plug and abandon | Energy Glossary

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plug and abandon

1. vb. []

To prepare a well to be closed permanently, usually after either logs determine there is insufficient hydrocarbon potential to complete the well, or after production operations have drained the reservoir. Different regulatory bodies have their own requirements for plugging operations. Most require that cement plugs be placed and tested across any open hydrocarbon-bearing formations, across all casing shoes, across freshwater aquifers, and perhaps several other areas near the surface, including the top 20 to 50 ft [6 to 15 m] of the wellbore. The well designer may choose to set bridge plugs in conjunction with cement slurries to ensure that higher density cement does not fall in the wellbore. In that case, the bridge plug would be set and cement pumped on top of the plug through drillpipe, and then the drillpipe withdrawn before the slurry thickened.

Alternate Form: P&A

See: bridge plugcasing shoecementcementingoperator

2. vb. []

To prepare a wellbore to be shut in and permanently isolated. There are typically regulatory requirements associated with the P&A process to ensure that strata, particularly freshwater aquifers, are adequately isolated. In most cases, a series of cement plugs is set in the wellbore, with an inflow or integrity test made at each stage to confirm hydraulic isolation.

Alternate Form: P&A