Noble Regina Allen
Permanently sealing a well is a specialized scope of work
The first major scope of decommissioning work is plugging and abandoning Sable’s wells, also referred to as "well P&A". Sable has 22 wells drilled in water depths that range from 22 to 76 metres that will need to be properly plugged and abandoned.
Each well has its own characteristics, and penetrates various zones along depths up to five kilometers below the seafloor. The work of permanently sealing a well is a specialized scope of work, and the precise parameters depend on the characteristics of each well. Generally, plugging and abandoning a well involves setting mechanical barriers at multiple locations down the wellbore, and filling certain sections of the well between these barriers with cement. Ultimately, a permanent seal is put in place that will prevent hydrocarbons from being released into the environment in the future.
The most efficient way to support the work of plugging and abandoning the wells is by utilizing a jack-up drilling rig. In late 2017, the Noble Regina Allen jack-up drilling rig arrived in Nova Scotia and began this activity. It is anticipated that this work may take up to two years to complete.