SPEX Offshore (UK) Ltd was the preferred service company chosen to abandon all 25 wells on the Marathon Oil, Brae Bravo platform. Working alongside Baker Hughes wireline, SPEX successfully delivered and ran the following

  • W. T. Bell Jet Cutters
  • Permanent Plugs
  • Tubing Punches





SPEX formulated a plan to deal with the specific details of each well’s characteristics and put to Marathon Oil the proposed tooling of choice to safely, cost effectively and successfully abandon these wells.

Our preferred cutter of choice for cutting the tubing was the Explosive Jet Cutters which, when run correctly, are a reliable means to cut tubing in either compression or tension. The majority of work was performed offline on the skid deck, where the electric line was deployed through a mast rig up. When the drilling rig was ready, it would skid over the well that was already plugged and lubricated (P&L) and then complete the abandonment after pulling the completion from the already cut tubing.

Of the 26 jet cuts performed on the Brae Bravo wells a 100% success rate was achieved.

A total of 16 permanent plugs (both Magna Elite and Premium plugs) were set by SPEX in the completions at the required depth requested by Marathon.

Additionally, 2 tubing punch runs were performed to enable circulation to clean out the annulus of the completion.


Value Added:

There was excellent communication between Marathon Oil and SPEX throughout the whole project, from the initial planning and document submission phase right through to the operational phase. At the end of the project SPEX were praised on our part in contributing to enabling Marathon Oil in meeting their targets in safety, financial budgets and schedule timelines, in spite of the inherent problems expected when abandoning old wells.

Marathon has informed SPEX that their view of the Explosive Jet Cutter has been completely turned around, to where they now see how efficient and cost effective explosive precision cuts can be. As can be seen in the images below there is little to no flaring in the pipe at the cut point, similar to a mechanical cut.

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