Deep Source Gas research is focused on the hypothesis that natural gas is generated in sediments carried to great depths at convergent plate boundaries in the earth's crust. These deeply emplaced sediments may source gas to shallower, drillable traps through deep fracture systems. Many areas of North America are believed to have experienced plate tectonic convergence. The western Cordilleran geologic province in particular appears to have thrust fault structures (associated with subduction and obduction) that enabled deep emplacement of hydrocarbon-generating sediments during more recent geologic ages (during the last 180 million years). The specific area of interest in this province encompasses approximately 1.5 million square miles of the western U.S. (including Alaska) and Canada; other portions of this same province extend southward into Mexico and Central and South America.

The ongoing research consists of basic studies of hydrocarbon generation, stability, and preservation at depths in excess of 30,000 feet in addition to a comprehensive evaluation of the geologic structures, stratigraphy, and geochemistry of the above region.

Results to date include geologic and geophysical evidence of deeply emplaced sedimentary rock units at depths exceeding 30,000 feet in western Washington and south central Alaska, a new methodology for verifying deep methane stability via fluid inclusion studies, and a preliminary gas resource estimate of 3,000 Tcf. If only a fraction of the gas thought to exist is found to be recoverable, it could have a profound influence upon the international energy industry.

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