Regarding the use of materials other than cement for abandonment plugging, please be advised that our company completed last June an R&D and field demonstration project supported by Alberta’s Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation. The report on this project is available on CSGM’s web site and is entitled “Permanent Sealing of Greenhouse Gas Emitting Wells.” We use a molten bismuth based fusible alloy that expands by about 1% on solidification for both casing plugging and SCVF repair, and our report emphasizes the extensive testing that was carried out to establish the superior service life and sealing characteristics of this material. This addresses directly the reservations stated in Sections 4 & 5 of your Abandonment topic, and we hope this information will be added to your TRM materials..
In our view, if wells in Alberta continue to be abandoned as described in AER’s Directive 020, in a few years or decades there will be thousands of abandoned wells leaking gas through failed bridge plug seals and a cement column that shrunk when it set (if it set!). If the original owners of these wells are no longer on the scene, the future taxpayers of the Province will be stuck with a very big remediation bill.
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