ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co. has signed a three-year joint agreement with MagnaBond LLC to develop technologies that could enhance cost-effective evaluation of well cementing, casing and tubing.

The agreement, completed through the Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF), is part of an initiative to address challenges associated with well decommissioning activities such as plugging and abandonment. ITF’s international oil and gas operating and service members collaborate on funding for research and development initiatives regarding shared technology challenges.

“Developing a technology that enables us to see the quality of well casing and cement with a single tool is a major step in determining overall well integrity and could result in significant cost savings,” said ExxonMobil’s Jayme Meier, vice president of engineering for the upstream research arm. “Our agreement with MagnaBond will bring together our respective strengths to jointly develop this technology.”

The partnership would combine ExxonMobil’s expertise in developing a range of inspection technologies and tools, with MagnaBond’s strengths in technology transfer and supply chain design from other industries.

According to ExxonMobil, current evaluation technology cannot adequately characterize cement quality through multiple strings of casing. A well’s production tubing has to be pulled to inspect the cement, which leads to additional time and expense during decommissioning.

ExxonMobil and MagnaBond plan to work on technology that would allow for through-tubing cement evaluation before a costly rig or workover unit arrives. ExxonMobil often collaborates with other companies and academic institutions.

“The team at MagnaBond has a few decades of experience in applying cutting edge semiconductor, aerospace, and automotive technologies to the challenging downhole environment,” said MagnaBond’s David Stewart, chief technology officer. “We have a unique opportunity in this collaboration with ExxonMobil to engineer a solution that is specifically tailored to meet the upcoming challenges the industry faces in both well construction and decommissioning.”

In addition to the agreement with MagnaBond, ExxonMobil last year partnered with nine oil and gas companies to form the Plugging and Abandonment Collaborative Environment. The industry network promotes investment in and early adoption of technology.