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Exploring
helium molecule
Helium

 

 

Helium is a valuable naturally occurring gas that is receiving increased attention including from petroleum explorationists.

Helium exploration was part of the NURE (National Uranium Resource Evaluation) program conducted by the USGS in the 1970’s and 80’s as a way to indirectly locate uranium deposits.

Soil gas sampling methods developed for helium inspired some of the soil gas methods used in petroleum exploration today.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Example: Tohache Wash

 

 

 

Geofrontiers analyzed soil gas samples for helium exploration by Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Company (NNOGC). One of the projects was the Tohache Wash prospect.

Tohache Wash is located in the Four Corners area of the Western United States, a region of established heium production.

 

 

 

Tohache Wash

NNOGC

Apache County, Arizona, USA

Producing reservoir

Mississippian Leadville Fm.

Key Well

Navajo-Z

1960 ⇒ Drilled by Texaco

1967 ⇒ Completed by Texaco

2015 ⇒ Re-entered by NNOGC

 

 

Distribution of helium concentration at shallow sample depths.
The Navajo-Z well is marked by the red circle on the map, contours depict structure of the Leadville Formation

Tohache Wash Map

Courtesy of Mark Andreason, NNOGC

 

 

 

 


 

Sample Collection

 

Currently available soil gas probes and evacuated glass sample containers are excellent for helium sample collection.

 

Design your program and collection layout

 

Discover our collection method using our Soil Gas Probe

 

 

 


 

Analysis

 

Experience with helium surveys from the 1980’s is the basis for our current helium capabilities.

 

Helium analysis by mass spectrometry as pioneered by the USGS has been modified and updated to provide detection well below atmospheric concentrations of 5.24 ppmv.

 

 

Helium Mass Spec Diatron

Figure by Paula Fleischmann

 

Helium Pathway Schematic

Figure by Paula Fleischmann

 

 

 

 


 

Interpretation

 

Concentration data are mapped over sample area.

 

 

tohache wash map 2

Courtesy of Mark Andreason, NNOGC