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Carbon isotopic ratios can distinguish among different sources of methane and can be used to correlate maturity of sediments with the methane. This technique has been applied to several wells and the isotopic values have been used to suggest the sources of the methane and whether the methane migrated into the area. Comparison of the isotopic ratio changes in ethane, propane, and butanes indicated that isotopic fractionation of methane by migration is not a major factor. The significant changes in methane isotopic ratio and the small changes in the isotopic ratios of these heavier hydrocarbons suggest that, although diffusion is not the sole process in migration, the time for migration is moderate.
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