Biogenic Methane Potential (BioMeP), Phase II
The rising energy demand favours exploration of underexplored hydrocarbon resources such as biogenic methane, which accounts for as much as 20% of the world's natural gas resource (Rice & Claypool, 1981). New interest in this resource is growing in the industry and rising exploration efforts show its increasing significance for future energy supply. Accumulations of biogenic gas are widespread and occur in a variety of depositional settings (marine and non-marine) and rock types (siliciclastics, carbonates and coal). Deltaic regions, deep-water clastic settings, shelves and coal swamps are favourable habitats (Rice, 1993).
Key questions for future exploration activities are:
- Which marine or non-marine sediments are most promising for biogenic methane formation, and where do they occur?
- How much biogenic methane is being generated currently, and how much was generated in the geological past?
- Which are/were the controlling factors for biogenic methane generation, and how much was intermediately stored as hydrate with a potential to survive as free gas?
Answering these questions would support further exploration activities on structural targets with the aim to discover biogenic methane gas fields. A novel approach and modelling platform (PEaCH4: Potential of Early CH4) was successfully developed, tested and applied in the recently finished phase I of the BioMeP project to overcome this gap and to evaluate the potential for such accumulations in selected key areas. Phase II of the BioMeP project aims at developing PEaCH4.
- PeaCH4 mass balance approach