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GeoscienceBC launches H2S mapping project in Northeast B.C.

The area covered by GeoscienceBC's new H2S mapping project. Photo by GeoscienceBC.
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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – GeoscienceBC announced today that it is funding a new project in Northeast B.C. to map and predict sour gas – natural gas which can contain harmful and/or dangerous concentrations of hydrogen sulphide – or H2S.

The project, which is titled “Distribution, origin, and implications of hydrogen sulphide in unconventional reservoir rocks in Western Canada with insights into the stratigraphic zonation and lateral variability of producible hydrocarbon liquids,” is being led by principal investigator Dr. Marc Bustin.

Dr. Bustin, who is a professor with the University of British Columbia’s Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, said that the project will map and predict the distribution of sour gas and hydrocarbon liquids in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, including the active Montney, Doig, and Duvernay formations.

“The Montney, Doig, and Duvernay formations are important areas for natural gas activity, but the distribution of sour gas within these formations is complex,” said Dr. Bustin. “By mapping and predicting its location, natural gas production can be safer as well as easier and cheaper to plan.”

Gas analyses and isotopic data for the study is being provided from industry partners and complimentary, additional analyses will be undertaken as part of the study.

At low concentrations, hydrogen sulphide is colourless, flammable and smells like rotten eggs. At concentrations of greater than 100 parts per million it is potentially deadly and extremely corrosive.

“Responsible natural resource development is a central tenet of Geoscience BC research,” said GeoscienceBC Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer Carlos Salas. “This project will provide detailed maps of produced gases and isotopic analyses, as well as predictive maps of hydrogen sulphide distribution across northeast British Columbia. It will also include reservoir production models to help plan resource exploration and drilling programs.”

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