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Abandoned Oil/Gas Well Searches

The company continued to provide this unique service to the US coal industry and other companies interested in search of abandoned wells on their property.  There are still thousands of poorly-documented legacy abandoned oil/gas wells drilled many decades ago that need to be found due to safety and environmental issues.  During the WWII recycling program, many of the steel pipes were recovered but the holes were left unplugged.  As a result, these legacy wells are harder to find by simple metal detectors.

LMG&A employs an innovative cost-effective digital multi-frequency EM system to enhance images of the near-surface.  A recent example of EM data (above) gathered showed a pipeline and three possible abandoned well locations. By employing such non-invasive remote-sensing technology, coal companies can minimize excavation work and disturbance to farmlands and property which should please property owners.  Moreover, subsurface profiles generated from the digital multi-frequency EM survey will permit the coal company to focus their search efforts in specific areas, resulting in significant time and monetary savings.  There had been cases where the EM data did not show any indications of an abandoned well inside the study area, allowing coal companies to apply for permits as proper “due diligence” work was conducted.



Coal has very a low acoustic impedance property (density x velocity) and contrasts with respect to shales and sandstones.  As a result, coal seams are strong reflectors of seismic energy.  Theoretically if the coal seam is uniformly thick, we should expect to record strong continuous and uniform reflection amplitudes.  Mine voids and cavities would disrupt the seismic wavelet and weaken reflection amplitudes.  Given estimated mine void depths greater than 40 ft beneath the surface, the high-resolution 2D surface seismic reflection method is the most effective non-invasive remote-sensing geophysical method that can detect and image the anomaly.  Below are two recent examples gathered in the US Mid-Continent Region.

PDC Seismic Line 1Coal seismic section highlights anomalous signature beneath drillhole B-13-10 indicating detection of abandoned old mine works while the disturbance beneath drillhole C-4 was due to backfilled material.

PDC Seismic Line 10
Disturbed zone near the center of the seismic section is interpreted to be associated with old mine works.  Post-seismic survey drilling confirmed the anomaly.



A major coal seismic exploration program was conducted in the Black Warrior Basin for a new client to detect any potential geologic anomalies that could adversely impact future longwall mining.  Images of the crew conducting seismic acquisition field work are presented below.



The theme of the 2nd US Government Trade Mission to Mongolia was on “Coal Mining Equipment and Technologies” (October 22-23).  As a result, Gochioco was invited to participate because of his extensive technical background and experience in the US coal industry.

The delegation was lead by Director General Suresh Kumar (US & Foreign Commercial Service) and coordinated by Zhen Gong-Cross (Commerce Dept. - Washington DC) and Michael D. Richmond (Sr. Commercial Officer, US Embassy - Ulaanbaatar).  A group picture of the US Trade Delegation is shown above. 


Dr. THOMAS D. BARROW – Philanthropist and Mentor

The world lost a respected pillar of the petroleum, mining, and geoscience industries.  Dr. Thomas D. Barrow passed away on January 27.  He was a pioneer and demonstrated a career path for geoscientists and petroleum engineers to rise up to the highest echelons of Corporate America.  Gochioco was very fortunate to have interviewed Dr. Barrow when he worked at GX Technology from 2000 to 2005 (see Publications – A Legend in Wildcatting, 2003, TLE).   Dr. Barrow was very generous in sharing his professional experiences.  As a result, Gochioco learned how to emulate his mentor’s advises in building his energy and minerals businesses.

Dr. Thomas and Janice Barrow
When Dr. Barrow peacefully passed away, Gochioco was in the Philippines forming a JV to deploy innovative technologies that will significantly improve vehicle gas mileage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  “Tom, thank you very much for your valuable coaching and advises.  We all miss you dearly.”


PHILIPPINES – Ateneo de Manila University

In late June, Gochioco traveled to the Philippines to attend the Eco-G Nano Technology board meeting and to pursue other energy/power generation/minerals business opportunities. He visited his alma mater to congratulate the Jesuit School's new president, Fr. Jett Villarin. Villarin ('80 BS Physics) and Gochioco ('78 BS Physics) were old friends since their collegiate years.

For over a decade, Gochioco explored about establishing a geophysical services company but local demand was minimal. Things are different now as Fr. Villarin supports Earth Sciences and advises several major Philippine Corporations and key executives. There were discussions to improve collaborative efforts between the university and GeoNano Technology Corp. in order to introduce innovative geophysical technologies to the Philippines as applied to petroleum and mineral exploration, as well as for environmental assessments and natural disaster mitigation.

(L to R) Lawrence M. Gochioco, Fr. Jett Villarin, and JR Gochioco.

Gochioco brought his 2nd son, JR, to visit the Philippines for the first time. His exposure to Asian cultures was part of his training to learn more about the region's prospective energy and technology businesses. Gochioco's oldest son, Lawrence III, is an oil field engineer at HALLIBURTON. He currently works at onshore drilling sites in Texas and Louisiana, and operates the company's most advanced horizontal MWD (measure while drilling) tools employed to hydro-frac tight shale formations to produce gas.



GeoSignals LLC (Mongolia) and LM Gochioco & Associates Inc. (USA) has formed a joint venture to provide advanced 2D and 3D surface seismic services to the petroleum industry of Mongolia.  The new business entity will be named, GS Seismic Services.  LMG&A Inc. will continue to provide valuable training and technical support to their Mongolian partners from their base in Houston, Texas, USA.

Five Vibroseis units were recently acquired and will be used as seismic sources for the country’s major 2D and 3D seismic surveys in petroleum exploration.

Given increased concerns about the environmental impact and leaving behind acquisition footprints, management made a conscientious decision to employ the Vibroseis source despite higher capital outlay.  When dynamite is used as a seismic source, the process requires drilling shallow holes and placing the explosive down hole.  When detonated, the explosion could likely damage shallow aquifers and strata.  Thus, the vibroseis source is a much better option.


LM Gochioco & Associates Inc. and GeoNano Technology Corporation (USA) in cooperation with AMCA Smart Solutions (Philippines) have agreed to form a joint venture in the Philippines to develop and market innovative technologies that will address energy and environmental challenges in Asia.  LMG&A Inc. and GeoNano Technology provided some capital infusion as well as technical support to the new business entity which will be named, Eco-G Nano Technology

The first company innovative product, called the Eco-G3000, is a fuel mixture vaporizer system that is very eco-friendly.  In the last three years, the device underwent controlled laboratory and field testing in the Philippines.  Based on test results, the device can

  • Boost engine performance
  • Increase fuel efficiency by up to 60%
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%


The JV has already installed hundreds of devices on motorcycles and tricycles, and will shortly develop larger units to retrofit jeepneys, cars, and buses.  The rollout of this invention is timely given the concurrent global uncertainty in secure oil supplies and high oil prices.  With this technology, tricycle owners/operators should realize significant fuel savings and lessen the country’s overall dependence on imported petroleum products.

(L to R) Rolen Manansala, Alex Cayaba (President of AMCA Smart Solutions), Lawrence M. Gochioco, (President of LMG&A Inc. and GeoNano Technology Corp.) and Celestino Palma III witnessed the signing of the agreement on January 28, 2011 in Makati, Philippines.


The company website, www.ecognano.com, will soon be launched to describe some of the emerging technologies and services the new firm can provide.



2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005

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