Christianese Kaiser ’17



Project Title

Measurement of Methane Leakage from Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that is contributing to global warming and that needs to be monitored closely. Methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas (AOG) wells have a significant impact on the climate, yet have never been accounted for or analyzed in any environmental studies. The research team I worked with aims to characterize abandoned oil and gas wells to determine what qualities may help identify high emitting wells. My role as a member of this research team was to assist in the field trips to both Pennsylvania and West Virginia where we took gas samples from AOG wells. I also analyzed the concentration of hydrocarbons present in the samples using a gas chromatography machine. In addition to the experiments, I researched the oil, gas, and coal regulations of West Virginia to provide background information for this newer fieldwork site. During my junior year, I will continue working with this team on an independent study project. Using the skills I obtained in both the field and in the lab this summer, I hope to continue to pursue my interests in climate science.

Internship Year


Project Category

Climate Change and Environmental Science


Mauzerall Group, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and Woodrow Wilson School (WWS), Princeton University, Princeton, NJ


Denise Mauzerall, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering and WWS