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Determination of stable carbon (δ13C) isotope systematics for alkylphenols and light aromatic hydrocarbons (BTEX) in petroleum formation waters and co-produced oils

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gordon Love, Professor Andrew Aplin, Professor Stephen Larter


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Solid phase microextraction (SPME) techniques coupled with gas chromatography-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-IRMS) were used to determine the stable carbon (delta(13)C) isotopic compositions of aromatic hydrocarbons (BTEX: benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes) and phenol in a small suite of co-produced oils and waters from a North Sea oilfield. The delta(13)C patterns and the compound profiles observed are consistent with the theory that the concentrations and distributions of BTEX and alkylphenols in oilfield waters can simply be explained by partition equilibrium between oil and water. The large difference in delta(13)C signatures for phenol compared with benzene and toluene (7 - 8 parts per thousand vs. PDB) in both the oil and water phases strongly suggests that, at least for BTEX and phenols, reversible chemical reactions controlled by master geochemical variables (such as fO(2)) do not appear to be important at the temperatures of most oilfields. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Love GD, Aplin AC, Larter SR, Taylor G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Geochemical Exploration

Year: 2003

Volume: 78-9

Pages: 465-467

ISSN (print): 0375-6742

ISSN (electronic):


DOI: 10.1016/S0375-6742(03)00082-7

Notes: Proceedings of Geofluids IV, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 12-16 May 2003 Edited by Verweij JM; Doust H; Peach CJ, Spiers CJ; Swennen RAJ


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