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Orphan, Abandoned, Idle, and Marginal Wells: Opportunities with Plugging, Repurposing, Carbon Credits, and More

Sponsored by: AAPG/Pittsburgh Petroleum Geology Societies

Occurred Tuesday, 27 February Wednesday, 28 February 2024, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.  |  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Learn about the new opportunities and best practices for plugging orphan, idle, and abandoned wells, and to comply with new requirements for funding, methane emissions measurement and monitoring, groundwater protection, and more. The sessions will cover new databases, funding sources and tax incentives as well as best practices for finding and cleaning up orphaned and abandoned wells, for individual wells and the entire field. This workshop will bring together industry practitioners, government and state agencies, nonprofit and academic institutions in an event that emphasizes the "how" as well as the "what, where, and when" to spark new ideas, motivate interdisciplinary and multi institutional collaboration and support the establishment of best practices for cleaning up and repurposing wells across the nation.

Funding Sources

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law directed the Secretary of the Interior to establish programs to inventory and properly close orphaned wells. The Law provides $4.7 billion for orphaned well site plugging, remediation and restoration activities on federal, Tribal, state and private lands. This historic investment will reduce methane and other greenhouse gas emissions from orphaned wells, help clean up water contamination, restore native habitat, create good-paying union jobs and benefit disproportionately impacted communities.

Post Show Short Course

Tuesday 27 February
7:00 AM Registration, Continental Breakfast, Badge Pick-up
  Sessions and Speakers
8:00 AM Welcome / Information / Sponsor Introductions
8:30 AM Session 1: The History Oil and Gas Drilling in the U.S., and How Wells Become Orphaned
  Orphan and Marginal Wells - Where Are We Now? An Update and Overview
Dan Arthur, ALL-LLC
  Orphan Well Identification and Characterization
Andrew Govert, DOE
  The Overall Economic Risk Posed by Orphan Wells
Dwayne Purvis, Purvis Energy Advisors
  How Did We Get Here?
Amanda Veazey, CSR
9:30 AM Session 2: Orphan and Marginal Well Data Sources and Funding
  An Historical Perspective of Oil and Gas Development in Pennsylvania
Kristin Carter, PA Asst. State Geologist
  USGS Research on Orphan Wells: Updating National Databases, Identifying Methane Sources, and Examining Water Quality
Nick Gianoutsos, USGS
10:00 AM Networking Break
10:30 AM Orphan Wells and Marginal Conventional Well Plugging Programs
Don Hegburg, Dept of Environmental Protection, State of Pennsylvania
  Bipartisan Infrastructure Law's Historic Investment in Orphaned Wells
Kimbra Davis, DOI
  DOE’s Role in the Methane Emissions Reduction Program
Liz McNamara, DOE
  NETL’s Technical Assistance Program in Support of the DOE-EPA Methane Emissions Reduction Program (MERP)
Markus Drouven, NETL, DOE
  Understanding the federal grant compliance and reporting requirements as it relates to Orphaned Wells Grant Program
Darshana Shyamsunder, FORVIS
  Understanding the federal grant compliance and reporting requirements as it relates to Orphaned Wells Grant Program
Evan Masters
12 Noon Networking Lunch
1:00 PM Session 3: Well Integrity – Testing for Safe and Effective Plugging, or Potential Repurposing
  Prioritizing Orphaned Well Plugging: Safety-Driven Leak Identification and Quantification
Jared Metcalf, Montrose Environmental
  Well Integrity Gas Testing - False Negatives; A Deeper Dive
Dwight Bulloch, Capstone
  Integrating Large Language Models for Enhanced P&A Guidance: Bridging Regulation, Research, and Practice
Aaron Lu, University of Pittsburgh
  Understanding Regional Trends in Oil and Gas Well Integrity
Greg Lackey, Research Engineer, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)
  Well Integrity Advantages of Quick Clay over Cement
Fred Gyllenhammar
2:30 PM Networking Break
3:00 PM Session 4: Cementing and Plugging Techniques
  Well Plugging Best Practices
Eilis Rosenbaum, NETL
  Nanopartical Additives in Wellbore Cements
Jarrett Wise, Cementing research
  “Can we increase our chance for success, in SCP wells, by removing the issue, instead of trying to intersect the problem?”
Christian Rosnes, Interwell
  Wireline applications on Orphan wells
Marty Comini, Keystone Wireline
  Biomineralization: A Green Solution to Fugitive Methane Emissions
Bryce Yeager, BioSqueeze
  Jeff Long, American Cementing
  Capwell: An Immediate Methane Abatement Solution
Andrew Lane, Capwell
4:30 PM Networking Reception
Wednesday 28 February
7:00 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast
  Sponsor Booths & Posters
7:30 AM Session 5: The Business of Plugging Orphan, Idle, and Abandoned Wells
  Active Sustainability: Orphaned Wells and the Transformational Opportunit
Luke Plants, ZefiroMethane
  Hiqh Quality Carbon Credits in Methane Abatement
Eric Perner, Rebellion
  Annual Liability & Budget Forecasting for Decommissioning Assets
Sunil Garg, DataVedik
  A Project Developers view of Carbon Registry Methodologies
Michael Goodman, Guardian P&A
  Hashing or Plugging? Options for Orphans
Jonathan Kohn, BitPetro
  Sealing Success: Project Management Excellence in Well Plugging Programs
Adam Derry, 360 Engineering and Environmental Consulting
  Planning for Success: Urban and Troublesome Site Conditions
Dennis Wiles, NuPointe
9:30 AM Networking Break
10:00 AM Session 6: Measurements and Detection: Methane, Infrastructure, Reservoir Fluids
Dan Arthur, ALL-LLC
  Documenting Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells Across the United States
Jade Boutot, McGill University
  Prioritization Methodology for Methane Mitigation and Plugging of Marginal Wells
Donna Willette, Illinois Geological Survey
  Cost and Time-Efficient Methane Emission Detection and Quantification for Orphan Wells With Examples From Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas, Pennsylvania and Ohio
Oleg Mikhailov, Xplorobot
  High-Flow Samplers – Best Practice
M David Booker, Sensors, Inc.
  Methane Measurement and Monitoring Program at NETL and Lead of Writing the "Measuring Methane Emissions From Marginal Conventional Wells to Meet Grant Requirements"
Natalie Pekney, NETL-DOE
11:30 AM Lunch
12:30 PM Session 7: Post-Plugging Activities: Monitoring, Environmental Clean-up
  UAV-based Aeromagnetic Surveys in Orphaned Well Detection and Assessment.
Alex Nikulin, SUNY Binghamton
  Emissions Reporting and Forecasting for Plugging Abandoned O&G Wells
Philip Richard, Envana Software Solutions
Dan Billman
  "Closer Look" Conventional, Orphan, Abandoned Wells, P&A Best Practices
Cole Brown, Orr Energy Services
  Isotope Geochemistry to Identify the Origin of Stray Combustible Gas in Areas of Abandoned and Orphaned Gas Wells
Fred Baldassare, Echelon Applied Geochemistry
2:00 PM Break
2:30 PM Session 8: Carbon Registries, Carbon Credits, Buying and Selling Carbon Credits
  The Opportunity for Well Plugging Credits in the Voluntary Carbon Market
Melanie Martin, BCarbon
  Credit Minting, Risk Management and Pricing
James C. Row, Capturiant
  Sam Arnold, CarbonPath
  Beyond Trading: Exchange Technologies Powering the Future of Carbon Markets
Ana Elena Ventura, AirCarbon Exchange
  Carbon Credits and Blockchain Ledger Tech as Invaluable Tools for Revitalizing the US Oil and Gas Industry?
Ondrej Sestak, ZeroSix
4:00 PM Thank You & Final Networking
Drones for Orphan Wells: Applying Modern Solutions to a Century-Old Problem
Ron Krawczyk, Parson Orphan Well Program
Using Existing Datasets to Study Relationships between Orphaned/Abandoned Wells and Water Quality in the United States
Karl Haase, Nick Gianoutsos, and Josh Woda, USGS
Locating and Measuring Methane Emissions from Orphan Wells in Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky
Raghava Gorantia, Environmental Engineer, DOE
Plugging with Quick Clay Rather than Cement
Fred Gyllenhammar
Beyond Detection: Exploring the Full Potential of UAV Aeromagnetic Surveys in Orphaned Well Remediation Efforts
Alex Nikulin, SUNY Binghamton
Short Course
Cranberry, PA - RLA Learning Center
Thursday, 29 February 2024, 7:30 a.m.–8:30 a.m.
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Methane Monitoring Associated with Well Plugging & Abandonment for Active, Marginal, Idle, and Orphan Wells

