Previous - Slide 4 - Next

Slide 4

Here a simplified, exploded view of a completed gas well showing the several layers of metal casing and cementing that are placed down hole.

At the bottom, the production pipe is cemented to the side of the hole through the gas bearing strata.  At the top, other layers of metal casing are inserted and cemented from the surface, through the good and bad water strata, and through the coal (but not all the strata between the coal and the gas bearing strata).

A gas well’s useful life is several decades with production constantly declining.  At the end of the well’s useful life, all of the un-cemented metal casing is to be pulled from the well and the empty (white) down hole spaces filled with clay and cement.  Unfortunately it is a huge problem getting drillers to plug old wells because it is expensive to do so, and because the wells that need plugged are not producing enough to pay for the plugging.  So there are tens of thousands of unplugged, orphaned or just “abandoned” wells in West Virginia.

Go directly to intro or slide: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  28A  29 30