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Origins of Oil and Gas

Oil and gas are most likely of organic origin, and are derived mainly from certain compounds found in marine plankton and terrestrial plants. The most important organic compounds with respect to formation of petroleum are lipids, which make up fats, steroids, and pigments, proteins, and carbohydrates. In addition, some organisms include small amounts of petroleum in their chemical makeup.The creation of a petroleum and gas reservoir from the original organic source is a complex and geologically slow process. The main requirements are as follows:

Deposition of organic matter in large quantities
Burial with finely divided clastic sediments in a quiet, non-oxidising marine environment
Transformation of the organic matter to hydrocarbons, through diagenesis
Primary Migration of the hydrocarbons, from source to other rocks
Secondary Migration to the hydrocarbon reservoir, and Accumulation of the hydrocarbons below a barrier or trap.
Cycle Hydrocarbon
Of the total organic carbon produced in the earth’s history, nearly all is recycled by organism (Fig. Cycle Hydrocarbon). No more than 0.1% of the estimated organic carbon budget has been preserved in sediments, with perhaps as much as 25% of this amount available for conversion to hydrocarbons.The four most important sources of organic carbon for deposition are phytoplankton, zooplankton, higher plants, and bacteria. Higher plants have become important only in geologically recent times, and today make up about 50% of the material deposited.The most favourable environments for deposition appear to be:
• Shallow marine (i.e. continental shelf) areas, where plankton exist in great quantities
• Deltaic zones, where rivers drop their burden of sediment and plant remains from the interiors of the continents.
If there is relatively little disturbance from wave or current action, the organic materials can build up without erosion, and little is lost due to decay. Some hydrocarbons are deposited directly in the form of geochemical fossils. These are molecules of oil produced by certain plants or animals and added directly to sediments with little or no change in composition. Geochemical fossils make up only a small fraction of crude oils, but are of great geological interest.

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