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Evaluation of the Potential for Gas and CO2 Leakage Along Wellbores

Evaluation of the Potential for Gas and CO2 Leakage Along Wellbores

Author(s):
Stefan Bachu and Theresa Watson

Date:
03.2009

Source/Publisher:
SPE Drilling & Completion 01/2009; 24(1):115-126. DOI: 10.2118/106817-MS

ABSTRACT
Implementation of CO2 storage in geological media requires proper assessment of the risk of CO2 leakage from storage sites. Leakage pathways may exist through and along wellbores that penetrate or are near the storage site. Human-created leakage paths – in particular, abandoned wellbores that were drilled for oil and gas exploration and production are studied. The analysis is based on data collected by the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board for more than 315,000 wells drilled until the end of 2004 in the province of Alberta, Canada. The majority of leakage occurrence is the result of time-independent mechanical factors controlled during wellbore drilling, construction, or abandonment, mainly cementing. Good-quality cementing likely will protect wellbores against cement degradation and casing corrosion by reducing contact with formation or injected fluids. Cement-log evaluations indicate that the majority of wellbores are well cemented and zonally isolated in the deeper sections (across economically productive formations) of the wellbore, thus reducing the probability of leakage through casing/openhole annuli from deep uncompleted reservoirs.

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