Oil Well Leak Test – Los Angeles

Oil Well Leak Test Services - Los Angeles, CA

Terra-Petra is undertaking, on behalf of a Los Angeles developer, the task to locate, uncover and leak test a single oil well in Los Angeles, CA.  The proposed site will consist of a two-story, raised foundation, single family dwelling. The California Department of Conservation, Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) requested this work to be performed as necessary oil well due diligence.

The tasks performed may encompass a geophysical survey, a well head excavation, a well head survey, and a well head leak test and summary report. All work will be completed in compliance with the California Public Resources Code (PRC) Article 4: Regulation of Operations: Code Sections 3200-3258.

Terra-Petra Oil Field Services

Terra-Petra’s oil field services offer our clients a one-stop shop for all their oil field needs.  Our team will manage your project from start to finish, encompassing everything from initial consultation to the final report and submission of NFA (No Further Action) letter.

With the seemingly endless moving parts involved in successful oil field construction site plan reviewoil well abandonment / re-abandonmentvent cone installationconsulting and more, it’s important to have an expert by your side every step of the way to manage the process and make sure your budget and schedule stay on track.  With Terra-Petra’s hands-on expertise in ALL aspects of oil field management and consulting we stand out amongst other firms in the industry.

America is finally cleaning up its abandoned, leaking oil wells

By Chris Stein, phys.org

California plugs a few dozen per-year, according to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), and is currently in the process of sealing 56 near the city of Santa Clarita, just north of Los Angeles, some of which date back to 1949.

Bill Suan bought his family’s cattle farm in the mountains of West Virginia a decade-and-a-half ago with little thought for the two gas wells drilled on the property—but then they started leaking oil onto his fields and sickening his cows.

After taking the operator to court, Suan was successful in plugging one well, but the company has since disappeared, leaving him to contend with a small-scale environmental disaster that’s a symptom of the larger problem of orphaned  across the United States.

“It’s shocking to think that it was like that for decades,” Suan said.

Since the first commercial barrel of oil was extracted in Pennsylvania in 1859, the United States has been at the center of global petroleum production.

But in many US states, it took more than a century to pass regulations governing record-keeping for wells and their sealing, or plugging.

Today, the exact number of abandoned wells nationwide is unknown, but the Environmental Protection Agency this year estimated it to be around 3.5 million.

The EDF estimates around nine million Americans live within a mile of a well that’s considered orphaned, meaning that it’s neither operating, nor has a documented owner.

In southern California’s Kern County, the Central California Environmental Justice Network has received reports of abandoned petroleum infrastructure leaking oil next to schools and homes.

“A lot of the infrastructure that was built, that was now abandoned… is very much centered around poor communities,” said Gustavo Aguirre Jr., the network’s director in the county.

From  in the east where modern oil production began to cities in southern California, where pumpjacks loom not far from homes, the United States is pockmarked with perhaps millions of oil wells that are unsealed, haven’t produced in decades, and sometimes do not have an identifiable owner.

The detritus of lax regulation and the petroleum industry’s booms and busts, many states have struggled to deal with these wells, which can leak oil and brine into water supplies as well as emit methane, a particularly potent greenhouse gas.

In a first, Washington is making a concerted effort to plug these wells through a $4.7 billion fund, passed as part of an expansive overhaul of the nation’s infrastructure.

“The money available to the states (has) never been commensurate to the scale of the problem, and now for the first time it will be,” said Adam Peltz, a senior attorney at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) nonprofit.

The funds will likely not be enough to solve the problem entirely, though, and environmentalists warn that the patchwork of state laws governing oil production include many loopholes that could allow companies to continue abandoning wells.

States have largely been left to their own devices when it comes to addressing these wells.

California plugs a few dozen per-year, according to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), and is currently in the process of sealing 56 near the city of Santa Clarita, just north of Los Angeles, some of which date back to 1949.

The bulk of America’s orphaned wells are thought to be in eastern states where the industry was born, and where more than 160 years later, it’s not unheard of for landowners to find a hole in the ground or a pipe protruding from the earth that’s leaking oil or brine.

Pennsylvania, which is thought to have the most, plugged 18 orphaned wells in 2020, according to the IOGCC. In the same year, West Virginia, which has thousands of documented orphaned wells, plugged one.

“It’s been decades of neglect, just letting them get away with it, not forcing the plugging regulations,” said Suan, who has had to fence off the unplugged well on his land to keep cattle from getting into the leaked oil.

