Date of Award

1-10-2024

Publication Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Keywords

Gas Migration, Methane, Methanotroph, Oil and Gas, Shallow Subsurface, Soil gas

Supervisor

Scott Mundle

Supervisor

Chris Weisener

Rights

info:eu-repo/semantics/embargoedAccess

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Abstract

Global expansion of oil and gas (O&G) operations has raised concerns about the potential for fugitive gas migration (GM) in the subsurface that can contaminate aquifers, pose an explosion or asphyxiation hazard, and contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Current GM investigative strategies often rely on geochemical indicators such as concentrations and stable isotopic measurements of light hydrocarbons for source attribution. While these geochemical indicators can identify GM issues, they can also be sensitive to secondary processes (i.e., methane production and oxidation) and comingled sources (i.e., thermogenic and microbial) that complicate measurement and detection. This thesis developed novel microbial bioindicators to characterize the influence of secondary degradative processes and improve the reliability of GM source identification when combined with existing geochemical approaches. Further research is needed to evaluate the extent to which this approach can be generalized for GM issues with a broader range of site and soil conditions. Nevertheless, combining geochemical and microbial data will help increase the accurate identification of GM and improve monitoring and mitigation schemes.

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