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Are your surface casing vents 'show'-ers or 'flow'-ers?



Easy to know where this title came from . . . if you don't know, I won't be telling you online.  This title actually came from one of our clients and was used to describe their issues with testing surface casing vent flows.  Some were definite ‘flows’, with gases and/or liquids coming out of the surface...

BY Court Sandau Geoforensics

7 Burning Questions About Gas Migration

Two weeks ago, Scott Mundle and I attended the SPE-CSGM (Society of Petroleum Engineers)-Canadian Society of Gas Migration workshop on “Gas Migration Challenges – Identification and Treatment,” in beautiful Banff, Alberta.

BY Court Sandau Geoforensics

Methane is from a Deeper Thermogenic Source . . . Or, is it?

The carbon isotope signature of methane is often presented as the ‘silver bullet’ capable of identifying whether soil gas is from a deeper thermogenic source or produced by microbial processes. The stakes are high because failing to identify a gas migration (GM) issue can have serious environmental consequences,...

BY Scott Mundle Services

Why ethane is a key indicator to identify gas migration

Ethane is a reliable geochemical tracer that can be used as a single line of evidence to identify a potential gas migration issue. Ethane and longer chain hydrocarbons are produced during the thermal degradation of organic matter (kerogen) over geological timescales. Microbial processes in the shallow geology...

BY Scott Mundle Services

Measure Twice, Cut Once: How to Save Time & Money on GM Testing

Inconclusive gas migration tests are both costly and frustrating. Many times, completed tests still provide no real answer. Exposing the wellhead remains your only option to identify and fix otherwise unsuspected gas migration (GM). Wouldn’t it be great to get it right the first time?

Clean Sampling = Accurate Results: How to Ensure Your GM Isotope Geochemistry is Never Wrong

In recent weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with potential clients, several of whom are questioning the isotope numbers they received from the labs. Some are even suspicious of the very use of isotope geochemistry to help identify well issues, such as surface casing vent flows or even gas migration.

BY Court Sandau Geoforensics, Services

Social Media Sensationalism Can Frack Up the Truth

Social media chatter regarding a recent Environmental Science & Technology site publication caught my attention. The article covers fracking (a very, very bad word in today’s society), and how polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were high near gas production areas studied by this article. Since I am passionate...

Dioxins and Furans 101

Introduction to ‘Dioxins’

Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) are considered some of the most toxic chemicals known to man.  We can argue about the apparent toxicity some other time, but personally, I think it might be a little over exaggerated.  Nowadays, it is very...

An 'Aha' moment during environmental forensics study


I was working through a report and presentation my company had made on environmental forensics fingerprinting of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from a spill event. I really was enjoying the project because all the data 'made sense'. Nothing makes you feel more confident about results from a big project...

What the Frack?

It is just too easy…

BY Court Sandau Services

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