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Geochemical Journal
Geochemical Journal An open access journal for geochemistry
Published for geochemistry community from Geochemical Society of Japan.

Chemical and isotopic compositions of natural gases from the Japanese major oil and gas fields: Origin and compositional change due to migration

Shun-ichiro Igari, Susumu Sakata
Geochemical Journal, Vol. 22, No. , P. 257-263, 1988


Carbon isotopic ratios (13C/12C) and chemical compositions of methane (C1), ethane (C2), propane (C3), i-butane (i-C4) and n-butane (n-C4) were measured for natural gases from the Japanese major oil and gas fields. The C1/(C2+C3) vs. δ13C(C1) plot suggests that most samples analyzed in the present study are of thermogenic origin with a minor contribution of biogenic gases. Some gases show unusually high ratios of C2/C3 and i-C4/n-C4, and low ratios of C3/i-C4 (Unusual-Hydrocarbon-Ratio gases: UHR gases). The carbon isotopic ratios and hydrocarbon compositions strongly suggest that these unusual ratios were caused by the chromatographic effect of sediments during migration of the gases. By comparing hydrocarbon ratios (C1/C2, C2/C3, C2/i-C4, C2/n-C4, C3/i-C4, C3/n-C4 and i-C4/n-C4) of the UHR and normal gases, it was found that the natural gases tend to lose their hydrocarbons during migration in the order: n-C4 ≅ C3 > C2 = i-C4 > C1.

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