2 Tulsans Create New Method To Seal Abandoned Oil Wells, Limit Pollution

Two Tulsans have created a new method to seal abandoned oil and gas wells and limit pollution. According to the EPA, there are millions of abandoned oil and gas wells in the US emitting hundreds of kilotons of methane gas.

Tuesday, March 22nd 2022, 9:35 pm



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Two Tulsans have created a new method to seal abandoned oil and gas wells and limit pollution.

"This seal that we've developed will shut 100% of methane gas," said Craig Brown, Underground Vision Technologies.

According to the EPA, there are millions of abandoned oil and gas wells in the US emitting hundreds of kilotons of methane gas.

"If you're trying to plug oil wells, that's not us. If you're trying to eliminate methane gas, we've got the answer," said Brown.

Craig Brown bought a camera to inspect old, abandoned wells, fix them, and put them back online. That is, until he got COVID, and suddenly had a lot of time to read and research.

"The process we're using right now does not work. The cement will crack, and the methane will migrate to the surface," said Brown.

He and his partner Ann Copple went to several area specialists to create the brass Hydraulic Compression Seal.

"Everything's done in Tulsa, built in Tulsa, and developed in Tulsa," said Brown.

Brown said the seal was and continues to be tested at TU. He told us that it was to leak, an alarm would go off; however, it's been set for 119 days under 200 pounds of pressure while exposed to all weather conditions, and it hasn't budged a bit.

"You want to talk global warming, we're doing global warming," said Brown.

Brown said first they run a camera through the pipe to search for holes and pick the best place to set the seal. He said as high pressure is applied, the outside seal casing expands to lodge itself to the well casing wall, with its bond filling any crack.

"We don't require heavy lifting in our job, in the process, and so women can do this as easily as men," said Ann Copple, Underground Vision Technologies.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has approved the seal for plugging wells drilled to produce oil, gas, disposal, or enhanced recovery wells. Once it's been set, the OCC said 10 feet of cement must be placed on top of it.

Brown said the process takes about 3 and a half hours and costs $10,000.

"I grew up drilling these wells. Working on oil wells my whole life. We didn't do this thinking we were damaging the earth. I promise you that," said Brown.

A study by McGill University said Oklahoma has more than 280,000 unplugged and plugged AOG wells.

"We have grandchildren, and we don't want them to have to clean up this mess after we're gone," said Copple.

While Oklahoma has more than 17,000 unplugged wells, Brown believes this also could be a nationwide solution.

"The Osage Nation, they're gonna be the first one to do this program. We're trying to work with them to put this program into action," said Brown.

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