Source: BEN-CAP, LLC submitted to
ENCAPSULATED BENTONITE FOR ABANDONED WELL SEALING
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
NEW
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0196430
Grant No.
2003-33610-13062
Project No.
WYOK-2003-00214
Proposal No.
2003-00214
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
8.4
Project Start Date
May 15, 2003
Project End Date
Nov 14, 2003
Grant Year
2003
Project Director
Theriault, G.
Recipient Organization
BEN-CAP, LLC
PO BOX 1325
MILLS,WY 82644
Performing Department
(N/A)
Non Technical Summary
What can be done to ensure a high level of water quality for wildlife, agriculture, and humans around the world? More and more wells, whether they are for water, oil and gas, or coal-bed methane, are deeper than ever and are at risk from surface pollution and inter-aquifer mixing. Cement, long known as the only alternative, has been shown to have serious drawbacks. This proposal builds on previous research that has demonstrated bentonite sealing and plugging characteristics. Sodium bentonite chips are recognized as a superior well sealing/plugging material for shallow wells. Its tremendous ability to swell when hydrated allows it to resist dislodgement pressures of hundreds of pounds per square inch. Additionally, it is inert, durable, self-healing if disturbed and more economical than Portland cement. But its swelling capacity also makes it difficult to deliver successfully to well depths much deeper than 500 feet. We expect to find compounds and/or materials that will economically transport bentonite chips to well depths over 500 feet. This technique must maintain bentonite's superior sealing characteristics and be economical to ship and to handle at the well site. Successful research will lead to a prototype that will greatly expand bentonite's use as a low cost, safe, superior sealing solution for abandoned drill holes. Primary commercial benefactors are: oil and gas exploration/drilling companies, coal-bed methane producers, water well drillers, and others who will no longer be required to use much more expensive, less safe well-sealing technologies.
Animal Health Component
100%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
100%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
13302102020100%
Knowledge Area
133 - Pollution Prevention and Mitigation;

Subject Of Investigation
0210 - Water resources;

Field Of Science
2020 - Engineering;
Goals / Objectives
We are proposing research to demonstrate the feasibility of encapsulating bentonite chips to enable them to successfully reach greater plugging depths.
Project Methods
Sodium bentonite chips are recognized as a superior well sealing/plugging material for shallow wells. Its tremendous ability to swell when hydrated allows it to resist dislodgement pressures of hundreds of pounds per square inch. Additionally, it is inert, durable, self-healing if disturbed and more economical than Portland cement.