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Annsca Provides Clean Energy Production and Environmental Protection Technology Solutions to the Oil/Gas and Geothermal Industries


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Fugitive Emissions

Fugitive emissions are losses, leaks and other releases of methane to the atmosphere that are associated with industries producing natural gas, oil and coal.

Fugitive emissions account for some 8% of Australia’s total contribution to global warming.

Australian fugitive emissions from gas extraction, methane lost to the atmosphere due to leaks in the production, processing, transport of natural gas, have more than doubled since 2013.

The Queensland Government’s ‘State of the Environment Report 2020’ states that emissions from the fugitive emissions sector contributed 19.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e), or 11% of Queensland’s total emissions and that emissions increased by 93% between 2005 and 2018 as production in the resources sector has increased.

Leaking at the wellhead during extraction is the most significant source of fugitive emissions and unconventional gas extraction has a higher proportion of well heads to offshore drilling and other mining activities.

Measurements undertaken by CSIRO near coal exploration  bores drilled between 1960 and 1980 found some sites producing up to 1000 kg/day of methane emissions (equivalent to 5,700 cows). CSIRO found that these legacy bores had been producing methane for decades and the Queensland Government recognised the risk of ignition during bushfires.

A recent university study of the Surat Basin found that the emissions per unity of gas produced was two to three times higher than previous calculations, with the researchers stating that the increase was in part from abandoned exploration wells:

“We can solve these problems right now by simply mapping where everything is leaking and fixing it today.”

Annsca has technology developed right here in Australia to help the resources sector tackle the challenge of fugitive emissions

Fugitive Emissions Mitigation

Annsca’s patented Water & Air Pollution Prevention System (WAPPS) was designed and engineered to eliminate the often ignored well leakage of toxic and fugitive fluids such as fracking fluid, hydrogen sulphide and residual methane and other gases. Well leakage is a significant problem which occurs usually externally around the production casing of drilled and completed wells. Any leakage from past or present drilling operations can contaminate underground water resources (aquifers), surface soil and atmosphere.

Despite the best endeavours of the resources sector, oil/gas and geothermal wells can leak either from the beginning of their lifetime, sometime later during production or following abandonment. This is a global problem and Australian wells are not immune. This issue is often difficult and costly to manage and mitigate, mainly because the solutions traditionally available are not technically designed specifically for the challenges presented. As a result, in some countries there are often abandoned wells that still leak years after their decommissioning. These risks and legacy issues can create further challenges for industry in exploring for and developing new fields or wells.

Annsca is seeking to support the resources sector in implementing innovative best oil field practices to ensure safe, reliable, and sustainable drilling practices. These innovations will be of benefit to the drilling of new production wells and the decommissioning of abandoned wells. Annsca technologies can therefore support the aspirations of industry, regulators, governments and communities.

The Water & Air Pollution Prevention System’s (WAPPS) primary aim is to protect the underground water tables (aquifers), soil and atmosphere from external well leakage of toxic/fugitive fluids from the exterior of wells so that clean extraction can be carried out responsibly and safely.

In the United States for example, the EPA reports show that significant amounts of methane reach atmosphere through such external leakages. This can be avoided using WAPPS and productivity of the well can be increased by collection of natural gas, which could otherwise be released and contaminate the environment.

WAPPS has been proven through international development trials to trap and neutralise over 99% of toxic fluids and prevent them from reaching the aquifer and surface or escaping into the atmosphere.

Annsca is closely working with the oil/gas and geothermal industries and environmental agencies to apply its viable solution to fugitive emissions and contaminant control to help reduce emissions and provide sustainable ongoing environmental protection for Australia and the world.

Working with Industry

In collaboration with Australia’s oil and gas industry, we have been developing innovative and novel Australian technologies with the potential to capture and eliminate the losses, leaks and other releases of methane to the atmosphere from sources such as natural gas, oil and CSG industries.

In Australia, fugitive methane emissions from oil and gas production are estimated to account for about 6.0% of our total greenhouse gas emissions.

Australia is leading the development of unique solutions for reduction of fugitive emissions in the resources sector, especially gas and coal extraction, that have the potential to contaminate ground water in our rivers and aquifers as well as the atmosphere.

Annsca is investigating how its patented technology can help industry and government respond to any avoidable fugitive emissions, we will also investigate how this technology can help remediate the current stock of discontinued well heads that may continue to release small levels of emissions at each site.

