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Photo By: Cathy Braathen

A happy worker from the Drilling Operations 2012

Main purposes for the test wells and activities were to get information and test the underground permeability and 
storage properties to verify that injected CO2 can potentially be stored in safely dedicated sandstone formation.

The dialog with the authorities, Sysselmannen and Petroleumtilsynet (Ptil), in 2013, concluded that we had to plug 
the test wells according to the same regulations as for the petroleum industry operating in the Norwegian North Sea. 
There are two main reasons for this;

1. The wells have to be plugged so there is no uncontrolled flow of gas and fluid to surface or between permeable for-
mations. Wells DH7, DH4 and particular DH5R contain significantly amount (compared to other wells in the area) of 
natural gas. There is also a shallow water flowing/production formation in the well DH5R and DH6.

2.  If CO2 shall be captured, injected and stored into the tested sand formation in the future, it is essential to plug the 
test wells such that potential captured and stored CO2 cannot escape, migrate or leak from the “dedicated” storage 
formation through the test wells.  

Well abandonment is undertaken to “restore” the cap rock. Two permanent barriers (primary and secondary barrier) 
is required if a permeable zone is hydrocarbon-bearing, over-pressured or water bearing. The permanent barriers 
shall also be tested to verify that they are solid and can withstand pressure. The requirement that is applicable for 
P&A in Norway is the NORSOK D-010 – “well integrity in drilling and well operation.”  

There were communicated 4 main goals for the activities in the Phase 2 project:

Determine permeability and volume 


Verify good sealing properties in the shale above the sand formation


Identify injection rate/pressure of the actual sand formation 


Permanent plug all wells after the testing phase.

With the onset of the Phase 2 project in 2010, new standards were set. As outlined in HSE reports by Titlestad (2010-
2014), new Health, Safety and Environment aspects were specified for activities related to the scientific work, aimed 
at verifying the possibilities and potential to store CO2 in the underground formations in the Longyearbyen area. The 
well activities have included drilling of several wells, several injection and leak-off tests and at the end permanent 
plugging and abandonment (P&A) of the wells. During the well activities there have been taken core samples to an-
alyse the properties of the different formation layers, it have been injected water to verify the injectivity at various 
levels during monitoring of pressure. It has also been logging activities to record down hole conditions. 

4. HSE Standards as originally defined by the Longyearbyen CO2 Lab in 2007

The HSE goals in the Longyearbyen CO2 Lab operations aim at high HSE standards. These HSE standards for drilling 
were initially (Phase 1) based on Store Norske (SNSK) and Leonhard Nilsen & Sønner (LNSS) founded HSE regulative. 
However, the UNIS HSE regulative was implemented during operations as a superstructure to the above mentioned 

Defined main goals were:


No injury on personnel


No or minimal discharge of fluids that may harm the environment


Minimal impact on the terrain in the vicinity of the drilling site and seismic lines


No damage to cultural heritage in the area


No criticism by environmental authorities

Health, safety 

       and environment