All-Optical Multi-Sensor Well Monitoring System to Secure Gas Storage Operations

This project will introduce and work with California utilities to implement a safe gas storage reservoir monitoring program.

Paulsson, Inc.

Recipient

Van Nuys, CA

Recipient Location

29th

Senate District

55th

Assembly District

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$1,345,004

Amount Spent

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Active

Project Status

Project Update

The project team has completed the selection and design of prototype sensors for the monitoring system and has demonstrated the system at PG&E's McDonald Island gas storage field. The project team has collected more than seven months of data. Controlled independent lab tests for the monitoring system were completed July of 2023. The team is collecting additional data from the field and completing the Final Project Report.

The Issue

The aging of downhole and surface equipment in underground gas storage fields, in combination with a lack of continuous monitoring of the downhole and surface equipment, can lead to failures that are slow to be detected and repaired. If the gas storage fields were monitored by robust sensors, the pre-failure symptoms could be recorded, and problems could be mediated prior to failure.

Project Innovation

This project is developing a large aperture array of subsurface optical sensors that can detect anomalous flow, strain, temperature, or fatigue-induced micro seismic signals by continuously monitoring gas storage fields using an optical sensor system. These sensors will detect pre-failure micro seismic noise, excessive strain, and small leaks, allowing the operator to intervene before failures occur. The project will design and lab test the prototype, install the field optical sensor system in a borehole at a PG&E gas storage facility, and perform a borehole monitoring survey for at least six months using the installed sensors.

Project Goals

Develop monitoring technologies to make subsurface gas storage safer and allow real-time analysis of gas operations.

Project Benefits

This project is developing fit-for-purpose optical sensors and a comprehensive sensor system to enable continuous monitoring of underground gas storage wells and proactive risk mitigation. Avoiding failures will improve energy security and gas system safety. The system will also help avoid gas leakage and reduce environmental impacts of underground gas storage.

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental Sustainability

Gas released from underground gas storage includes methane, which has a greenhouse gas effect 86 times that of CO2, and potentially air toxics such as benzene. The monitoring system developed in this project can reduce leakage from gas storage wells and prevent catastrophic events.

Increase Safety

Safety

Gas storage wells that are cycled between injection and withdrawal undergo a faster aging process because of the cycling stress on both the casing steel and the concrete surrounding the casing. A monitoring system will improve safety of gas storage operation by providing the status of the gas field and equipment in real time and informing storage operators of potential issues.

Key Project Members

Paulsson, Inc. logo

Bjorn Paulsson

CEO & President
Paulsson, Inc.

Match Partners

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Paulsson, Inc.

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