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Environmental hazards of urban oilfield operations

Environmental hazards of urban oilfield operations

Author(s):
George V. Chilingarian, Bernard Endres, and T.F Yen
Date:
05.1991

Source / Publisher:
Elsevier – Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering Volume 6, Issue 2, September 1991, Pages 95-106
Received 1 February 1991, Accepted 10 May 1991, Available online 8 April 2003

Key findings:
“One of the gravest dangers posed by urban oil-well drilling and production is the potential for explosive methane gas to migrate to the surface from several thousand feet underground. Unless the present-day practices are change, underground migration of methane from oil and gas reservoirs will continue to pose a significant explosion threat”.

Abstract
One of the gravest dangers posed by urban oil-well drilling and production is the potential for explosive methane gas to migrate to the surface from several thousand feet underground. Unless the present-day practices are changed, underground migration of methane from oil and gas reservoirs will continue to pose a significant explosion threat. If the operators would systematically follow some basic preventive-management procedures, they could drill and produce safely, without prohibitive cost and in a manner that is environmentally sound. Today, unfortunately, many oil fields in urban settings are managed by catastrophe rather than preventive management.
This paper discusses appropriate standards for the monitoring of surface gas seepage, and the related problems created by land subsidence due to the fluid withdrawal, as well as procedures necessary to insure the mechanical integrity of well casing and cement, necessary to protect against unwanted gas seepage. Migration of gas along faults is also discussed in this paper.

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