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Leakage of oil & gas during fossil fuel exploration, production, and transportation poses a major environmental challenge that impacts the quality of air, water, soil, and ultimately the life on Earth. The result of uncontrolled spills & leakages may cause the contamination of groundwater as well as methane emission into the atmosphere increasing global warming, while the spills in open waters in the case of offshore wellbores impact fragile marine ecosystems. The subsurface conditions where P&A materials need to be placed, the challenges encountered during barrier placement in wellbores under current P&A technologies, contaminations of barrier materials by drilling fluid and possible mitigation, and the future requirements of P&A materials and technology involved in restoring subsurface sealing barriers interrupted by drilling are discussed.

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Environmental Engineering Science

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