Mary Kang of McGill University talks about her research looking at how much gas is leaking out of the multitude of abandoned, idled, and suspended wells in the United States.
Millions of oil and gas wells exist across the United States and abroad as legacies of the 160-year history of oil and gas production. Many of these wells are no longer in production and have been abandoned with technologies and practices of the time. Numerous studies show that abandoned oil and gas wells are emitting methane to the atmosphere and likely contributing to broad environmental impacts to groundwater, soils, and ecosystems. In this talk, I will discuss field measurements of methane emissions from abandoned wells, subsurface leakage via abandoned wells, well plugging, and strategies for mitigating environmental impacts of abandoned wells.
Bio: Mary Kang is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at McGill University. Her research focuses on environmental impacts of oil and gas development and groundwater hydrology. Her current projects are on characterizing and mitigating methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Earth System Science department at Stanford University. She received a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Princeton University, a Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy certificate from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a M.A.Sc. and a B.A.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo. Between her time at Waterloo and Princeton, she worked as a water resources engineering consultant based in Reston, VA.