GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 151-10
Presentation Time: 4:05 PM


DARRAH, Thomas H. and WHYTE, Colin J., School of Earth Sciences, The Ohio State University, 275 Mendenhall Laboratory, 125 South Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210

The expansion of conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon exploration to deeper environments and more complex systems has led to the more common discovery of low BTU natural gas fields, including fields rich in helium, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. While low BTU discoveries can negatively impact economic recovery of given plays because of lower than anticipated hydrocarbon contents or the need for expensive rejection/purification technologies, they provide unique opportunities to identify, interrogate, and potentially recover other added value resources such as helium, carbon dioxide, or even hydrogen.

Helium is now considered a critical resource in the United States, which highlights the importance of evaluating and understanding the geological, hydrological, and geochemical context of potentially helium-rich low BTU natural gas systems. Herein, we will review the state-of-the-art gas noble gas isotope geochemical analyses for evaluating these geological systems in the contiguous United States and Canada.