This investigation using three dimensional numerical simulation of methane gas migration from decommissioned hydrocarbon production wells into shallow aquifers demonstrate different outcomes for confined and unconfined aquifers. In an unconfined aquifer methane is free to escape into the overlying soil and atmosphere. Less hydrogen sulfide is produced when more oxygen is available for biodegradation of the methane. Keep these processes in mind when designing monitoring plans or interpreting results from your groundwater well water quality monitoring.

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