“And now we’re stuck with all of them.”

Biden administration to give states $1.15 billion to plug orphaned wells, which leak planet-warming methane

Image Above:  Curtis Shuck, founder of Well Done Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Bozeman, Mont., that caps abandoned oil and gas wells, observes measurements of leaking methane gas from a capped oil well in June near Shelby, Mont. (Adrián Sánchez-Gonzalez for The Washington Post)

Re-post of original article from The Washington Post


By Tik Root

The White House on Monday announced new steps to help curb emissions of methane, saying it will send $1.15 billion to states to clean up thousands of orphaned oil and gas wells that leak the powerful planet-warming gas.

The Biden administration also outlined plans to enforce requirements for pipeline operators to minimize methane leaks, undertake research to reduce methane emissions from beef and dairy systems, and form an interagency working group to measure and report greenhouse gases around the nation.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement that the new funding “is enabling us to confront the legacy pollution and long-standing environmental injustices” that have long plagued vulnerable communities. “This is good for our climate, for the health of our communities, and for American workers,” Haaland said.

Tens of thousands of abandoned wells dot the country in places where the oil and gas companies or individual owners went out of business, or are otherwise no longer responsible for their cleanup.

The Interior Department reported earlier this month that there are 130,000 documented abandoned wells across the country. And an analysis by the Environmental Defense Fund and McGill University found that about 9 million people in the United States live within a mile of an orphaned well. As recently as 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that the number of wells could actually be as high as 2 million to 3 million.

“Some might be relatively harmless, and some might be quite dangerous,” said Mary Kang, a researcher at McGill University in Canada who has long studied the problem. The wells can emit a range of gases, she said, including methane, which is the primary component of natural gas. In its first 20 years in the atmosphere, methane has more than 80 times the warming potential than that of carbon dioxide.

“It’s a pretty big problem that’s flown under the radar for a long time,” said Adam Peltz, a senior attorney with the Environmental Defense Fund who also worked on the analysis. He called the White House’s move “a down payment on this problem.”

The $1.15 billion announced Monday is the first tranche of allotments from the $4.7 billion that Congress approved for orphaned well cleanup as part of the fall’s bipartisan infrastructure package. That package also included more than $11 billion in funding for abandoned mine reclamation and $1 billion for modernizing natural gas pipelines, among other measures.

The funds will go to the 26 states that submitted notices of intent to the Interior Department late last year. The allocations range from about $25 million for Alabama, up to $107 million for Texas. More will be spent in the coming months and years as part of grants to states.


Read the complete article on The Washington Post

Los Angeles Moves To End Oil Drilling In The City

Re-post from latimes.com

(Image by Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday took steps intended to phase out oil drilling and gas extraction in the city, moving to address the legacy of environmental and health problems caused by an industry that helped create modern Southern California.

The council voted unanimously to support a ban on new oil wells and ordered a study intended to help city officials determine how to phase out existing wells in the next two decades.

Environmental justice activists heralded the vote as long-fought win for the low-income communities of color near the wells and a turning point in city regulations that allow for the extraction of oil and gas in residential neighborhoods.

“No community should be a sacrifice zone,” said Martha Dina Arguello, executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility-L.A. and co-chair of a coalition of community groups fighting to shut down wells.

Oil wells are known to emit likely carcinogens including benzene and formaldehyde, and living near wells is linked to health problems including respiratory issues and preterm births, studies have found.

Yet storage tanks and oil rigs are hidden behind walls and nestled near homes, schools and youth clubs. Along with health risks, the active sites can bring around-the-clock noise for residents.

Petroleum was once one of Southern California’s biggest industries, with derricks and wells dotting coastal areas from Huntington Beach to Santa Barbara, extending to inland communities including Brea and Echo Park. The industry helped fuel L.A.’s growth in the early 20th century and later provided jobs for veterans after World War II, and also created some of L.A.’s great fortunes and scandals in the prewar years.

The region’s output is not what it once was, but there are still more than 1,000 active or idle wells in L.A., city officials say.

“Oil drilling in Los Angeles might have made sense in the early part of the 20th century, but it sure doesn’t make a lot of sense now that we’ve become a megalopolis at the beginning of the 21st century,” Councilman Paul Krekorian, who represents San Fernando Valley neighborhoods, said at Wednesday’s council meeting.

