- Copyright ©2012. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists/Division of Environmental Geosciences. All rights reserved
Producers adjacent to a natural-gas storage field claimed that the natural gas they were producing was native gas from the area and not storage gas being pulled from the nearby gas storage field. The objective of this work is to apply a combination of area-specific and generic geochemical fingerprinting techniques to determine the source(s) of the natural gas being produced by third-party producers outside the gas storage field and to determine the extent of storage gas migration beyond geologic faults that lie between the production area and the gas storage field. An extensive set of natural-gas samples from the storage field, observation wells around the field, and third-party wells was analyzed for gas hydrocarbon and nonhydrocarbon compositions, as well as stable carbon isotopic compositions of methane and ethane. Gas chemical compositional data, including concentrations of the natural native gas tracer, helium, and ethane carbon isotope, were used to establish the unique fingerprints of native gas and storage gases (end-member sources) and to compare those end-member-source fingerprints to those of natural gas in the third-party wells. The analysis determined that gas in both the observation wells and third-party wells was, in fact, storage gas.