Bubbleology Research International (BRI) displayed SISTER2 leak detection capabilities in a new Business Insider video. SISTER2, their air quality laboratory built into the back of a pickup truck, measures 14 gases while driving up to highway speed! SISTER2 leak detection can support natural gas companies, the oil and gas industry, government, and research collaborations to protect our communities and the environment. SISTER2’s newest upgrades are descried in a recent feature: http://bubbleology.com/2021/05/07/introducing-sister-2-bris-upgraded-mobile-air-quality-laboratory/
This January, BRI successfully tested this detection capability in Bakersfield, CA, while filming a video about abandoned oil wells with Business Insider. It’s challenging to detect emissions from abandoned oil wells since most of these emissions don’t have any smell or color. Many of these oil wells can leak gases into communities and the atmosphere unnoticed for many years – which is terrible for human health and the environment.
Abandoned oil wells and gas leaks can be discovered during downwind surveys that transect plume(s) of escaping and drifting hydrocarbon gases. Methane, the main component of natural gas, and other hydrocarbon gases were detected by SISTER2’s extremely sensitive gas analyzers and visualized in near real-time. Real-time visualization informs how the BRI team drives SISTER2 – slowing down in areas of interest and redirecting to follow the emissions. During the test survey in Bakersfield, SISTER2 detected a range of trace gasses from both active and abandoned oil wells.
High-quality emission surveys of oil fields help scientists better understand the processes behind leaks and oil wells. This information can help improve oil and gas maintenance cycles and even protect companies’ profits since those companies cannot sell leaked gas. Also, some of the hydrocarbons emitted from abandoned oil wells or leaks can be a health concern in concentrations for surrounding communities and industry workers. For example, benzene is a petroleum hydrocarbon found in crude oil and natural gas. It is associated with cancers such as leukemia and other poor health outcomes.
Read more about orphan wells and see a map of orphan wells nationwide: