Bismuth v Cement

Although cement plugs are the traditionally favoured means of securing well abandonments, their application is costly and time consuming. The long-term integrity of cement also remains unproven, with some cement plugs being found to fail over time, as a result of microcracks and the resultant permeability leading to leakages and loss of plug integrity.

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Bismuth v Cement

molten bismuth
The disadvantages of conventional cement plugging include:
Cost: in excess of £1.8 million per well
Time: typically a two-day process
Shrinkage: over time cement shrinks by approx. 1.5 – 3% in volume, reducing seal integrity
Failure: cement often fails, leading to costly re-plugging
Plug size: re-entry following plug failure is difficult due to the length of the cement plug (up to 500')