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A new, innovative method of integrated gas geochemical exploration for petroleum has recently been developed and is being evaluated. The technique involves the shallow burial of Curie-point wire coated with a small amount of activated carbon in a cylindrical container in the topsoil where the carbon interacts with emanating soil gases. A collection period of several days to weeks is employed, depending on soil conditions. After removing the wires from the support apparatus, analysis is conducted using a Curie-point pyrolyzer directly coupled to a quadrapole mass spectrometer. The resulting mass spectra are analyzed by multi-variate statistics using the program, ARTHUR. The results of the data analysis have been correlated to the presence of oil and gas along with the effe ts of gas emission on areal pattern variation.
The initial gas geochemical experiments have been conducted over known accumulations of petroleum in the Weld County section of the Denver-Julesburg basin, the southern overthrust belt in central Utah, and the Patrick Draw oil field in the eastern Green River basin of Wyoming. Initial testing of the technique has been over a period extending from June through September 1982. Effects on gas emission rates and pattern variations will be discussed with respect to geologic structure, hydrodynamic factors, soil conditions, and seasonal variations. The advantages and disadvantages of the integrative sampling techniques when compared to conventional gas geochemical methods used in petroleum exploration will also be discussed. Although the technique has been applied to a limited number of are s, the early results show great promise in reducing many of the problems associated with other gas geochemical methods.
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