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Title: Uncertainty Assessment of Tritium Transport in a Nuclear-stimulated Low-permeability Natural Gas Reservoir

Abstract

No abstract prepared.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Desert Research Institute
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
898920
Report Number(s):
ABS-2007-2
TRN: US200721%%285
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA26383
Resource Type:
Other
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
03 NATURAL GAS; NATURAL GAS; TRANSPORT; TRITIUM

Citation Formats

Ye, Ming, Cooper, Clay, and Chapman, Jenny. Uncertainty Assessment of Tritium Transport in a Nuclear-stimulated Low-permeability Natural Gas Reservoir. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Ye, Ming, Cooper, Clay, & Chapman, Jenny. Uncertainty Assessment of Tritium Transport in a Nuclear-stimulated Low-permeability Natural Gas Reservoir. United States.
Ye, Ming, Cooper, Clay, and Chapman, Jenny. Fri . "Uncertainty Assessment of Tritium Transport in a Nuclear-stimulated Low-permeability Natural Gas Reservoir". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/898920.
@article{osti_898920,
title = {Uncertainty Assessment of Tritium Transport in a Nuclear-stimulated Low-permeability Natural Gas Reservoir},
author = {Ye, Ming and Cooper, Clay and Chapman, Jenny},
abstractNote = {No abstract prepared.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Jan 19 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Fri Jan 19 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}
  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies conducted a program in the 1960s and 1970s that evaluated technology for the nuclear stimulation of low-permeability natural gas reservoirs. The second project in the program, Project Rulison, was located in west-central Colorado. A 40-kiltoton nuclear device was detonated 2,568 m below the land surface in the Williams Fork Formation on September 10, 1969. The natural gas reservoirs in the Williams Fork Formation occur in low permeability, fractured sandstone lenses interbedded with shale. Radionuclides derived from residual fuel products, nuclear reactions, and activation products were generated as a result ofmore » the detonation. Most of the radionuclides are contained in a cooled, solidified melt glass phase created from vaporized and melted rock that re-condensed after the test. Of the mobile gas-phase radionuclides released, tritium ({sup 3}H or T) migration is of most concern. The other gas-phase radionuclides ({sup 85}Kr, {sup 14}C) were largely removed during production testing in 1969 and 1970 and are no longer present in appreciable amounts. Substantial tritium remained because it is part of the water molecule, which is present in both the gas and liquid (aqueous) phases. The objectives of this work are to calculate the nature and extent of tritium contamination in the subsurface from the Rulison test from the time of the test to present day (2007), and to evaluate tritium migration under natural-gas production conditions to a hypothetical gas production well in the most vulnerable location outside the DOE drilling restriction. The natural-gas production scenario involves a hypothetical production well located 258 m horizontally away from the detonation point, outside the edge of the current drilling exclusion area. The production interval in the hypothetical well is at the same elevation as the nuclear chimney created by the detonation, in order to evaluate the location most vulnerable to tritium migration.« less
  • The U.S. Department of Energy and its predecessor agencies conducted a program in the 1960s and 1970s that evaluated technology for the nuclear stimulation of low-permeability gas reservoirs. The third and final project in the program, Project Rio Blanco, was conducted in Rio Blanco County, in northwestern Colorado. In this experiment, three 33-kiloton nuclear explosives were simultaneously detonated in a single emplacement well in the Mesaverde Group and Fort Union Formation, at depths of 1,780, 1,899, and 2,039 m below land surface on May 17, 1973. The objective of this work is to estimate lateral distances that tritium released frommore » the detonations may have traveled in the subsurface and evaluate the possible effect of postulated natural-gas development on radionuclide migration. Other radionuclides were considered in the analysis, but the majority occur in relatively immobile forms (such as nuclear melt glass). Of the radionuclides present in the gas phase, tritium dominates in terms of quantity of radioactivity in the long term and contribution to possible whole body exposure. One simulation is performed for {sup 85}Kr, the second most abundant gaseous radionuclide produced after tritium.« less
  • The successful application of high-pressure hydraulic fracturing using glass beads as the proppant resulted in a commercial completion in the Hall sand of the Cotton Valley Formation in the Lisbon field, Caliborne Parish, Lousiana. It was found that the vertical gas velocity in 2-7/8-in. OD tubing was not sufficient to keep a well unloaded, resulting in a very rapid drop in production. The completion program was revised to use 2-7/8-in. OD tubing as a frac string and a 1-1/4-in. tubing was used as the completion string in both single and dual wells. This field would have been of questionable economicmore » value if a successful revised completion had not been developed. From experience gained in this field, the use of 1-1/4-in. tubing in medium depth (8,000 to 10,000 ft) gas wells is recommended if they are low volume producers.« less
  • An equation is derived for expressing the tritium concentration in dry natural gas flowing from a nuclearly stimulated well as a function of the volume of gas removed from the well, the initial number of curies of tritium in the hydrocarbons and hydrogen in the chimney, and a factor equal to 1 (volume of gas flowed into the chimney from the rock formation divided by the volume of gas removed). Computer programs based on this equation which calculated the tritium concentration in gas flowing from multiple-well fields are described. They are designed to aid in scheduling the opening of wellsmore » in these fields so as to control the tritium concentration and the tritium doses received by persons exposed to gas combustion products. The procedure used in calculating tritium doses received by persons exposed to stack emissions from a power plant burning the gas is outlined. A computer program is described that will compute the annual tritium dose received by any person living in the vicinity of such a power plant.« less