The motion approved Wednesday directs city attorneys to draft an ordinance that prohibits new oil and gas extraction. The city will also conduct an amortization study to understand whether oil companies have recouped the value of their investments at each oil site.

If companies have recouped those costs, L.A. officials say it will make it easier for the city to shut down the sites.

Rock Zierman, chief executive of the California Independent Petroleum Assn., said in a statement that “shutting down domestic energy production not only puts Californians out of work and reduces taxes that pay for vital services, but it makes us more dependent on imported foreign oil from Saudi Arabia and Iraq that is tankered into L.A.’s crowded port.”

Crude that is produced in California complies with state environmental laws, while imports are exempt, Zierman added.

“Further, taking someone’s property without compensation … violates the U.S. Constitution’s 5th Amendment against illegal search and seizure,” Zierman said.

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors last year took similar steps to phase out oil production in unincorporated areas. The state is moving toward banning new oil and gas wells within 3,200 feet of homes, schools and healthcare facilities, and requiring emissions monitoring of existing wells within those buffer zones.

More than half of the city of L.A.’s active oil wells are in Wilmington, according to Communities for a Better Environment, an environmental health and justice group. The group became involved in the neighborhood in 2007 after residents complained about a massive oil drilling operation run by Warren E&P Inc.

The operation is near homes and a youth baseball field, said Bahram Fazeli, director of research and policy at Communities for a Better Environment.

“It was terrible — people said it was a living hell,” Fazeli said, describing residents’ complaints of asthma attacks and nosebleeds. “It’s still a big hazard to the community.”

A drilling site run by Allenco Energy in University Park brought reports of foul odors, headaches and persistent nosebleeds. The site was ordered in 2020 to shut down permanently after years of legal and political wrangling.

The city has faced persistent criticism from activists for its lack of oversight of the petroleum industry. A 2020 investigation by The Times and the Center for Public Integrity found that the city of Los Angeles has been slow and inconsistent in forcing the petroleum industry to take responsibility for wells that sit idle and unplugged.

Abandoned oil well counts are exploding — now that there’s money on the table

Abandoned oil well counts are exploding — now that there’s money on the table

By Naveena Sadasivam / Grist.org

$4.7 billion released by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has states rethinking their abandoned oil well tallies.

It’s long been an open secret that abandoned oil and gas wells are dramatically undercounted in the United States. Now that the federal government is finally offering substantial funding to plug and clean up these environmental hazards, states are finally starting to admit it.

From 2020 to 2021, the number of wells that the state of Oklahoma listed as abandoned — and therefore the government’s responsibility to clean up — jumped from 2,799 to a whopping 17,865. In Colorado, the orphan well tally hovered around 275 from 2018 to 2020 but increased by almost 80 percent last year. In California, the tally almost doubled in the last two years. (It started even lower in 2019, when the state identified just 25 abandoned wells.)

What changed? In 2020, Congress began seriously considering sending states money to plug orphan wells. The proposal had support from both political parties and was ultimately included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law enacted in November, which set aside $4.7 billion for this purpose. States have long known that their orphan well tallies are outdated and incomplete, but without a source of funding to clean up the wells, many didn’t invest the resources required to identify abandoned wells. That changed as the funding slowly became a reality over the past couple of years.

Grist / Clayton Aldern / Naveena Sadasivam

The Department of the Interior, which is tasked with distributing the $4.7 billion now allocated for orphan well cleanup, is expected to begin distributing funds this summer. A Grist review of forms submitted to the Interior Department in which states indicated their interest in obtaining federal funding, as well as orphan well tallies reported to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, found that official orphan well counts have increased by about 40 percent nationwide in the last year and doubled compared to 2019. That increase was confirmed by the Interior Department earlier this month, when it announced that 26 states had expressed interest in federal funding and had reported more than 130,000 orphaned wells.

“It used to be a larger well count was a sign of significant regulatory failure,” said Robert Schuwerk, executive director of Carbon Tracker’s North America office. “That is still true. However, now there’s an opportunity to get money to plug those wells, so there’s an incentive to get higher numbers to be able to garner more of those federal dollars.”

Plugging Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells Provides Climate and Jobs Benefits

Plugging Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells Provides Climate and Jobs Benefits

For over a century, fossil fuel companies have drilled oil and gas wells in the United States to increase the production, consumption, and export of fossil fuels. These wells are often abandoned once they are no longer profitable, and are sometimes left unplugged or improperly plugged, causing local environmental hazards and contributing to global climate change. The bipartisan infrastructure package, H.R. 3684, includes $4.7 billion to remediate orphaned wells, an initiative that will create new jobs while simultaneously curbing emissions.

