How to Mitigate Methane Leaks with Cementing Chemical Technology

The main objectives in cementing oil and gas wells are to secure the casing to the surrounding rock formation and to provide good zonal isolation in the wellbore.

(Source: Hart Energy)

As the oil and gas industry continues to gain momentum implementing various ESG strategies to aid in the protection of people and the environment, there is a need for solutions that can better prevent or minimize fugitive methane (CH4) leaks over the life of a well. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “[n]atural gas and petroleum systems are the second largest source of CH4 emissions in the United States” (Overview of Greenhouse Gases | US EPA). Second to CO₂, which accounts for about 80% of U.S. greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, methane accounts for around 10% of U.S. GHG emissions (Overview of Greenhouse Gases | US EPA). In terms of Global Warming Potential (GWP) over a 100-year period, methane is about 25 times more potent than CO₂ as it absorbs radiation more efficiently within a shorter atmospheric lifetime than CO₂ (Overview of Greenhouse Gases | US EPA). With respect to the oil and gas industry, an extensive study led by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) from 2012 to 2018 revealed that the oil and gas industry emitted 60% more methane than the EPA originally estimated at the time (Major studies reveal 60% more methane emissions | Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org)). These figures suggest opportunities for the oil and gas industry to seek and apply solutions that better prevent or minimize methane emissions. One such area where these solutions can be applied is during a well’s construction, particularly within the cementing phase.

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