This short course is an introduction to methane monitoring, measurement, and quantification. Attendees will come away with an understanding of the requirements and regulations regarding methane emissions, and be able to design a measurement and monitoring solution. The course will describe appropriate types of technologies, techniques, and safety protocols.

J. Daniel Arthur
29 February 2024

Find out More

Orphan, Abandoned, Idle, and Marginal Wells: Opportunities with Plugging, Repurposing, Carbon Credits, and More
RLA Learning Center
850 Cranberry Woods Dr
PittsburghPennsylvania 16066
United States
+1 724 741 1000
Best Western Plus Cranberry Pittsburgh North

5001 Cranberry Springs Dr., Cranberry Twp., PA, 16066
1.3 miles from RLA Training and Conference Center. ~5-minute drive or 27-minute walk


Parking, Breakfast Buffet, Pool, and 24-hour Fitness Center

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Contact Nadia Bloom at 724-720-5600 or [email protected] for assistance.

Courtyard Pittsburgh North/Cranberry Woods

150 Cranberry Woods Dr., Cranberry Twp., PA 16066
.8 miles from RLA Training and Conference Center. ~3-minute drive or 17-minute walk


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Contact Front Desk at 724-776-1900 for assistance.

Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh Cranberry

2000 Garden View Lane, Cranberry Twp., PA 16066
1.1 miles from RLA Training and Conference Center. ~4-minute drive or 20-minute walk


Parking, Breakfast, WiFi, Pool, Fitness Center, Restaurant and Lounge

Contact the hotel at 724-779-9999, ask for the AAPG Conference rate.
OR Use the group code 906 online at www.pittsburghcranberrry.hgi.com.

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Susan Nash, Ph.D. Director, Innovation and Emerging Science and Technology
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