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Oil source rocks, shale and hydrocarbon reservoirs as an underestimated source of greenhouse methane emission

The project focuses on solutions to forecast global climate change, and in particular – works on the improvement of models global warming due to increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Global warming causes political, economic, demographic and other problems. In recent years, the demand towards understanding the role of methane emissions from oil and gas deposits, oil source and shale strata has emerged. The purpose of the project is to determine quantity and dynamics of methane emission from oil, gas deposits and shale strata in the past and today and base the forecast of future dynamics on adequate climate models. By now the methane sources have been underestimated, and are seldom taken into consideration by climate models. According to results of methane contents monitored by satellites (e.g. Turner A., 2016) it has been proposed that essential part of the CH4 in the atmosphere must be produced by other sources than the modern biological systems. Taking into account that the quantity of organic matter in sedimentary rocks are 10(7) gigatonnes, and in modern biological systems at the Earth’s surface the mass of carbon is not more than 10(4) gigatonnes, one can assume that in some geological epochs excessive methane flows should have added to the global budget, due to geothermal events in the upper mantle and the crust bearing oil and gas deposits. Reconstruction of these events provides data for understanding the nature of climate changes and making forecasting more effective. The proposed studies will provide data of distribution of maturation degree of oil source formation and can be used for determination of “most relevant places” for further development of methane. Thus, this investigation is currently imperative and timely. The obtained data will be used to forecast limits of exploitation of fossil fuels in near future. The results are crucial for implementation of solutions potentially valid for the Global Climate Change Protocol (Paris, 2015). Modern physicochemical and mathematical methods will be applied in this project, from satellite based systems to laboratory data allowing estimation on carbon leakage inferred from carbon isotopic ratio in underground gases and carbon isotopic ratio in methane of relics of the ancient atmosphere in the Antarctic ice cores. In the course of the project the following innovative modeling instruments and technologies will be designed: supersteady methods for solving inverse problems for satellite, geomagnetic and gravity data, IR spectrometer for remote determination of methane and carbon dioxide with the assessment of the carbon isotope ratio, technology of regional forecast of hydrocarbon deposits with an estimation of the resource potential of oil and gas basins. These products can be applied in many branches of science and technology.