Encapsulated Bentonite for Abandoned Well Sealing
Department of Agriculture
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Small Business Information
P. O. Box 1325, Mills, WY, 82644
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractWater is the essence of life. Few will disagree that it is a resource that must be protected for the well-being of all: plant and animal. Millions of holes have been and are being drilled in the earth to search for water, uranium, oil and gas, and coal-bed methane. Many thousands of these holes are mid-depth (500-4500 feet) and fill with water if the drills penetrate one or more aquifers. When these water-containing drill holes are abandoned, soil stability and the purity of that exposed groundwater are threatened. A product is needed that is superior to Portland cement, which historically has been the recommended sealing material. But because of cement's heat of hydration and rigidity it can cause stability problems in certain soils, applications and where ground motion is a concern. Additionally, bentonite seals do not alter pH as does cement and can 'heal' if damaged. 'Healing' refers to bentonite's ability to fill in fissures caused by earth or drill casing movement. Currently a technology does not exist to satisfactorily plug mid-depth drill holes without cement. We intend to develop the most ecologically-beneficial, user-friendly, and cost-effective product to seal mid-depth drill holes. The product must be economical to ship and must be easy for a non-technical person to handle at the well site. This product will prevent loss of water (or other natural resources), groundwater contamination from surface chemicals, inter-aquifer mixing, and subsidence which can occur with conventional cement plugging techniques.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.