We provide testing services to certify product and materials compliance, support quality control, and ensure the health and safety of workers and their environment. We provide assistance for clients who are not sure what tests they need. Our accredited materials characterization laboratory is the foundation of all the services of RJ Lee Group provides, including standardized testing for compliance, industrial hygiene and environmental analyses, quality control, and materials research and development.

We provide credentialed expertise supported built by robust scientific data. We provide significant support to industrial clients for product development, industrial hygiene and overall production support.

RJ Lee Group maintains a visible and respected reputation within the legal community, having offered scientific support in civil litigation matters for nearly 30 years. 

  • Product Liability 
  • Toxic Tort
  • Construction Defect
  • Fugitive Emission
  • Personal Injury
  • Patent Infringement
  • Contract Disputes
  • Insurance Subrogation

Subject Matter Experts

From our core business of providing scientific solutions to our clients, we have developed innovative products. Some are produced internally, and some have arisen from partnerships with other research organizations. 

For example, we build lab software solutions to help manage and streamline your labs data, and environmental testing products for a variety of applications. 

  • IntelliSEM is a powerful automated particle analysis system.
  • ParticleID is  a customizable cloud hosted web application used to identify foreign particulate matter and  assist with root cause investigations. 

Other products we create count particles and help keep the air and environment safe.

RJ Lee Group is a materials analysis laboratory and consulting company which serves many different industries. We offer scientific solutions such as industrial forensics services, laboratory and testing services, litigation support, and laboratory software to many industries:

Opportunities to Improve Oil and Gas Well Barrier Stewardship

Matthew J. Perricone, Ph.D.

July 30, 2012

The number of widely publicized oil and gas well failures is a reminder of the engineering challenges associated with drilling activities and the importance of safety controls in well operation. These accidents highlight an area of significant engineering and liability concern in a burgeoning industry that is expanding into new geographic locations with local populations and regulators that are unfamiliar with extraction activities. They are also a reminder of the considerable engineering challenges producers face in the extraction of buried fossil fuel deposits under temperatures and pressures that require substantial engineering design and careful attention to material selection.

Advances in drilling technologies developed by industry are responsible for expanding the types of oil- and gas-containing formations that can be produced (e.g., Marcellus Shale, Utica Shale). Extraction of the payload involves drilling through complicated geological formations that requires reinforcement of the well to avoid leakage to the surface or surrounding formations. The cementitious well barrier must adequately bond to the steel well casing and the surrounding formation and maintain structural integrity throughout well exploration, production, and after abandonment.

Offshore oil platform

Offshore platforms are relied upon when drilling oil wells. Proper stewardship of these wells can help mitigate the risk of potential well failures, such as the catastrophic BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Grout mix design is not a trivial engineering task, and many new admixtures have been developed precisely for these applications. Yet, according to a “pilot well integrity survey” published in 2010 in the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Production & Operations Journal, 18% of the wells in the survey had integrity failure, issues or uncertainties. The survey, conducted by the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA), concluded that there needed to be “more focus on barrier philosophy to avoid major incidents caused by unintentional leaks and well-control situations.”

Improvements in well barrier materials are now possible as are applications of sensing and concrete remaining life assessment technologies developed in other industries. In the spirit of proactive stewardship, real-time knowledge of well-integrity status combined with the ability to reliably assess well barrier remaining life will simultaneously protect company assets and assure public safety with industry’s ability to predict and prevent leak incidents.

The Importance of Allowing Sound Science to Guide Regulation

Some new frontiers of oil and gas exploration have become uncomfortably close to locales unfamiliar with drilling practices, benefits and potential hazards. The long history of industry is one of great success, but it is not spotless; even one spill or leak can be disastrous for the affected community. Fear of the possibility of similar events is the political impetus behind moratoria in multiple states. Such fears can be assuaged and industry practices improved through the application of modern technology and tools as described, and which will provide the assurance needed for confidence in industry’s ability to control well barrier integrity.

Navigating the economic and political landscape is a challenge facing industry and government alike. With the promise of a new source of energy comes the enticing prospect of business profits, new jobs, and increased tax revenue streams. The central importance of structural well integrity starts at the exploratory drilling phase and continues through the well’s abandonment. In today’s economy, wells are continually being evaluated by industry for their production contribution and to ensure compliance with regulatory oversight. Remote sensing technologies used in other industries can be transferred and re-purposed to break through some of the operational and safety obstacles with the assurance that real time information provides, guiding the development of regulations yet to be written, and increasing confidence in well barrier integrity to protect business revenue and limiting potential liability by reducing the risk of leakage.

Proactive options include scientifically-validated, industry-accepted software that determines the expected and remaining life of placed concrete as a function of its operating environment. One example is STADIUM®, a program which models the migration of critical chemical species that cause corrosion and other failure processes. By using modeling technologies along with well-established analytical methods, oil and gas producers will obtain the information they need to evaluate the mix designs of existing grout systems, to conduct failure analysis, and to determine future performance and expected remaining service life.

Remote sensing technologies like Borehole Sonic (BHS) wireline logging tools are in development to improve the evaluation of grout bond and concrete grout quality by measuring full-field acoustic waves induced and propagated from inside the cemented steel casings of new and existing oil and gas wells. Such a wireline tool can be used to determine grout bond conditions at the casing/grout and grout/formation interfaces as well as the quality and strength of the grout and earth rock formation. Innovative approaches to sensor deployment during well barrier placement opens a wide variety of possibilities, including chemical sensors that when combined with the STADIUM® software could provide real time assessment of remaining barrier life during production and long after well abandonment.

Related Posts