Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS)

Geochemistry Use in Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS)

On new carbon, capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) projects, APT offers workflows and geochemistry tools that help with monitoring and assessing well integrity. This is through our ability to perform forensic geochemistry (attribute analysis) in the event of anomalous gas detection in annuli or at surface.

Using geochemical workflows, we can rapidly identify biogenic v. thermogenic gas and internal v. external gas (SWD, CO2 signature, etc.). In addition, these workflows allow us to determine the depth(s) at which the casing is leaking as well as the source(s) of any identified aquifer contamination.

Solution Deployment

The deployment of a surveillance geochemistry program is a 2 stage process.

Stage 1: Baseline Characterization

This should be done during initial drilling and ensures a robust baseline characterization is available should later ‘issues’ emerge. This characterization includes vertical mudgas profiles (shallow oils from cuttings) but is not required for every well; baseline characterization is sufficient for a radius of around 2-5 miles.

Stage 2: Ongoing Surveillance/Monitoring

Annuli samples should be collected as standard periodically every 2-3 years and/or if excess annuli pressure is reported from wells.

Programs can also be expanded to include offset well monitoring with the collection of additional produced gas and water samples for compositional & isotope characterization.

Program Design

Sample & analytical requirements in surveillance geochemistry programs depend upon the overall project objectives.

Ideally, baseline characterization will include pre-drill and drill compositional & isotopic assessment of samples, including:

  • Formation Waters
  • Production Waters
  • Production Gas
  • Mud Gas

Investment in detailed and robust, baseline characterization, ensures that future issues with anomalous gas detection can be readily tied back to the appropriate sources for attribute analysis.

How We Collect Samples

Annuli Pressure
- Sample by pressure bin (low to high)
- Not just the problem wells, helps to provide background context

Pressure bleed-down/buildup testing
- Sample before and after test

- Example prior to shut-in preparation for abandonment

Free gas

Associated oil


- Dissolved gas in water, water chemistry

Pressure Bleed-Down/Buildup Testing

Surface casing annulus pressure bleed-down and buildup tests are a common method to access the severity of a leak (SPE-170693, 2014). When the test is combined with fluid samples before and after the pressure bleed-down a better understanding can often be accessed for the cause of the leak, which helps in remediation.

Large leaks are often thermogenic gas, and that information, when combined with robust baseline work as described above, can lead to proper attribute analysis for remediation.


Contact an Expert

In need of assistance with your Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) project? Leave us a message below, and one of our experts will be in touch with you shortly.