Geodynamics and Basin Studies

Leakage of methane from abandoned wells in the Norwegian Central North Sea

This Master's project was designed for Vilhelm Nyby who started his Master's program in Earth Sciences, UiB, in the fall semester 2023. The Master's project is given by the research group Geodynamics and basin studies.

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Project description
Methane is the second-most important greenhouse gas contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide, but methane emissions from leaking wells is known to be highly uncertain worldwide. Methane emissions from wells in a basin is often dominated by a small number of highly emitting wells. Leakage from wells in the Norwegian North Sea is not studied to a great degree and thus highly uncertain.

During a cruise in 2023, several abandoned exploration wells were investigated for leakage using multibeam echosounder water column data. Some of these wells were associated with large gas flares, while others were not. The objective of this project is to investigate multibeam echo sounder data from the water column around these wells in terms of evidence of leakage, and investigate potential risk factors for leakage including geological factors from conventional 2D and 3D reflection seismic data and well data, along with drilling and completion report from leaking and non-leaking wells. The goal of the project will be to investigate risk factors for leakage from offshore wells.

This candidate will participate on marine geological cruises in 2024. This master's project is a part of the 4SWIND project funded by the Norwegian Research Council, Equinor, and Geoprovider. The master's student will work within this project and be exposed to industry sponsors and stakeholders through various project meetings and conferences.

Field-, lab- and analytical work:
Analysis of cruise data (multibeam), preexisting multiclient conventional seismic data, and well drilling and completion
reports. It is relevant data from cruises in 2024 will be included in the project.