Natural Gas Stable Isotope Analysis

13C / 12C and 2H / 1H

The most robust and detailed characterization of hydrocarbon gas molecules available is accomplished using stable isotope analysis. The naturally occurring hydrogen and carbon isotopic tracers of C1 - C5 hydrocarbon gas molecules are remarkably useful because the relative abundance of 12C and 13C or 2H and 1H in a gas depends on the various processes involved in the generation and subsequent migration or alteration of the hydrocarbon gases. For thermogenic gases, these data have been correlated extensively to the isotopic composition of the organic source material and the thermal maturity at which those molecules were generated, which is critical to the understanding of a petroleum system. (James, 1990; Clayton, 1991; Schoell, 1983; Whiticar, 1994).


DIG's scientists and engineers have used stable isotope analysis of natural gases for a wide range of applications, including:Thermal Maturity of DJ Basin natural gases based on stable isotope analysis

  • Gas Origin
  • Thermal Maturity of Thermogenic Gas
  • Reservoir Compartmentalization
  • Hydrocarbon Migration
  • Gas-Oil Phase Prediction
  • Production Allocation/ Gas Mixing
  • Gas Storage
    • Fingerprint Storage Gas vs. Native Gas
  • Wellbore Integrity
    • Fingerprinting Sources of Surface Casing Pressure Gas 
  • Setting a Geochemical Baseline before Plugging and Abandonment
  • Stray Gas Forensics
  • Providing Bioremediation of Stray Gas in the Near-Surface Environment


Contact DIG to get more information about Natural Gas Stable Isotope Analysis and what it can do for you today!