Methane emissions and groundwater impacts of oil and gas development


Dr. Mary Kang, McGill Civil and Environmental Engineering

Vendredi 30 novembre 2018 à 15h30 - Friday, November 30, 2018 at 3:30pm

Gill Room, FDA 232, 3450 rue Université, Université McGill

Résumé / Abstract

Oil and gas wells and geologic faults can act as conduits for fluid leakage to overlying aquifers and gas emissions to the atmosphere. Leaking fluids include methane, other hydrocarbon gases (e.g., ethane, propane), oil, and water. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 34 to 86 times that of carbon dioxide; therefore, reducing methane emissions can substantially reduce global warming. Millions of abandoned oil and gas wells exist across Canada, the United States and abroad as legacies of decades to more-than-a-century of oil and gas production. Recent studies show that these abandoned wells are emitting methane to the atmosphere and contributing to groundwater contamination. In this talk, field studies quantifying and characterizing methane emissions from abandoned wells will be presented - in particular, processes governing the emissions, their role in regional greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation strategies. Then, the quality and quantity of deep groundwater across southwestern U.S. will be discussed, along with their implications on oil and gas development.

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Methane emissions and groundwater impacts of oil and gas development