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  • “Farming" late-generation natural gas shows potential


    G. W. Shurr

    Environmental concerns are a main driving force behind high demand for natural gas. With its relatively low emissions, natural gas is a logical bridge between traditional fossil fuels like oil and coal and newly emerging renewable resources such as ethanol and wind. But natural gas may be “green” for other reasons. There is a clear potential that a certain type of gas can be “raised” like an agricultural product. An ultra-shallow glacial aquifer in eastern South Dakota provides insight into the distinctive hydrocarbon system that has the capacity to deliver this new “agricultural product.” BACKGROUND Most economic accumulations of shallow natural gas are biogenic gas, of which there are two types. Early-generation biogenic gas was formed in the distant geologic past by microbial action near the depositional interface between water and sediments. Early-generation biogenic gas is old gas that has been trapped in the host rock since the time of deposition.

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