Plugged and Abandoned (P&A)
When a well hits the end of its lifecycle, and the hydrocarbons being pulled out of the ground are not sufficient, the well is plugged and abandoned. This prepares the well to be shut in and permanently isolated. There are typically regulatory requirements in place to ensure that the strata, particularly around freshwater aquifers, are adequately isolated. In most cases, a series of cement plugs is set in the wellbore with an inflow / integrity test made at each stage to confirm hydraulic isolation.
How it’s important to us
It’s important to know the term for a well that’s been P&A. This is the final status in a well’s lifecycle, for it has been deemed no longer economically viable to produce. There are, however, companies whose sole focus is to unseal and produce properties that have been P&Ad by other E&P companies. This does not necessarily mean that there are no more hydrocarbons to extract; rather that the cost to get them in the quantities present is simply not worth it.
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