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Tracing Coalbed Natural Gas - Coproduced Water Using Stable Isotopes of Carbon

UW ID: 08-052

Description of Technology

This technology measures δ13C of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in groundwater to provide a low-cost diagnostic tool to trace water sources and to understand groundwater interactions. This allows users to “fingerprint” the co-produced water.


Primary applications of this technology are: (1) to verify that during the depressurization process groundwater is withdrawn from the targeted coal seam and not from adjacent coal-free aquifers; and (2) to track the fate of the co-produced water as it moves into surface drainages and infiltrates and interacts with near surface aquifers or is re-injected into subsurface formations.

Features & Benefits

This technology allows users to distinguish waters produced from different coal zones. Additionally, this method is a cost-effective tool that can be used to provide information on lateral continuity of coalbed natural gas (CBNG) reservoirs. This technology can also provide a means to detect or measure the degree of microbial activity during enhanced recovery efforts like CO2 sequestration and microbial inoculation of coal seams.


Sharma, Shikha

Patent Status: 

Patent Pending

Contact Us: 

University of Wyoming Technology Transfer and Research Products Center 

Dept. 3672

1000 E. University Ave. 

Laramie, WY 


Phone: 307-766-2520

Fax: 307-766-2530

Contact Us

Wyoming Technology Transfer and Research Products Center

Dept. 3672

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2520

Fax: (307) 766-2530


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