Characterizing the sources of methane, CO2, and hydrogen sulphide presence during thermal oil recovery operations
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions contribute to a global warming trend associated with climate change. Methane is a potent GHG with a global warming potential 25 times that of Carbon Dioxide over a 100-year period. Gas migration /Surface casing vent flows from subsurface to surface is a well-known issue; however, characterizing the source zone(s) for stray gases from production, injection, and observation wells is an ongoing challenge in the oil/gas industry. Accurate identification of source zone is critical to ensure well repairs or other mitigative actions are effective in preventing release of such gases to the atmosphere. Geochemical approaches based on gas compositions and stable isotope ratios are widely used in conventional operations; however, high temperatures associated with thermal operations complicate identifying the origin of stray gases. This project will develop advanced geochemical tools to definitively identify sources of gases produced from steam-assisted gravity drainage operations, reducing GHG emissions.