Emerging Trends

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Let's take a brief look at what you can expect to learn in each lesson within the emerging trends course.

Emerging Trends Course Content Overview

  • Underground Injection
  • Induced Seismicity                    
  • Subsurface Containment

The first lesson in the emerging trends course introduces underground injection wells (UIC) and their primary applications. The course provides a brief overview of regulatory issues, including primacy, describes the different classes of injection wells, and discusses the importance of particular classes to oil and gas operations and geothermal energy. An in-depth segment within the underground injection lesson explains the use of various injection techniques to enhance the recovery of oil and gas. Specific lessons discuss the role of carbon dioxide injection, both for enhanced oil recovery and storage, in the move toward sustainability.

The next lesson covers induced seismicity: often low magnitude earthquakes caused by human activity such as geothermal energy access, wastewater injections, and hydraulic fracturing. This lesson includes foundational information on seismic waves, the earthquake measurement process, a brief history of natural earthquakes, and the geomechanics of fluid injection. A case study references induced seismicity at the DFW Airport and the public’s concerns over petroleum operations.

The lesson on subsurface containment discusses the critical aspects of well integrity and subsurface integrity. This lesson highlights primary, secondary, and tertiary well control, well construction, and aging well infrastructure. Lesson content also includes case studies of several high-profile incidents such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and a natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon near Los Angeles.

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