In general, abandoned wells are unproductive wells with an identifiable owner, whereas orphaned wells are unproductive wells without an identifiable owner. Across the United States, there are at least 3.3 million abandoned oil and gas wells, about 60 percent of which are unplugged. There are also 56,600 documented orphaned wells in need of remediation, most of which are state and private lands, but thousands of undocumented wells also likely exist.

Unplugged wells leak methane, a potent greenhouse gas 25 times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere, and other pollutants that contribute to the climate crisis, harm public health, and contaminate water. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that abandoned wells emitted 290 kilotons of methane in 2018, equal to burning over 16 million barrels of oil. Methane poses such a significant threat to the climate that the recently released Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change calls for “strong, rapid and sustained reductions” in methane to avert the most significant impacts of climate change.

In many cases, the burden of plugging orphaned wells falls on states. According to Resources for the Future (RFF), “while states and the federal government fund well plugging activities through bonding requirements, industry fees, and other sources, these funds have not historically been adequate to reduce the inventory of orphan unplugged wells.” Current bonding rates on federal lands have not been updated in over 50 years, resulting in inadequate funds to ensure wells are properly remediated. Some unproductive wells have been unplugged for decades due to a lack of funds. With no private party to take responsibility for these wells, taxpayers are on the hook for their cleanup.

In addition to reducing methane emissions, plugging abandoned wells also could produce thousands of jobs. An RFF report estimates that plugging 500,000 wells could create as many as 120,000 job-years (a job-year is one year of work for one person). The number of orphaned wells is tied to cyclical changes in oil and gas prices, and are predicted to increase if oil and gas prices decrease. The report suggests that the federal government should focus on older wells that were abandoned before modern regulations to disincentivize oil and gas companies from abandoning wells in the future.

Employment gains from plugging wells could help offset job losses from the oil and gas industry, which lost an estimated 76,000 jobs from February to June of 2020. Additionally, the skills required to plug wells—a process that often involves sealing wells with cement and remediating land—are similar to those required in the oil and gas industry, which could help facilitate the job transition.

Congress recently passed bipartisan legislation focused on plugging orphaned wells. The Revive Economic Growth and Reclaim Orphaned Wells (REGROW) Act of 2021 (S.1076/H.R.3585), which was integrated into the bipartisan infrastructure bill, will provide $4.275 billion for orphaned well cleanup on state and private lands, $400 million for cleanup on private and tribal lands, and $32 million for research. According to a press release, the legislation aims to plug every documented orphan well in the country.

Terra-Petra Abandoned Oil Well Services

Starting in the 3rd quarter of 2021 Terra-Petra saw a significant uptick in oil well abandonment projects that we are being asked to bid on. There are multiple steps involved with abandoning an oil well (orphaned or not). Initially we engage the California Department of Conservation, Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) to start the Construction Site Well Review (CSWR) application process.

The CSWR is used to assist local permitting agencies in identifying and reviewing the status of wells that are located near or beneath structures. Simultaneously Terra-Petra’s Petroleum Engineering team starts the well abandonment permit process by reviewing the historic well files and preparing the permit package for submittal to CalGEM for review and approval. This process can take anywhere from 3 to 5 months. Once we have permits in hand, we can move into the physical abandonment process. Terra-Petra may spend between 2-5 weeks abandoning a single oil well with one of many abandonment rigs.

Later this year (2nd quarter 2022) we are looking to abandon wells in Redondo Beach and multiple sites in Torrance (pending permit issuance). We are currently consulting on oil well related matters for more than two dozen developments having an oil well on the property.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR OIL WELL ABANDONMENT SERVICES

Mysterious Methane Plumes Spotted Above Texas Oil and Gas Fields

Mysterious Methane Plumes Spotted Above Texas Oil and Gas Fields

By Josh Saul

(Bloomberg) — A satellite spotted two plumes of planet-warming methane rising from a patch of East Texas that’s home to multiple oil and gas operations.

State regulators said they couldn’t identify the source of the methane, which is the primary component of natural gas and traps 80 times as much heat than carbon dioxide in its first two decades in the atmosphere. Stemming methane leaks and stopping unnecessary releases is one of the most powerful steps that can be taken to slow global warming.

