Go Radical P&A: Cluster project aims to halve P&A time, cost and environmental footprint


Despite the uncertainty around the future of the Oil and Gas industry, one thing is clear: Oil and gas companies across the world are legally required to remove their facilities, post-production. As a result, literally millions of oil and gas wells across the globe will need to be plugged and abandoned over the coming decades. In Norway alone, a recent study estimated the cost for plugging all the wells on the Norwegian Continental Shelf at over 800 billion Norwegian Kroner.

This is the backdrop of one of Energy Transition Norway's most ambitious project to date - Go Radical P&A.

The project has one fundamental goal: Delivering radically new technical solutions that will enable a step change reduction (>50%) in the environmental footprint and cost to perform the P&A of oil and gas wells worldwide, while ensuring the prevention of longer-term leakage from abandoned wells. Tim Croucher, Kjell Erik Drevdal and David Gardner are managing phase 2 of the project, which was initiated in November 2022.

- The am is to identify, understand and prioritize possible future solutions, and put them together into the final, radical concept, says project manager Tim Croucher.

Together with Kjell Erik Drevdal and David Gardner, the project management team has 125 years experience combined with drilling and wells. They plan to collaborate with radical thinkers from multiple sectors on a global scale to reach their ambitious goal. While the operating companies will deliver the concept through Go Radical P&A, the supplier industry will be invited to join the team to develop the necessary technology.

Actors from other industries who have come a long way with technologies that may be relevant in P&A and that may be part of the future solution are encouraged to contact the project management at hello@go-radical-pna.com.

You can also join the discussion in the project Linkedin group.

The individual suppliers will be able to patent on the technology they develop. The ambition is to get the entire industry to participate in the collaboration, says Kjell Erik Drevdal. He further explains:

- Typical focus areas are wellbore access techniques, barrier/plugging solutions, barrier placement techniques, barrier verification techniques and relevant operational services. The project is adopting the Norwegian oil company Equinor's business improvement process "Go Radical" with the aim of driving radical thinking to deliver radical solutions.

- We anticipate that the practical solution will take the form of a "toolbox" of solutions whereby any plugging project could select the relevant "tools" to support their specific project. We believe in the concept of some form of partnership, comprising several technical solutions and operational service providers, that would work together collaboratively to deliver a package / toolbox of solutions and services for future plugging operations, says Tim Croucher.

The project's current phase involves delivering a portfolio of potential technical development projects. 

Three major players in the Norwegian O&G industry are sponsoring this phase: Equinor and TotalEnergies and Aker BP. 

The funding of actual future technology development projects is anticipated to come from a combination of sources including oil and gas companies and government tech-funding organizations.

Go Radical P&A is managed by Energy Transition Norway. The cluster will be the platform for the project, and will seek project funding through relevant funding programs in the EU. When proposals for new technology are presented, the cluster's Technical Committee will be the platform for the innovation project.