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Primary applications of this technology are: (1) to verify that during the depressurization process groundwater is withdrawn from the targeted coal seam and not from adjacent coal-free aquifers; and (2) to track the fate of the co-produced water as it moves into surface drainages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