The two plumes were detected by geoanalytics company Kayrros SAS using a Nov. 29 satellite observation from the European Space Agency. Kayrros estimated that the plumes originated from different sources east of Dallas, about 15 miles apart, in an area dotted with fossil fuel infrastructure.

The plumes had estimated release rates of 21 tons per hour and 24 tons per hour. It’s not possible to determine the duration of leaks because satellites only capture one moment in time. If they lasted an hour, the two clouds combined would equal the average annual emissions from about 800 cars running in the U.S.

Some methane plumes found by satellites can be tracked to specific sources, especially if a company reveals that it released gas at that location at that time. But without anyone stepping forward, the source of such plumes — where multiple companies are operating in a small area — can remain a mystery. On-the-ground monitoring is also sometimes used to link releases to specific producers.

Companies operating pipelines nearby include Boardwalk Pipelines LP, Enbridge Inc. and Atmos Energy Corp. Boardwalk said it didn’t have any leaks or releases that could have caused the clouds. An Enbridge representative said the company isn’t aware of any such release. Atmos didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.

Texas regulators also weren’t able to identify the source of the methane plumes. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality wasn’t aware of the plumes, a representative said. A spokesperson for the Railroad Commission of Texas, the primary state regulator of the oil and natural gas industry, referred questions to the TCEQ.

Terra-Petra’s oil field services offer our clients a one-stop shop for all their oil field needs.  Our team will manage your project from start to finish, encompassing everything from initial consultation to the final report and submission of NFA (No Further Action) letter.

With the seemingly endless moving parts involved in successful oil field construction site plan reviewoil well abandonment / re-abandonmentvent cone installationconsulting and more, it’s important to have an expert by your side every step of the way to manage the process and make sure your budget and schedule stay on track.  With Terra-Petra’s hands-on expertise in ALL aspects of oil field management and consulting we stand out amongst other firms in the industry.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR OIL FIELD SERVICES

LA to Seek Federal Infrastructure Bill Funds to Remediate Orphaned Oil Wells

LA to Seek Federal Infrastructure Bill Funds to Remediate Orphaned Oil Wells

There are a total of 5,000 oil wells statewide eligible for a portion of the $4.7 billion in remediation funding through the infrastructure bill, according to Uduak-Joe Ntuk, California’s Oil and Gas Supervisor.

Los Angeles officials joined U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland today to discuss opportunities through the new infrastructure bill to fund the remediation of Los Angeles’ idle oil wells.

There are a total of 5,000 oil wells identified statewide eligible for a portion of the $4.7 billion in remediation funding through the infrastructure bill, according to Uduak-Joe Ntuk, California’s Oil and Gas Supervisor. His agency, the California Geologic Energy Management Division, is working to submit an application for the funding. The state will be competing with about 30 other states for portions of the funds, he said.

Haaland noted that Los Angeles County has “one of the highest concentrations of oil and gas wells of any city in the entire country, with some recent estimates suggesting that 500,000 people in L.A. live within half a mile of a well.”

“I’ve spent the day seeing firsthand how legacy pollution impacts people in the neighborhoods they live in. Kids who are relegated to having baseball practice next to oil pump jacks and gas wells, children who have grown up with bloody noses and the loss of the adults in their lives to cancer,” Haaland said.

“These wells can have serious impacts on the health and well-being of the community and the planet, from contaminating groundwater to seeping toxic chemicals and methane gases. That’s not acceptable,” she added.

Los Angeles County has about 1,400 wells identified for potential remediation funding. Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who chairs the City Council’s Energy, Climate change, Environmental Justice and River Committee, said the city will submit a “very detailed plan” to the state on remediating its wells.

Orphaned wells can leak hydrocarbons and methane, and remediation funding would allow the state to cut the wellheads off, fill the wells with cement and remove tanks, vessels and pipelines. After that, the soil would be cleaned and tested. The remediation process can cost as little as $15,000 for individual wells in rural areas and as much as $500,000 for wells in urban areas like Los Angeles, which are typically older, Ntuk said.

“It’s a unique opportunity and arguably one of the largest investments in the environment in a generation,” Ntuk said. “We’ll be able to reduce methane emissions from these well, we’ll be able to protect groundwater, we’re also going to be able to create local jobs that pay well.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti joined Haaland, Ntuk, O’Farrell and Councilman Gil Cedillo at Vista Hermosa Park, a roughly 10-acre park that reopened in 2008 after several idle wells within the park were remediated.

