Cenovus Case Study

Chemistry Matters Inc. was retained by Cenovus Energy Inc to conduct a soil gas investigation to address allegations that Cenovus activities were resulting in environmental impacts on a local resident’s property.  Lead scientist, Dr. Court Sandau, developed a sampling and analytical strategy to examine gas migration which conclusively determined that Cenovus activities were not responsible for any environmental impacts on the property.  The investigation involved comprehensive, fully transparent and documented sampling of soil gas coupled with gas composition, gas stable isotope and gas radio-isotope analysis which provided definitive conclusions that soil gas and the biosphere were not being impacted from Cenovus oil production activities.  The study was developed and executed under strict timelines, was evaluated independently by scientific peers and published and defended for public scrutiny involving  press releases and a press conference.  The study has been published online on the Cenovus website.  The news release for the study can also be found here.

Since the project was completed, Chemistry Matters has continued to work on measurement, monitoring and verification (MMV) programs developing standard operating procedures and best practices for clients to provide confidence in techniques used to track and monitor injection gases.   MMV programs are used on carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) projects (formerly referred to as just CCS) as well as enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects.  Work by Chemistry Matters in these areas include the development of best practices for soil gas monitoring, gas migration assessment, identification of surface casing vent leaks (liquids or gases), and mud gas logging.  These practices involve the development or incorporation of field measurements, sampling strategies or monitoring programs.


  • General gas composition interpretation
  • Stable isotope interpretation (carbon dioxide, methane, ethane, propane, etc)
  • Radiolabelled isotope interpretation (methane)
  • Nobel gas interpretation


  • Mud gas logging
  • Soil gas monitoring
  • Surface casing vent sampling
  • Production fluid sampling
  • Geoforensic analysis and interpretation

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