P Lakshmi Srinivasa Rao
Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science
Volume 122 Issue 1 February 2013 pp 55-63
Light hydrocarbons in soil have been used as direct indicators in geochemical hydrocarbon exploration, which remains an unconventional path in the petroleum industry. The occurrence of adsorbed soil gases, methane and heavier homologues were recorded in the near-surface soil samples collected from Kutch–Saurashtra, India. Soil gas alkanes were interpreted to be derived from deep-seated hydrocarbon sources and have migrated to the surface through structural discontinuities. The source of hydrocarbons is assessed to be thermogenic and could have been primarily derived from humic organic matter with partial contribution from sapropelic matter. Gas chromatographic analyses of hydrocarbons desorbed from soil samples through acid extraction technique showed the presence of methane through 𝑛-butane and the observed concentrations (in ppb) vary from: methane (C1) from 4–291, ethane (C2) from 0–84, propane (C3) from 0–37, i-butane (iC4) from 0–5 and 𝑛-butane (nC4) from 0–4. Carbon isotopes measured for methane and ethane by GC-C-IRMS, range between −42.9‰ to −13.3‰ (Pee Dee Belemnite – PDB) and −21.2‰ to −12.4‰ (PDB), respectively. The increased occurrence of hydrocarbons in the areas near Anjar of Kutch and the area south to Rajkot of Saurashtra signifies the area potential for oil and gas.
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