WELLBORE SEALING USING M3 BISMUTH ALLOYS

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Improved sealing technologies for the energy industries

Page last modified
February 22 2024

One of the most challenging aspects of developing a bismuth plug is the tool string necessary to deploy the plug downhole – In particular how to provide sufficient heat to melt the alloy once at the required depth.

The typical approach for the downhole heating of alloys is to use an exothermic chemical reaction – namely derivatives of Thermite. These burn incredibly hot.  Custom formulations can be dampened and controlled up to a point. However, these still burn pretty quick and hot – and this can cause many issues.     

Wellstrøm has developed electrical heaters and cables with sufficient strength and capacity to provide a controllable heating solution – operating at much lower temperatures for a longer time, slowly warm-up the casing, annulus and even the formation if required.

Pros & Limitations
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Deployment is rigless via high-power electric cable technology with built-in temperature and acoustic monitoring/barrier verification capability
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Places alloy seals be means of electrical heating (as opposed to thermite or pyrotechnic) which enables precise control and monitoring of the heating duration to ensure full displacement of the alloy to the target area.
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Plug designed to ensure the minimum volume of costly, rare alloy.
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Precise control of heating process enables prevention of undesired effects, such as ‘blue embrittlement’ of wellbore tubulars, Potential cement sheath damage and Potential cap rock damage.
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Can provide short, highly effective seals equivalent or superior on performance to to 50m internal cement plugs or 50m remedial cement plugs set by section milling or Perforate, Wash and Cement techniques.
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Able to reheat/smelt barrier or even remove the plug without drilling.
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Rig-less deployment utilising high-power electric cable technology with built-in temperature and acoustic monitoring capability
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Groundbreaking electrical power cable design capable of providing precise depth control and high power to a depth of at least 3000m (industry first).
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Plug setting up to 10-3/4in inside tubing or production casings
Specification
Specification Title Specification Description
Areas of Application
Plugging & Abandonment | Sealing leaks in Civil Structures | Industrial Pipelines | Developing Bespoke Solutions
Available Sizes
Multiple sizes 7” to 36” OD, to serve the needs of different well/reservoir conditions
Pressure
Qualified according to DNV-RP-A203 and OGUK Guidelines with a differential pressure resistance of 6,000psi (>400bar)
Certifications
certified by Bureau Veritas as suitable for extreme lifetimes (3000 years) and qualified for V0 (highest grade) in ISO 14310.
Plug Setting
The Company’s tool is capable in setting plugs inside tubing or production casings up to 10-3/4in.

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Technology Readiness Level

[8/9]

Development Technology demonstration Mature / Proven
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Wellstrøm AS has been established to combine the knowledge, experience and creativity of three specialist companies to develop sealing technologies for the oil and gas industries.
Drawing on the industry-leading backgrounds and a track record of decades of innovation, the team will be led by its CEO, Gert Rege who will work closely with the experienced teams in the partner companies to rapidly develop and commercialise the new technologies.

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