Multi String Conductor Cutting and Removal - IKM Testing

Multi-string conductor cutting below mudline

Through our ethos of continuous innovation, unrivalled investment in cutting edge technologies and by capitalising on our extensive experience in offshore and subsea cutting operations, IKM Testing has firmly established itself as a leading single source provider of multi-string conductor cutting and recovery services. Strategic innovations such as the latest WAS (Water Abrasive Suspension) cutting technology coupled with our proprietary real-time cut verification software ensures that conductors are fully severed below the seabed at unprecedented speeds. Furthermore, our dual drilling machine and hydraulic conductor saw used throughout the sectioning and removal operations were specifically developed in collaboration with IKM Technology to optimise plug and abandonment activities; ensuring that operations are completed safely, reliably and at record speeds. Working closely with our clients from detailed planning of removal operations to securing platform decks upon conductor removal, our end-to-end service has enabled our clients to achieve substantial efficiencies over traditional methodologies.

Conductor removal operations can be broken into three main phases:

Phase 1: Conductor cutting below seabed

The first cut is performed by lowering a specially built cutting head tool inside the conductor. The cutting head tool is lowered below the mudline where it is clamped inside the conductor. IKM Testing’s downhole cutting tool utilises the latest advances in abrasive water jet cutting technology to encircle the cutting jet with a pocket of air, ensuring that optimal cutting speed is maintained even after penetration and inflow of external elements. IKM Testing’s cutting solution also includes the latest technological advances in real-time cut verification software, allowing for continuous monitoring of cuts and verification of successful well severance. Finally, IKM Testing’s dual abrasive mixing unit eliminates downtime by allowing for continuous cutting operations even when the abrasive cutting medium is being refilled.

Please take a moment to watch our 3D animation at the bottom of this web page for a detailed overview of the conductor cutting operation.

IKM Testing abrasive water jet cutting tool and conductor

Phase 2: Preparation for conductor sectioning

Before sectioning operations can commence, all obstacles that could prevent the conductors from being safely and efficiently lifted are carefully removed using IKM Testing’s in-house cold cutting equipment. These obstacles primarily include infrastructure associated with the centralisers, the Xmas tree and objects in wellhead vicinity.

Phase 3: Topside conductor sectioning

In order to optimise operational performance, IKM Testing commissioned IKM Technology to develop two bespoke items of equipment specifically for the purposes of topside sectioning. First, a dual drilling machine was designed that could simultaneously drill holes through both sides of the conductor so that anti stripping / lifting pins can be installed. Secondly, a specialised conductor saw was developed that could quickly cut through a combination of concrete and steel. Finally, IKM Testing developed its own high-pressure water cleaning system that can quickly and efficiently remove marine growth from conductors as they are being lifted.

IKM Testing conductor bandsaw and cleaning tool

3D animation of conductor cutting procedure

At IKM Testing, we believe that a very effective way to demonstrate how we carry out specialised downhole and subsea operations to clients is through 3D animation. As such, over the past decade we have created an in-house 3D visualisation team, IKM 3D, that can produce 3D animations to explain how our most complex service lines and technologies work. Please take a moment to watch the video below which explains in detail how our conductor cutting operations are performed. To see more animations produced by IKM 3D, please visit our showcase page at: vimeo.com/ikm3d.