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Photo by: Geir Ove Titlestad

Preparing the cement during P&A operations

A majority of the partners to this project are from the Norwegian gas & oil industry. Both operators and service com-
panies in the oil and gas industry have contributed and closely followed this project. From the very beginning it was a 
clear expectation and demand that the HSE should get the highest priority. The rules and regulations together with 
established field practise from the Norwegian North Sea was applicable for this project. Though, the North Sea safe-
ty standard cannot always be followed strictly due to the differences between offshore and the local arctic environ-
ments. 

UNIS HSE policy and standards were also applicable for the activities. Their standards and policy cover activities 
related to the arctic environment.  

Since the operation involve high pressure and handling heavy equipment it was essential that there were good plan-
ning, preparations and no stress involved. Kick-off meetings where held prior any activity program with all involved 
personnel. Also pre-job meeting were held with all involved operational personnel at the beginning of the operation. 
An open dialog and communication was achieved with all involved parts. Good co-ordinations of all activities were 
also achieved and continuous work for reducing operational risks had focus at all times. 

A part of high HSE standards is to achieve good and clear communication. Detailed program and procedures plans 
were put into operation. For the highest focus on safety risk matrix for all main activities were put in place. Those 
matrix were a part of the program/procedure and were used during the operational pre-job meetings. 

HSE Standards Continued

From an operational point of view all planned drilling targets were reached and all test sequences were performed 
without major issues or problems that had any impacts on the goals. There were performed specific tests to identify 
fracture pressure and thereby sealing capacity, and other tests to study injection pressure and rate, in sum targeting 
both the sandstones and shale formations. 

Also the P&A program have overall been according to the plans. As of today many wells have been permanently 
plugged. The plugs are cement plugs that have been verified with either pressure test, drilling core of the plug or a 
combination of both. The P&A program is not yet finalized. 

The sole objectives for the activities were:

• 

Collecting data so the scope of work/goals can be met

• 

Perform the test according to applicable “North Sea” oil industry standard and applicable requirements on  

 

Svalbard with respect to HSE

• 

Capture well information for evaluation of further progress in this project

• 

Perform the P&A with high quality and seal off the entire cross-section of the well to isolate any potential  

 

leak path

• 

Remove tubular in the well and surface equipment in such way that the wells do not represent any risk or  

 

harm to the community

• 

Perform the P&A operation according both to UNIS HSE standard and the Norsok D-010 standard 

• 

Perform all activities safely and do not harm the sensitive environment at the location

• 

Capture any test and P&A information for future documentation 

Health

From a health perspective the generating of noise, exhaust, pressure and vibrations are health related concerns that 
were addressed during the preparation of any well activities. The potential gas issues received high focus and were 
included in the health related actions during the operation. 

The pumping equipment was North Sea standard so noise exposure to the personnel was limited. Hearing protection 
was utilized for personnel that were working within the test site. The equipment was put in placed to minimize noise, 
exhaust or any other health related exposure to the personnel.

Chemical in well activities were kept to a minimal in the main diesel, antifreeze, and engine and hydraulic oil were 
used. On occasion  smaller amount of chemicals  were needed (tracer and polymer). All these chemicals are in the 
green category and approved for use on Svalbard. Special safety gear for these well activities was not required, and 
standard protection gear was used (coverall, gloves and safety glasses).

Most operations have taken place in the summertime when weather is least challenging. The presents of midnight 
sun limited issues of good working light except for one test in 2011. Cloths for arctic condition were available at UNIS 
and the on-site team also had access to the old “Nordlys” observatory for changing cloths and taking breaks.