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Securing temporarily abandoned wells

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has sent a letter to players on the Norwegian shelf requesting an overview of the companies' plans for securing temporarily abandoned wells.

For safety reasons, temporarily abandoned wells should be permanently plugged. In addition to the fact that leakage can occur from temporarily abandoned wells, there is a danger that fishing tools could get caught on the wellhead.

The requirement for securing wells has its legal basis in the regulations (Section 79 of the Activities Regulations).

The wording of Section 79 does not stipulate an express order for permanent plugging, but there is a clear precondition to the effect that temporary plugging shall not be a prolonged or permanent condition.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate refers to the quiet rig market at present, and asks that the companies look into the possibility of utilizing available rig capacity to permanently abandon those wells where there are no concrete plans for reuse.

Contact in the NPD:
Eldbjørg Vaage Melberg
Senior information adviser
Tel. +47 957 00 320