Orphaned Well P&A on Lake Ontario
Duration: Ten days
Orphaned wells present a major environmental problem for states throughout the US. For nearly one hundred years, oil and gas wells were drilled continuously throughout the Northeast with little standardization or regulation. Some of these “legacy” wells were sold or transferred to other business entities or individuals thus transferring the plugging responsibility. However, many more of these wells were simply left by the original driller – unplugged and exposed to the environment for decades. In the time that has followed the abandoning of these wells, cities have expanded and new towns have sprung up often times unknowingly in the same fields that these orphaned wells were drilled. The P&A challenges are substantial in these instances.
The State of New York has identified thousands of orphaned wells that require decommissioning. This particular project found a well on the Eastern shores of Lake Ontario in a resident’s front yard. No well records existed although the general construction of gas wells of this vintage is vaguely understood.
P&G’s double pole rigs are ideal for this sort of project. They maintain a small enough footprint to rig up near residential construction while boasting a 90,000lb. pull capacity so that uncemented production or surface casing can be removed from the well. However, successful orphaned well P&A requires far more than just equipment. This well contained wooden centralizers that required fishing with specialized tools and an experienced hand (wood was a common well construction material in early years). This project was completed in ten days and came in 30% under the allocated budget.
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