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Vaux-en-Bugey (Ain, France); the first gas field produced in France, providing learning lessons for natural hydrogen in the sub-surface?

Jean-Francois Deronzier and Helene Giouse
Vaux-en-Bugey (Ain, France); the first gas field produced in France, providing learning lessons for natural hydrogen in the sub-surface?
Bulletin de la Societe Geologique de France (2020) 191 (1)

Abstract

The former Vaux-en-Bugey field, first French methane production from early 20th century, is revisited as a case study to address the present generation and accumulation theories for gases like hydrogen and helium. The volume of the initial gas in place is estimated to be 22 million m3. Based on a composition of 5% of hydrogen and 0.096% of helium, the volumes of these gases in the field were respectively around 1.1 million m3 for hydrogen and 24000 m3 for helium. The different hypotheses of hydrogen sources are reviewed: serpentinization, hydro-oxidation of siderite, water radiolysis, bio-fermentation, mechanical generation, degassing from depth trough faults, steel corrosion. For helium generation, the different sources of radioactive minerals and intermediate accumulations are examined. The most probable scenario is the hydrogen production by water radiolysis and helium production by radioactive decay in or near the basement, migrating trough deep faults, stored and concentrating in an aquifer with thermogenic methane, then flushed by methane into the gas field, during Jura thrusting. New measurements with portable gas detector, incomplete but including hydrogen, on a former exploration well with accessible flux of gas, give the opportunity to comment gas saturation evolution more than a century after the 1906 discovery. The decreasing of hydrogen content since the discovery of the field is probably due to Sulphate-Reducing Bacteria activity.


ISSN: 0037-9409
EISSN: 1777-5817
Coden: BSGFAE
Serial Title: Bulletin de la Societe Geologique de France
Serial Volume: 191
Serial Issue: 1
Title: Vaux-en-Bugey (Ain, France); the first gas field produced in France, providing learning lessons for natural hydrogen in the sub-surface?
Affiliation: 6, rue de l'Essai, Paris, France
Pages: Article 7
Published: 2020
Text Language: English
Summary Language: French
Publisher: Societe Geologique de France, Paris, France
References: 72
Accession Number: 2020-041609
Categories: Economic geology, geology of energy sources
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables, geol. sketch maps
N45°49'60" - N46°00'00", E05°15'00" - E05°25'00"
Country of Publication: France
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2020, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Societe Geologique de France. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 2020
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