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How to Abandon an Oil and Gas Well: Waterjet Cutting

Updated: Apr 18, 2023


Capping of a "cut-and-cap" oil well abandonment after NuWave cut the well with waterjets

As the oil and gas industry continues to evolve, so do the methods used to safely abandon wells that are no longer in use.


One such method that has become increasingly popular is ultra-high pressure waterjet cutting. This technique utilizes a high-pressure stream of water to precisely cut through materials and remove well infrastructure. In this article, we will explore the benefits of using ultra-high pressure waterjet cutters in oil and gas "cut-and-cap" well abandonments.


Safe and Environmentally Friendly

One of the primary benefits of using ultra-high pressure waterjet cutters in oil and gas well abandonments is safety. Compared to traditional methods like explosives or torch-cutting, waterjet cutting eliminates the risk of sparks or heat-induced fires, making it a safer option. Additionally, waterjet cutting is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional methods, as it does not produce hazardous waste or emissions.


As you can see in the picture above, waterjet cutting also reduces the footprint of the abandonment process. Rather than excavating a large perimeter around the wellbore, NuWave is able to cut the wellbore internally and subsurface. You can read more about our process here.


Cost-Effective and Precise

Another benefit of using ultra-high pressure waterjet cutters in oil and gas well abandonments is cost-effectiveness. This method is often faster and more efficient than traditional methods, resulting in lower labor costs and decreased downtime. Additionally, waterjet cutting is precise and can be used to cut through a variety of materials, including steel, concrete, and rock. This precision allows for more accurate and efficient removal of well infrastructure, further reducing costs and downtime.

Versatility: Abandon an Oil and Gas Well and more

Ultra-high pressure waterjet cutters are also versatile and can be used in a variety of oil and gas well abandonment scenarios. Whether the well is offshore or on land, in a remote location, or in a densely populated area, waterjet cutting can be utilized safely and efficiently. The equipment is portable and can be set up quickly, making it ideal for use in difficult-to-reach locations.




In conclusion, the benefits of using ultra-high pressure waterjet cutters in oil and gas well abandonments are numerous. Not only is it safe and environmentally friendly, but it is also cost-effective, precise, and versatile. If you are looking for a safe and efficient method for well abandonment, consider using ultra-high pressure waterjet cutters.



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