in the next decades. Additionally, there are many wells to be re-entered and repaired due to problems and conditions such as casing leaks, corrosion, annular communication, patch placement, zonal isolation, closing perforations, etc.; therefore, the development of more efficient and cost-effective methods to address these issues is paramount. The main objective of this research includes the proof of concept (POC) of a Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) process under hyperbaric conditions for downhole applications in the Oil and Gas (O&G) industry. This POC will enable the development of a potential downhole WAAM technology that could place corrosion-resistant steel barriers as well as closing holes in the wellbore. Well plugging and abandonment (P&A), and well integrity re-establishment operations are costly and often associated with a low probability of long-term success. Available conventional technologies and techniques mostly use cement as a plugging material. However, steel has several advantages over cement, such as a higher tensile strength, enabling stronger structures with less material; cement is a brittle material while steel is ductile, steel can also resist higher thermal loads. Additionally, steels can be engineered to withstand harsh environments and resist corrosion. Corresponding lab-scale experiments, simulated in an autoclave solely constructed for the proof of concept of hyperbaric WAAM, are carried out to investigate the fundamentals of this process and material properties for downhole applications. The general project description, laboratory set up and design, including process requirements such as voltage, current, shielding gases, and material properties, are presented. With this proof of concept, an alternative technology will be enabled with the potential to revolutionize wellbore P&A. Once this POC has been proven, the deployment method will be assessed. It is foreseen that some of the benefits of developing such tool will be the introduction of rigless or with smaller workover units P&A operations. Additionally, an entirely new way of applying additive manufacturing is proposed to solve compelling challenges in the O&G industry.

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