Finding and Protecting Energy Resources with 21st Century Geochemical Tools
Seneshen, David; Fontana, John V.
Organic and inorganic geochemical analyses of various sample media (soil gas, groundwater, soils, lake sediments etc.) are used to reduce risk in oil & gas exploration and development. More specifically, the methods help to focus land acquisition, seismic surveys and drill targets in petroleum exploration. Additionally the geochemical methods are used for documenting baseline environmental conditions before and after development of an energy resource to prevent potential litigation and complaints down the road.
The results of unique geochemical exploration surveys from the following areas will be presented:
(1) Albion-Scipio Oil Field (Michigan) - Crude oil microseeps in focused the drilling of commercial oil wells in the 4,000-foot deep, Ordovician Trenton hydrothermal dolomite reservoir.
(2) Hensel Graben Oil/Gas Field (Ohio) - Gasoline-range hydrocarbons and barium and lithium are anomalous over the edges of the hydrothermal dolomite reservoir.
(3) Roncott Bakken Oil Field (Saskatchewan) - Crude oil microseeps are evident over and around the field and in several townships surrounding Roncott.
(4) Jonah Gas Field (Wyoming) - Wet gas anomalies over an 8,500-foot deep, over-pressured, tight gas sand reservoir.
(5) Tuk Oil and Gas Fields (Mackenzie Delta, NWT, Canada) - Thermogenic (C2+) headspace hydrocarbon anomalies in lake sediments and soil cores over the Tertiary Tuk oil field and the Cretaceous Tuk gas field.
Baseline environmental surveys are done before and after the development of an energy resource to document groundwater quality and natural hydrocarbon seeps. This documentation is important for avoiding future potential litigation and complaints from landowners and regulatory agencies. Groundwater from domestic and stock wells near proposed oil and/or gas wells are tested for dissolved C1-C7 hydrocarbons, carbon and deuterium isotopes of detected hydrocarbons, cations and anions, and pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria to document general water quality before and after stimulation of an oil and/or gas reservoir. Examples of baseline environmental surveys from the DJ and Ration Basins will be presented. Forensic isotopic evidence from shallow aquifers and produced water in the DJ Basin will be shown to emphasize the lack of fluid mixing between oil and gas reservoirs and shallow groundwater aquifers.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90163©2013AAPG 2013 Annual Convention and Exhibition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 19-22, 2013