Eliminating Methane Emissions From Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells

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OPEN 2021
Littleton, Colorado
Project Term:
04/08/2022 - 04/07/2025

Technology Description:

Foro Energy will use a downhole, high-power laser access tool to create geometric and surface area access in wells to set an alternative barrier material—a bismuth alloy plug (BiSN)—instead of cement. The proposed technology will be cost effective and reduce methane emissions as well as some CO2 by (1) abating oil and gas wells currently leaking methane, (2) providing more effective sealing for wells that will be abandoned in the future, (3) replacing the current use of cement and thereby eliminating greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere during production, and (4) using surface equipment with a reduced emissions footprint (e.g., eliminating a rig).

Potential Impact:

Foro Energy proposes to design, build, and demonstrate in the field a transformational platform that will significantly reduce and prevent methane emissions by more effectively and efficiently plugging leaking abandoned oil and gas wells.


It will cost the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars to retire and seal abandoned wells. The proposed technology will provide an efficient and cost-effective solution to this problem.


The proposed technology will mitigate methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells. 


Foro’s downhole tool technology and BiSN’s plug will save 35% over conventional methods to plug wells.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Olga Spahn
Project Contact:
Mr. Scott Marshall
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:

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