Garcetti said the city would apply for the federal remediation funding frequently to address the rest of its idle wells.

“I think we’re so used to being down on ourselves that we forget to celebrate when something historic, with Republican and Democratic support, passes. It’s not just important for D.C., it’s important for Echo Park, it’s important for Temple-Beaudry or Vista Hermosa,” Garcetti said.

Terra-Petra Abandoned Oil Well Services

Starting in the 3rd quarter of 2021 Terra-Petra saw a significant uptick in oil well abandonment projects that we are being asked to bid on. There are multiple steps involved with abandoning an oil well (orphaned or not). Initially we engage the California Department of ConservationGeologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) to start the Construction Site Well Review (CSWR) application process.

The CSWR is used to assist local permitting agencies in identifying and reviewing the status of wells that are located near or beneath structures. Simultaneously Terra-Petra’s Petroleum Engineering team starts the well abandonment permit process by reviewing the historic well files and preparing the permit package for submittal to CalGEM for review and approval. This process can take anywhere from 3 to 5 months. Once we have permits in hand, we can move into the physical abandonment process. Terra-Petra may spend between 2-5 weeks abandoning a single oil well with one of many abandonment rigs.

Later this year (2nd quarter 2022) we are looking to abandon wells in Redondo Beach and multiple sites in Torrance (pending permit issuance). We are currently consulting on oil well related matters for more than two dozen developments having an oil well on the property.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR OIL WELL ABANDONMENT SERVICES

Oil Well Due Diligence – Uncover, Leak Test, Well Head Survey

Terra-Petra is undertaking, on behalf of a Southern California engineering firm, the task to locate uncover and leak test a single oil well in Stanislaus County CA.

The California Department of Conservation, Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) requested this work to be performed as necessary oil well due diligence.

The tasks performed will encompass a geophysical survey and report, a well head excavation, a well head sniff test, a well head survey, an oil well summary report and overall project management.

Terra-Petra’s oil field services offer our clients a one-stop shop for all their oil field needs.  Our team will manage your project from start to finish, encompassing everything from initial consultation to the final report and submission of NFA (No Further Action) letter.

With the seemingly endless moving parts involved in successful oil field construction site plan reviewoil well abandonment / re-abandonmentvent cone installationconsulting and more, it’s important to have an expert by your side every step of the way to manage the process and make sure your budget and schedule stay on track.  With Terra-Petra’s hands-on expertise in ALL aspects of oil field management and consulting we stand out amongst other firms in the industry.

Abandoned Oil Well Leak Test – Redondo Beach, CA

ABANDONED OIL WELL CONSULTATION, INSPECTION AND TESTING

Terra-Petra was recently hired to by the developer of a Redondo Beach property to consult on all California Department of Conservation, Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) requirements associated with the potential discovery of an old abandoned oil well on their property.

Historical records and photos identified the oil well within the property boundaries, however, previous efforts to locate the well by the developer proved fruitless.

Once engaged by the client Terra-Petra employed our standard process for well locations which we call our “oil well due diligence”.

STEP 1 - Geophysical Survey

Terra-petra survey crew setting up equipment for site survey
Hand-held magnetic locator used to locate well casing for excavation

The first step in the process is to conduct a geophysical survey of the site. Oil Wells can be identified by the magnetic anomaly that shows up when conducting this work given that their casings are usually constructed of steel. Steel cased oil Wells have a specific “signature” that is very distinct from other metallic objects such as buried pipe or equipment. It becomes very apparent in the mapping system when an oil well is present.

STEP 2 - Oil Well Excavation

Soil excavation process after locating underground well casing.
Exposed top of well casing in excavation pit

The second stage of the process is to physically locate the well by excavating and uncovering it. We inspect the integrity of the casing and the surface plug (if present). Once this is done, we notify the local CalGEM representative that we have located a well and that we will be conducting the leak testing.

STEP 3 - Oil Well Leak Test

Excavated top of well casing cleaned and prepped for leak test.
Top of well casing after FID leak test and bubble test.

We then conduct a leak test at the well casing to identify if any fugitive gasses are emanating from the casing. The precise location of the oil well is then surveyed in by our survey crew and plotted on a site plan per CalGEM’s standards.

STEP 4 - Final Inspection & Client Summary Report

Soil monitoring procedure of excavated / stockpiled soil.
Backfilling of excavation pit, restoring surface grade elevation.

All information from our activities are compiled into a summary report and provided to the client for distribution to the appropriate agencies.

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