Samples of natural gas were collected as part of a study of formation water chemistry in oil and gas reservoirs in the Appalachian Basin. Nineteen samples (plus two duplicates) were collected from 11 wells producing gas from Upper Devonian sandstones and the Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. The samples were collected from valves located between the wellhead and the gas-water separator. Analyses of the radon content of the gas indicated 222Rn (radon-222) activities ranging from 1 to 79 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) with an overall median of 37 pCi/L. The radon activities of the Upper Devonian sandstone samples overlap to a large degree with the activities of the Marcellus Shale samples.
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Radon-222 content of natural gas samples from Upper and Middle Devonian sandstone and shale reservoirs in Pennsylvania—preliminary data