Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Real-time quadrupole mass spectrometer analysis of gas in borehole fluid samples acquired
using the U-Tube sampling methodology
- Author(s): Freifeld, Barry M.
- Trautz, Robert C.
- et al.
Sampling of fluids in deep boreholes is challenging because of the necessity to minimize external contamination and maintain sample integrity during recovery. The U-tube sampling methodology was developed to collect large volume, multiphase samples at in situ pressures. As a permanent or semi-permanent installation, the U-tube can be used for rapidly acquiring multiple samples or it may be installed for long-term monitoring applications. The U-tube was first deployed in Liberty County, TX to monitor crosswell CO2 injection as part of the Frio CO2 sequestration experiment. Analysis of gases (dissolved or separate phase) was performed in the field using a quadrupole mass spectrometer, which served as the basis for determining the arrival of the CO2 plume. The presence of oxygen and argon in elevated concentrations, along with reduced methane concentration, indicate sample alteration caused by the introduction of surface fluids during borehole completion. Despite producing the well to eliminate non-native fluids, measurements demonstrate that contamination persists until the immiscible CO2 injection swept formation fluid into the observation wellbore.