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Abandoned Gas Wells from an Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) Angle


3 mins


Ilan Waldman

published published

September 05, 2021


Optical Gas Imaging (OGI)

Recently, there’s been lots of discussions regarding abandoned gas wells. Before we get into details, let’s first understand what is an abandoned well?

An oil and gas well is considered abandoned once it’s no longer used for production purposes. Meaning it has reached the end of its life, and in most cases, no company owns or maintains it. But does that mean it is no longer releasing emissions?

Unfortunately not, in most cases. If the well was not sealed properly at the end of its production life (with cement), it would continue to release methane into the atmosphere. Even if it is no longer producing oil.

For instance, if we take the US state of Pennsylvania, there are thousands of abandoned wells from when plugging wells wasn’t required. Leaving many wells emitting methane even today.

Currently, there are no regulations on which method should be used to detect methane emissions and measuring or quantifying the amount of gas emitted from these gas wells. There are High Flow samples, FID, dynamic flux chamber and even good old bag sampling. Many of these methods are highly outdated, unreliable and require measurement very close to the gas wells, making the surveying unsafe and time-consuming.

Using OGI (Optical Gas Imaging) cameras to detect these gas wells is proven to be very effective, reliable, quick and safe. You can quickly identify methane emissions from a safe distance, even tiny leaks (EyeCGas 2.0 you can detect 0.35 g/hr). By combining the EyeCGas 2.0 with EyeCSite (QOGI), you can also quantify the leaks either on location or offline.

In the video below, you can see how easily the EyeCGas 2.0, using thermal imaging, detects a leaking well close to a home in an inspection in Pennsylvania.