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Assessment and risk analysis of casing and cement impairment in oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania, 2000–2012

Assessment and risk analysis of casing and cement impairment in oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania, 2000–2012

Author(s):
Anthony R. Ingraffea, Martin T. Wells and Renee L. Santoro

Date:
01.2014

Source / Publisher:
PNAS

Key findings:
The study analyzed publicly available Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection inspection reports on more than 41,000 oil and gas wells drilled from January 2000 to December 2012. The study found that well type, when wells were drilled, and location all drive differences in the rates of cement and/or casing failures:
– The statewide failure rate to date for Unconventional (Marcellus Shale) wells is at least 6.2%.
– Marcellus wells drilled after 2009 were found to fail 1.57 times more frequently than conventional wells drilled within the same time period.
– Unconventional gas wells in northeastern Pennsylvania were found to be at a 2.7 times higher risk relative to the conventional wells in the same area.
– The predicted cumulative risk for all wells (unconventional and conventional) in the Northeastern region is 8.5 times greater than that of wells drilled in the rest of Pennsylvania.
– About 40% of the oil and gas wells in parts of the Marcellus shale region will probably be leaking methane into the groundwater or into the atmosphere.

– Link –

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