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Utilizing Laser Spectroscopy of Noble Gas Tracers for Mapping Oil and Gas Deposits. Project ID No.: NPRP30-6-7-35 Name of Lead PI: Hans A. Schuessler Name of Contact PI: Milivoj Belic Texas A&M University (Doha, Qatar and College Station, TX).
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Project ID No.: NPRP30-6-7-35
Name of Lead PI: Hans A. Schuessler
Name of Contact PI: Milivoj Belic
Texas A&M University (Doha, Qatar and College Station, TX)
We thank the Qatar Foundation and the Qatar National Research Fund
for this research opportunity and the funds provided.
3. Next steps:
5. Organizational issues
6. Present status of the project and time table.
Noble gases are being used as tracers to measure the structure of gas and oil deposits. Due to their chemical inertness, they offer the advantage that they do not react with the environment with which they are in contact. In standard commercial applications long lived isotopes and nuclear decay counting are being used. Our research will employ stable isotopes, which are environmentally accepted.
The novelty in our present approach is that it uses optical detection for noble gases. In particular for krypton (Kr) it relies in using several narrow banded (1 MHz) cw-lasers to excite the rare isotope ions (signal ions) to a high Rydberg level, followed by field ionization and energy discrimination for their detection. We showed that this scheme can be implemented with about 20% total efficiency for 85Kr; it works equally well for all the stable Kr and other noble gas isotopes.
Optical absorption cross section s = l2 = 10-10 cm2 = 1014 barn
Useful target thickness d = 1010 atoms/cm3 = 1 pg/cm3
Intensity of photon beam I = 1019 photons/cm2 sec
(ring dye laser 1 W/cm2)
Excitation rate per atom R = s x I = 109 photons/sec
~ 140 cm-1
488 nm (fixed)
811 nm (tracked)
The Excitation Scheme (beam energy 5~12 eV)
Voltage (×100 V)
Source and open beamline segments showing the bending capacitors and the quadrupole triplet. The bending capacitors are for overlapping the ion beam on axis with the laser beam. The quadrupole triplet is to remove possible astigmatism and also serves as one of the focusing elements for the ion beam (does not contain a magnet for mass separation and field ionization region).
Preliminary ray trace results for the Wollnik type mass separator in the stigmatic imaging mode:(a) beam distribution in the x,y and z directions, (b) beam cross sections.
Director of the magnet laboratory at the University of Giessen, Germany
World-expert in mass separators and spectrometers, charged particles
motion in fields.
Author of a famous monograph: Optics of charged particles by H. Wollnik, Academic Press, New York, London, 1987.
Director, Institute for Rare Isotope Measurements, and Research Professor, Departments of Geological Sciences, and Physics and Astronomy at the University of Tennessee.
The Institute for Rare Isotopes Measurements (IRIM) explores extremely sensitive analytical techniques using multiple lasers that make the detection of only a few atoms in a sample feasible.
Collaborations with researchers word-wide to studies of very old groundwater, contaminant transport and modern groundwater recharge, age-dating of polar ice sheets, and to studies of isotopic signatures in minute mineral grains in meteorites and presolar dust grains to understand the formation and early history of our solar system.
Dr. Thonnard measured the 81Kr concentration in groundwater to better understand the flow, recharge and potential for contaminant incursion in a major regional aquifer system. The many instruments in his laboratory include four mass spectrometers, two multi-wavelength laser systems, water and gas processing systems, and lots of vacuum and electronic systems.
Particular interest for the current work presents expertise of Dr. Thonnard in purification of gas and oil samples with tracer isotopes.
Donald F. Schutz, Ph.D., consultant for the project
President of the Geonuclear Inc., Former President of the Teledyne Inc.
Dr. Schutz received his doctorate in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University in 1964.
Dr. Schutz joined Isotopes, Inc. which later became Teledyne Isotopes and thenTeledyne Brown Engineering - Environmental Services.
He performed field and laboratory work, which led to the use of radioisotopes as tracers in oil field operations.
In 1975 Dr. Schutz became president of the company and chaired the Radiation Safety Committee until 1998. Iin 1999 Dr. Schutz started Geonuclear, Inc. In April 2000 Geonuclear acquired portions of the Mass Spectrometry Services product line from Teledyne and added it to other on-going work with TLD dosimetry systems and petroleum tracers.
Participated in large scale studies of oil reservoirs with traceer gas analysis (Mexico, Dubai, North slope of Alaska).
Director of the Laser Resonance Ionization Spectroscopy for Selective Trace Analysis (LARISSA) laboratory, Institute of Physics
Johannes Gutenberg-Universitat, Mainz, Germany
Renowned expert in Resonance Ionization Spectroscopy, High Resolution Laser-Mass Spectrometry,
Ultra Trace Isotope Determination in Environmental, Bio-Medical, Fundamental Research and Applications.
Spring 2008: The PI (Schuessler) and TAMU coop Industrial Engineering student Ricardo Nava are at TAMU Qatar to install the first half of the collinear fast beam apparatus, which is ready for shipping to Doha. Professor Fahes has reservoir gas which is evaluated fo rare noble gas isotopes for possible tracer use. Professor Nasrabadi uses his expertise to simulate tracer prorogation in a reservoir. Professor Rudolph Lorentz applies data computations and numerical solutions procedures to solving reservoir simulations with differential equations. Professor Samia Jones contributes to statistics and data evaluation.
June-December 2009: A postdoc under supervision of the PI and Profs. Fahes and Nasrabadi will will further develop the collinear fast beam apparatus and work with it based on the equipment that was already setup.
February to May 2010: By this time and the field ionization part of the collinear fast beam apparatus has also been completed in the TAMU machine shop and has been shipped to Doha by TAMU. The field ionization and energy discrimination stages will be added. Also a simple laser system will be operational.
June to December 2010: We will order the remaining equipment items to be shipped directly to Doha. They will be installed into the analytical instrument. The collaborating professors, postdoctoral researchers, and students will start to use the system to process tracer samples at TAMU-Qatar.
½ of the Lab
Dr. Tarek Ali Mohamed Hassan:
2003 Ph. D. in Atomic Physics, Sweden, Stockholm University, Atomic Physics Department. 2001
Licentiate degree in Atomic Physics, Sweden, Stockholm University, Atomic Physics Department.
1996 M. Sc. in Experimental Physics, Cairo University.
1990 B. Sc. in Physics, Cairo University, First Class Honors.
Education and employment
1- Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN), Atomic Physics Laboratory, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako-Shi, Saitama 351-0198, Tokyo, Japan, from 20/1/2005 till now.
2- Postdoctoral Fellow, Laser Cooling Group, Physics Department, National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan from 8/7/2004 till 12/01/2005.
3- Assistant Professor, Cairo University, Beni-Suef Faculty of Science, Physics Department, Egypt from 1/7/2003 to 5/7/2004.
4- Ph. D. student, Stockholm University, Atomic Physics Department, Sweden, Supervisor Prof. R. Schuch, from 24/5/1999 to 2/6/2003.
5- Teaching Assistant, Cairo University, Beni-Suef Faculty of Science, Egypt from 23/4/1996 to 23/5/1999.
6- Instructor and Researcher in Physics, Cairo University, Beni-Suef Faculty of Science, Egypt from 3/10/1990 to 23/4/1996.
Diluted (1/5) Reactor sample
Results of concentration measurements on various samples