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Title: Molecular nitrogen in natural gas accumulations: Generation from sedimentary organic matter at high temperatures

The occurrence of natural gas accumulations with high percentages (up to 100%) of molecular nitrogen in various hydrocarbon provinces represents a largely unresolved problem and a serious exploration risk. In this context, a geochemical and basin modeling study was performed to evaluate the potential of sedimentary organic matter to generate molecular nitrogen. The masses of nitrogen present in coals - if converted into molecular nitrogen - are sufficient to fill commercial gas reservoirs. A calculation for gas accumulations in northern Germany, where percentages of molecular nitrogen range from less than 5 to greater than 90%, reveals that the molecular nitrogen generated in underlying coal-bearing strata is sufficient to account for the nitrogen gas even in the largest fields. In addition, much of the total nitrogen in clay-rich rock types, such as shales and mudstones, is fixed in sedimentary organic matter and may add to the nitrogen generation capacity of the coals.
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Institut fuer Erdoel und Organische Geochemie, Juelich (Germany)
  2. BEB Erdgas und Erdoel GmbH, Hannover (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
35518
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AAPG Bulletin; Journal Volume: 79; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: PBD: Mar 1995
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
03 NATURAL GAS; 01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; 58 GEOSCIENCES; NATURAL GAS FIELDS; HAZARDS; NATURAL GAS DEPOSITS; GEOCHEMISTRY; ORIGIN; NITROGEN; ECOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION; COAL DEPOSITS; CARBONIFEROUS PERIOD; FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY; RESERVOIR ROCK