Wells team hit new milestone as last conductor pulled on Fortescue platform
The Wells team recently achieved a new milestone with the last conductor pulled on Fortescue. The platform is now ready for the next step in the Decommissioning process and will be handed over to the decommissioning team in October for the completion of flushing and draining activities.
As part of the Fortescue Plug and Abandonment (P&A) Program, the team has worked tirelessly to successfully and safely P&A the 31 wells on the platform.
“Completing the P&As at Fortescue is thanks to a lot of hard work from the whole organisation. We had several challenging wells, tried some new methods and procedures, and learned a lot. Most importantly, we completed the program while keeping our people safe,” commented Paul La Roche, Wells Engineer.
“The conclusion of the Fortescue P&A program sees the Wells team complete abandonments at four platforms in four years. The team is setting the benchmark globally for ExxonMobil and industry in the well abandonment space, with continued lessons learned and ongoing improvement opportunities captured early. Achieving these results is only made possible by the talented people we have, and the excellent support we receive from the greater organisation,” commented Andrew Miatello, Wells Engineering Supervisor.
The plug and abandonment of these wells was conducted over three phases between March 2021 and July 2023.
Phase 1 was a rigless operation where thru-tubing reservoir abandonments were conducted on applicable wells. In Phase 2, the HWT600 hydraulic workover unit was mobilised to perform the balance of reservoir abandonments and all surface abandonments. Conductor pulling was completed in Phase 3 utilising Rig 47, which was purpose built to remove conductors safely and efficiently on our Bass Strait platforms.
The team faced many challenges throughout the program, including some very difficult P&As, suspended operations, and destaffing several times as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, whilst sharing crews and equipment with other work fronts, but they pushed through and overcame these challenges. The team was able to successfully capture learnings and improve efficiencies from well to well, including the reduction of execution days for operations, trialling new equipment and technologies, and the first-time use of a new build conductor pulling unit.
“I continue to be impressed with the professionalism, perseverance and ingenuity displayed by the team. We consistently explore new techniques to complete our P&A obligations in both safer and more efficient ways. The one team approach and support from the broader Esso Australia organisation is also critical to our success. We have now completed all Wells related work on Whiting, Mackerel, Kingfish B and Fortescue, certainly a milestone to celebrate!” commented Ryan Turton, Wells Operations Superintendent.
In total, the team completed the program over an extended period without significant injury, a remarkable achievement!