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Modern concepts concerning the origin of oil and gas are reviewed. Emphasis is stressed on those sedimentary environments under which conditions are most favorable for not only the origin but also the accumulation and preservation of major hydrocarbon reserves.
Over 90% of the oil and gas discovered to date has been found in 4 different sedimentary environments. The deltaic complex, in particular the delta margin environment, is probably the most favorable of these 4 environments. Second is the rapidly subsiding carbonate shelf or lagoon where carbonate and/or evaporite sedimentation keeps pace with subsidence. Third is the reef complex associated with the carbonate shelf. Fourth is the turbidite environment which includes all gravity-induced submarine flows, both arenaceous and carbonate.
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