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Behind Casing Fluid Sampler to Monitor Groundwater at Hydraulic Fracturing Operations

IB-2013-087

APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:

ADVANTAGES:

 

ABSTRACT:

Barry Freifeld of Berkeley Lab has developed a behind-casing fluid sampler that monitors hydraulic fracturing operations by cost effectively sampling fluids beneath the lowermost underground sources of drinking water (USDW). The Berkeley Lab technology will allow identification of problematic cement seals without interrupting wellbore production to effectively protect groundwater and assure regulators and the public that the industry is operating safely.

Unlike through-casing fluid samplers, the innovative Berkeley Lab system is a permanently deployed device, external to the casing string, that simultaneously monitors wellbore casing performance and permits periodic fluid sampling. This is possible due to the Berkeley Lab sampler’s unique design, which merges the robust U-tube sampler with a behind-casing perforating system.

The Berkeley Lab behind-casing fluid sampler can monitor drinking water aquifers during hydraulic fracturing operations without the high cost and inefficiency associated with through-casing sampling, where each wellbore sample requires a new perforation and seal, and wellbore production must be halted for sampling to take place. The Berkeley Lab behind-casing fluid sampler improves on previous technologies by providing acquisition of periodic samples, without the cost of repeated perforations and seals, and cement sheath/casing performance data. The result offers an early warning of well integrity issues to allow for adoption of mitigation measures before groundwater is significantly impacted.

DEVELOPMENT STAGE:  Preliminary engineering design

STATUS:  Patent pending.  Available for licensing or collaborative research.

 

SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:

Novel Tube-in-Tube System Simplifies Subsurface Fluid Samples, IB-2802

ShaCS: Shaped Charge Stimulation for Low-Permeability Oil and Gas Reservoirs, IB-2732

REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-2013-087

 

See More Enviromental Technologies
Last updated: 10/02/2013