BRI Announces New Leak Detection Service for Mapping Leaks of Methane and Other Gasses and Pollutants

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., May 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Bubbleology Research International (BRI) cutting-edge work on leak detection from abandoned and idled oil wells was featured in a Business Insider video, released 23 May. The video featured a unique BRI mobile air quality laboratory, SISTER2™, surveying in the Bakersfield area. BRI announces a new advanced gas leak detection and assessment featuring SISTER2 and BRI air quality analysis expertise to assist a range of industries, including the oil and gas sector, agriculture, government, and academia, for research collaborations to protect our communities and the environment.

During the Business Insider shoot, BRI demonstrated SISTER2 detection capabilities north of Bakersfield, CA. The survey focus was abandoned and active oil wells, which can leak oil well gases unnoticed for years – potentially impacting human health and the environment. When left unnoticed, leaking wells are a legacy that may emit unknown quantities of methane and other gasses in perpetuity.

"Although we wish for more funds, resources to address abandoned and orphaned wells are limited, so accurate and speedy assessment is critical to focus on the greatest need. SISTER2’s extreme sensitivity – well below a part per billion on most gases – is a powerful tool to safeguard the environment," said Dr. Leifer, BRI CEO and chief scientist.

Emissions from abandoned oil wells are challenging because most escaping gases are odorless and colorless. SISTER2’s ultra-high sensitivity allows detecting even distant gas emissions – in some cases from miles away. SISTER2 measures 13 gases and meteorology at up to highway speed to fingerprint and locate the source(s) and assess strength(s). By measuring multiple gases, SISTER2 can identify "false positive" oil well sources – for example, SISTER2 carbon monoxide can identify combustion (like from a furnace) sources, while ammonia can identify dairy methane sources.

By measuring so many gases, SISTER2 can address a wide range of sources and assess impacts, from ports to landfills to dairies to natural geology (volcanic gases). SISTER2 supports targeted sample collection to profile the chemical composition (over 60 gases) of the emissions – many with health implications. SISTER2 technology is well represented in 12 peer-reviewed publications.

"SISTER2 is a unique air quality research platform that measures a wide range of gases, aerosols, and meteorology. This diverse information allows us to really drill down on the scienceand to study many atmospheric problems, from volcanic gas emissions from Death Valley to emissions from Los Angeles/Long Beach ports in downwind communities," said Leifer.

In many surveys, SISTER2 is joined by the Aerospace Corporation’s airborne remote sensing instrument, Mako. In a soon-to-be-published study in the SPE journal, Production & Operations, maps of methane plumes from the oil fields near Bakersfield were related to the geology, including faults. Faults stress infrastructure, showing how BRI technologies can improve field maintenance schedules, help reduce emissions, and improve our understanding of petroleum reservoirs. A recent SISTER2/Mako survey of the Port of Long Beach looked at how air pollution emissions have changed since Covid. This 18 May survey found only partial emissions recovery in the post-Covid period.

Bubbleology Research International (BRI) is a small, flexible greentech company dedicated to environmental consulting, instrumentation development, satellite analysis and validation, and environmental assessment. At BRI, we continuously adapt to change to meet the demands of our clients. Established in 2003, BRI has handled a variety of complex projects involving Fortune 500 companies, universities, the Navy, NASA, and other state and federal agencies. 

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SOURCE Bubbleology Research International