Bulk and position-specific isotope geochemistry of natural gases from the Late Cretaceous Eagle Ford Shale, south Texas

Heng Zhao, Changjie Liu, Toti E. Larson, Gregory P. McGovern, Juske Horita

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

A dataset of bulk and position-specific isotope compositions of shale gases from the Late Cretaceous Eagle Ford Shale, south Texas is reported. The chemical and bulk isotopic compositions of the seven samples in this study and those available from the literature show that across the play, produced natural gas from the Eagle Ford Shale preserves a wide range of gas compositions (wetness, ~5 to >90%) and δ13C values of C1–C3. The depth profiles of the isotopic compositions suggest that the western region of the Eagle Ford Shale deposit had experienced as much as 700–800 m of uplift-erosion or gas migration. The timing of and lost-gas fractions by gas expulsion events very likely affected their gas compositions and bulk isotope compositions. Some deep (>3000–3500 m), matured (%Ro > 1.5) gases with heavy δ13C(C1–C3) values indicate significant loss (>50%) of the early-stage gases. For the position-specific isotope deviations of propane, the ΔC2-1 values of the five samples show small decrease with well depths, while the ΔH2-1 values have a general increasing trend. Although some samples fall very close to the equilibrium model trajectories with reasonable calculated temperatures (138–148 °C), the position-specific isotope compositions of propane from the Eagle Ford Shale gases are likely results of thermal cracking of various organic molecules within the source rocks, which have different activation energy for cracking and non-statistical distributions of C/H isotope within them.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104659
JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
Volume122
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

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