LongPath Technologies, Inc. has announced a continuous methane monitoring solution for prioritizing orphaned wells for plugging, offering efficiencies for government and the oil and gas industry to fix problem wells.
States, the Federal government, and Tribal nations are facing a challenge in measuring methane emissions from legacy oil and gas wells and confirming reduced emissions following full decommissioning. With up to 3 million abandoned wells in the US, and a cost to plug of up to $1M, technologies that can identify high-emitting wells for plugging are in high demand.
Several factors make orphaned wells challenging to measure. Leak signals are small, making them invisible to techniques like aircraft flyovers. Leak rates fluctuate through time, making continuous monitoring essential for accurately prioritizing problem assets. Finally, the sheer number of abandoned wells means that regional solutions are needed to assess and prioritize wells for plugging.
LongPath is uniquely positioned to meet this need at a low enough cost point to be affordable by government and industry.
LongPath is the only blind-tested, published continuous monitoring system capable of quantifying small emission volumes from abandoned wells. LongPath’s networked area coverage enables low-cost of monitoring marginal and orphaned wells. Further, sites can be easily added to the network for assessment and removed after decommissioning or if emissions are found to be negligible.
LongPath’s network already spans hundreds of thousands of acres of oil and gas operations across multiple basins. A modest public-private capital investment could provide the infrastructure necessary to enable full coverage of marginal and orphaned sites, as well as higher-producing infrastructure.
"Our innovative laser-driven methane monitoring and abatement network, now active in several basins, provides the best solution for obtaining baseline and uninterrupted long-term methane emissions data for pre- and post-plugging and abandonment operations," said LongPath CEO Ian Dickinson.
"Our basin-wide system’s detection limits enable LongPath customers to identify high methane emission sources as well as capture data at thresholds far below what other commercial intermittent monitoring systems can achieve," said Dickinson. "The LongPath system has been proven at METEC to identify emissions across the spectrum down to those in the <1 scfh (0.02 kg/hr) range."