Onshore drilling has been prevalent in Australia since the 1960’s and given that there are more than 5,000 coal seam gas wells currently operational in Queensland alone; Annsca technology aims to support industry in the safe and sustainable decommissioning of wells.

Australia’s resource companies lead the way in environmental protection, and we have some the best practices for shutting down our abandoned sites but many of these sites are very old, and many decommissioned well heads would benefit from the best available technology that can prevent leaks.

This new technology can play a crucial role in ensuring that new gas fields and additional wells can be safely developed to assist in Australia’s energy transition. WAPPS can improve the efficiency and financial viability of greenfield sites, including those with significant contamination challenges, especially where those levels of contamination and trace elements impact on the quality of the gas.

The new technology can help protect the underground water from contamination arising from leakage of gases from the exterior of gas wells and is capable of decontaminating extreme levels of impurities and toxic materials caused by leakages from various underground resource activities.

If we can significantly stem the leakage from our wellheads, then we can make a real difference to the local environment, especially key groundwater resources and make a step forward in our national carbon emissions reduction efforts.

Our solution

Annsca’s technology has the potential to significantly reduce Australia’s emissions levels and to facilitate the access to vital gas reserves across Australia to support the renewables transition taking place across the energy sector.

WAPPS uses a combined system of modules containing nanotechnological compositions (protected by multiple Intellectual Properties) specifically designed and engineered to trap any pollutant by absorption and chemical reactions to prevent from being dispersed into the environment.

WAPPS patented technology is a modular absorptive reactor that is installed sub-surface – inside gas/coal-seam/geothermal wells. The WAPPS solution is located within the immediate well area by drilling down to where the leak is occurring, with all fugitive gas dispersions then captured within our system before the fugitive emissions escape the well. It virtually eliminates toxic leakage of fugitive gases or fracking fluids that occur in the exterior of the production casing of wells.

The patented Annsca solution utilises double containment with various nanotech reactors specifically designed to trap pollutants by absorption at the source. The WAPPS nanotech modules absorb, and store contaminants are housed in modular facilities located in situ above ground, allowing easy access and replacement once they reach capacity, potentially for the life of the well head.

Annsca technology has already been tested in monitored European trials with outstanding results.

Annsca’s technology can also be extended to the conversion of existing coal-fired power station to CSG resources. In recent years, several coal-fired powerplants in the United States have converted their solid coal burners to natural gas burners. In Condamine, Queensland, Australia, a 140MW CSG powerplant is a combined-cycle power station entirely fired by untreated coal seam gas. By converting the coal-fired power plants to gas-fired power units, the need to mine the coal in conventional ways and transporting it to the powerplant is eliminated. Instead, gas can be generated in-situ from coal seam and transported to the powerplant with much less contamination and emissions produced due to mining and transport. By using WAPPS in CSG production, a further reduction in contaminations will occur and a cleaner operation will be achieved.

Further applications of WAPPS extends to geothermal operations where the WAPPS technology eliminates the leakage of hydrogen sulphide and other odorous or toxic contaminants, which are common in geothermal reservoirs. For Geothermal wells, WAPPS can trap chemical elements that create the unpleasant odours and improving the quality of life of those who live in surrounding areas and opening the opportunity to explore geothermal wells closer to populated areas. ANNSCA is currently working on multiple geothermal projects in the North of Italy where geothermal activity is proven. New Zealand could be a region, where geothermal microgeneration using WAPPS can be developed. African countries such as Kenya also implemented significant geothermal energy generation capacity, which can also benefit from WAPPS in their production.

Annsca has experience in green geothermal energy generation using WAPPS combined with Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbines for electricity production as well as heating and cooling packages using geothermal fluid for the local consumers. Examples are geothermal power generation units with the capacities around 2-5 MWhr generation in the north of Italy to supply electricity to residents and harbour as well as heating for the houses in the winter. Projects are currently underway in 2022.

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Recent News

Introducing WAPPS to an Australian Market

21 Apr 2021

In particular, we are looking at the immediate benefits of implementing our sustainable technology in places such as the Beetaloo Sub Basin in Australia ...

Introducing WAPPS to an Australian Market

21 Apr 2021

In particular, we are looking at the immediate benefits of implementing our sustainable technology in places such as the Beetaloo Sub Basin in Australia ...

Introducing WAPPS to a US Market

21 Apr 2021

In the current context, and particularly since Joe Biden was appointed President of the United States of America, there is an increasing pressure being ...

Introducing WAPPS to a US Market

21 Apr 2021

In the current context, and particularly since Joe Biden was appointed President of the United States of America, there is an increasing pressure being ...