Methane Emission Measuring on Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells

Grants and Contracts Details


Measuring Methane Emissions in Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells: Phase 1 Thomas M. Parris, P.I. Abstract: Methane is the main component of natural gas, a critical domestic and global energy source. Released to the atmosphere, however, methane is a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 84-times greater than carbon dioxide over 20 years. Work in this proposal describes a three-year project in which the Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) will measure methane emissions from approximately 275 orphaned oil and gas wells in Kentucky. The measured wells represent a subpopulation of wells the Kentucky Division of Oil and Gas is targeting for plugging (n~ 550) as part of the Phase 1 Program in the Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Wells selected for quantitative methane measurements by KGS will be based on screening measurements by Division of Oil and Gas inspectors and, to a lesser extent, KGS personnel. Using a well subgroup classification developed by KGS, results from the methane measurements will be inputs for inferential statistical modeling to see if certain well subgroups have characteristic emission ranges and are more likely to emit high levels of methane. If successful, the statistical analysis will provide a method to estimate emissions for the broader population of known orphaned oil and wells (n~ 14,000) in Kentucky. KGS will also assist with post-plugging measurements on about 5% of the wells that have quantitative measurements.
Effective start/end date1/1/2412/31/26


  • KY Energy and Environment Cabinet: $1,486,195.00


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