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Rawwater Engineering

The Bismuth Plug

With our background in expanding metal technology, spanning more than twenty years, Rawwater's Bismuth Plug made its public debut in 2003 when the story of our prototype was picked up by the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, UK. The 'Pyrotechnic Plug' featured alongside Andre Geim's 'Gecko Tape', showcasing the breadth of ingenuity of modern North West inventors. Andre went on to win a Nobel Prize for his discovery of graphene.

By December 2010, full scale well abandonment Bismuth Plugs were deployed in Alberta, Canada. This was a world first for metal-to-metal plugging technology, and underpinned the launch of Rawwater's Joint Industry Project to develop offshore plugging and abandonment tools. The JIP was supported by the UK Government and an international consortium of oil operators.

We are currently designing and qualifying large diameter offshore plugs deployable using electric as well as pyrotechnic heaters. As if the rigours of new technology qualification are not enough, our sponsors set a target life expectancy of 'in perpetuity'. The first one million days was the easy part...

Key Fact

molten bismuth
Bismuth has the unusual property of expanding upon freezing, a property that is crucial to its use in our well abandonment technology.