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Title: Pitfalls and caveats in surface light hydrocarbon surveying

The credible application of light hydrocarbon surveying in petroleum exploration requires an appreciation of the genesis, mobility, and alteration of light hydrocarbons in subsurface and surface environments. In this context, case studies and experimental work are discussed in this paper illustrating some of the pitfalls that beset light hydrocarbon surveying. These examples document a variety of spurious or false' light hydrocarbon anomalies that are genetically related to soil and sediment properties (e.g., mineralogy, parent material, indigenous organic material, biological activity) rather than to seepage phenomena. Also discussed are instances in which the natural alteration of biogenically produced light hydrocarbons in surface environments has yielded hydrocarbons that mimic thermogenically produced hydrocarbons. In addition, examples are shown in which light hydrocarbons produced during shale diagenesis (and that can be expelled via shale compaction) resemble thermogenically produced light hydrocarbons. Finally, data are presented that indicate that acid extraction, a popular analytical technique, can itself produce hydrocarbons from soil and sediment samples containing particular clay and organic constituents. Thus, the challenge in light hydrocarbon surveying is to critically evaluate the presence of light hydrocarbons in surface materials in terms of a number of possible origins, not all of which imply the existence of subsurfacemore » reservoired hydrocarbons.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. (Conoco Inc., Ponca City, OK (United States))
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
7171367
Report Number(s):
CONF-910403--
Journal ID: ISSN 0149-1423; CODEN: AABUD
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AAPG Bulletin (American Association of Petroleum Geologists); (United States); Journal Volume: 75:3; Conference: Annual meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), Dallas, TX (United States), 7-10 Apr 1991
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; GEOCHEMICAL SURVEYS; DATA ANALYSIS; PETROLEUM DEPOSITS; EXPLORATION; ERRORS; ORIGIN; RELIABILITY; SEEPS; SOIL CHEMISTRY; CHEMISTRY; GEOLOGIC DEPOSITS; MINERAL RESOURCES; RESOURCES; SURVEYS 020200* -- Petroleum-- Reserves, Geology, & Exploration