Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Scots study finds ‘no evidence’ of leaks from decommissioned oil and gas wells

Dame Vivienne Westwood protests outside the energy firm Cuadrilla's facking site in Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, near Blackpool after the controversial process got underway in Lancashire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday October 16, 2018. PA Wire
Dame Vivienne Westwood protests outside the energy firm Cuadrilla's facking site in Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, near Blackpool after the controversial process got underway in Lancashire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday October 16, 2018. PA Wire

A Heriot-Watt University study has found “no evidence” to suggest that England’s decommissioned oil and gas wells are leaking methane into the environment – contrary to previous research.

Dr Aaron Cahill of the university’s Lyell Centre says his findings, published in the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, should be “reassuring” for regulators and the public alike.

However, another study, conducted in 2016 visited 100 of these decommissioned wells across England, finding that 30% were leaking methane into their surrounding environment.

PM’s suggests turning to Oil and Gas Wells

This comes after Boris Johnson’s suggestion to lift the moratorium on fracking in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, the PM’s proposition was met with threats of protest from Frack Free United.

The group’s campaign director states that elderly “geri-activists” are ready to peacefully protest once more and face prosecution for their cause again.

Of 2000 onshore oil and gas wells in England, 1700 have been decommissioned. These wells are plugged with cement, cut and capped two metres below the ground and buried.

The land is hen returned to use for grazing or farming and are not typically checked afterwards for leakage.

Dr Cahill argues the validity of these findings.

He states that none of the wells he had visited were found to be leaking methane,  including four of the wells from the original study.

Additionally, he found the soil the wells were buried in would typically stop gas from escaping due to clay-rich soil being prevalent across England. This potentially makes it almost undetectable at the surface in any case.

In a statement the Heriot-Watt University doctor said: “We drilled 1-2m holes to get closer to the wellhead, and used soil gas samples and a flux chamber to detect any methane and how much might be flowing into the soils and air. The previous study took measurements only at the surface.

“Our evaluation was much more intrusive and we got much closer to the wellhead, but found no evidence of methane leakage from the decommissioned wells.”

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts