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Coleman, Dennis D.1, Steven R. Pelphrey1, Todd M Coleman1
(1) Isotech Laboratories, Inc, Champaign, IL

ABSTRACT: Advances in the Collection and Isotopic Analysis of Mud Gases

Isotopic analysis of mud gases is now accepted as an integral component of hydrocarbon exploration for many major oil companies. A variety of different methods and sampling containers have evolved over the years for collection and shipment of these samples, some of which provide for easy collection of reliable samples but others of which should be avoided like the plague. Isotopic analysis methods have also evolved in recent years. Traditional off-line preparation followed by dual-inlet mass spectrometry still provides the most reliable results. However, online GC-Combustion-Mass Spectrometry allows for more rapid analysis of smaller samples at acceptable precision levels for many applications. Despite the advances that have been made, delays in shipping samples, which must generally be identified as "hazardous materials," have limited the applicability of mud gas isotope logging (MGIL) in some areas. Now being tested are deployable, remote isotope laboratory systems. These new logging tools are sufficiently robust and reliable to allow isotope laboratories to be set up in close proximity to the main drilling areas and thus can provide isotopic data with very short turnaround times.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90026©2004 AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, April 18-21, 2004.