Tracer Detection by Laser Spectroscopy for Applications in Oil and Gas Industry Conference Paper uri icon


  • Tracer technology is very popular in petroleum engineering applications, This includes applications in reservoir characterization, reservoir modeling, improved oil recovery, etc. Most of the current tracer technology uses radioactive isotopes that are not environmentally friendly and require strict safety precautions. We propose the use of rare long-lived and stable noble gas isotopes as tracers where instead of the decay of the radioactive material, we will use optical detection. Due to their chemical inertness, rare noble gases offer the advantage that they do not react with the environment with which they are in contact. Our research employs for the first time optical detection by collinear fast beam laser spectroscopy. It has the advantage that the noble tracer projects based on multiple tracers can be designed in the future. In this work also the optical hyperfine structure of long lived was used to identify the tracer atoms. The technique has been successfully applied to stable krypton isotopes. The selectivity is at the one part in 1010 level and the sensitivity is at a few hundred ions. This method is several orders of magnitude more sensitive than the standard nuclear decay detection. This new tracer technology offers a safer and more accurate option for applications in the oil and gas industry. This research work is currently being done in Qatar for application in the Qatar's North Field. Copyright 2009, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

author list (cited authors)

  • Nava, R., Schuessler, H., Fahes, M. M., Nasrabadi, H., & Kolomenski, A.

citation count

  • 3

publication date

  • October 2009