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UAV Magnetics for Historical Well Identification and Environmental Reclamation

The Challenge

A client faced a significant environmental and historical research challenge. They were tasked with the identification and assessment of very old and poorly documented wells, some of which dated back to the early 20th century. These wells had poorly recorded or even non-existent records. The approximate locations were known, but they were only narrowed down to a large, potentially hazardous area. Field exploration by personnel had Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) risks, and initial search could also harm the environment.

The additional complexity was the uncertainty of the exact location of a well head, indicated by historic documentation and physical upwelling of gas and oil on site, with no observable physical well head at the site location. The potential for multiple other orphaned well locations in the project area made the task even more complicated.

The Solution

In June 2023, Axiom Exploration was contracted to address this challenge. Axiom proposed to use drone technology (UAV magnetics) to locate any buried metal objects consistent with a historic well head, which would be a safer and more efficient method.

The technology used was a state-of-the-art UAV capable of cm-scale position accuracy with an attached high-sensitivity magnetometer. Axiom’s approach allowed for high-resolution collection and superior discrete anomaly detection.

The results

Axiom flew 34 km of lines with a UAV mag sensor to locate the historic well head, which was over 100 years old and creating an environmental risk/issue. The survey successfully located an anomaly in the direct proximity of where the well head was thought to be. Ground truthing/excavation confirmed the location of the well head within ~1m of the target anomaly, facilitating the necessary environmental reclamation.

Axiom’s rapid response and use of cutting-edge technology was met with satisfaction by the client. The solution ensured the safety of personnel by minimizing HSE risks, prevented initial environmental damage, and provided a more efficient method to handle this difficult challenge.

UAV Magnetics: Innovation For Environmental Reclamation

Axiom’s quick deployment and innovative use of UAV magnetics in the face of a complex environmental challenge led to a successful result and a satisfied client. The adoption of this technology not only locates historical well heads for environmental reclamation but also paves the way for efficient and safe solutions to similar challenges in the future.

Partner with Us 

Explore how Axiom Group can provide expert well abandonment and reclamation services tailored to your needs. Our commitment to excellence and sustainability ensures that we deliver solutions that not only meet but exceed industry standards. 

Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can assist you in managing your project effectively.