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On The Rig (OTR) used in plug and abandonment for the first time

Well Expertise has successfully used a mobile simulator for plug and abandonment well control training to decommission several North Sea wells.

Well Expertise is the well management company for operator DNO during planning and execution of the permanent plugging and abandonment (P&A) of three subsea template wells at Oselvar.

This is the first time an On The Rig (OTR) simulator has been used in-situ for P&A well-specific training to help prepare crews in advance of potential well control situations in the operation.

Well Expertise worked closely with Drilling Systems and training specialist, Survivex to develop high level well specific scenarios to simulate bull heading, reverse circulation, trapped gas and cutting casing operations. Six crews were then given various scenarios to test choke control and response to pressure increases.

Following this and previous onboard simulator training success, Well Expertise will now be rolling out well specific onboard simulator training across its remaining drilling campaigns later this year with DNO, Wellesley and other operators.

Morten Laget from Well Expertise said: “We have an exceptional record of risk management and safety is our top priority. We strive to offer our clients any solution available that helps to reduce the risk of the operation and onboard simulator training is an excellent tool to help with this.

“Having previously used the OTR for well specific training before exploration drilling for Wellesley we knew it worked well to prepare the crew and build a confident operations team.

“Killing the well is a key part of any decommissioning project and presents its own unique challenges. Plug and abandonment training is typically not addressed to this extent during periodic mandatory well control courses, but the OTR equipment allowed us to undergo some practical training on the rig itself during work time combined with review of Subsea Equipment and Associated Operations. This helped the crew in building competency and confidence and lowering the risk of major well control incidents.

“Following the success of this training, we now plan to roll out OTR onboard training across at least three further exploration wells, including a HPHT well in 2022.”

Clive Battisby, head of simulation at 3t Energy Group, said: “The strength of the 3t Energy Group lies in our holistic offer, which combines cutting-edge technology with the very best of traditional training. For Well Expertise we combined tailored simulator training in-situ with experienced instruction to deliver a blended learning solution to meet the client’s needs.

“To our knowledge this is the first-time blended learning with the OTR has been delivered for a P&A campaign and we are delighted it has worked so well. We are looking forward to working with Well Expertise again later this year on its forthcoming drilling campaigns.”