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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 48 (1964)

Issue: 4. (April)

First Page: 529

Last Page: 529

Title: Geochemistry's Role in Oil Exploration: ABSTRACT

Author(s): W. E. Hanson

Article Type: Meeting abstract


This introductory paper keynotes the symposium on "Geochemistry in Petroleum Exploration," the first A.A.P.G. symposium ever to be devoted exclusively to the subject of geochemistry. The purpose is to acquaint petroleum geologists with this rapidly growing field and to alert them to the potential which geochemical methods may have in the search for oil.

The science of geochemistry which deals broadly with chemical processes in the earth has been developing vigorously over the past two decades along organic and biochemical as well as physical and inorganic lines. With the advent of new and highly sensitive analytical techniques, it is now possible to probe the complex chemical changes that occur during the accumulation, compaction, and subsequent lithification of sediments, and in particular to trace the course of bituminization of the organic plant and animal debris that accumulates with the finer grained minerals.

Out of this work are emerging numerous relationships which reflect in a sensitive manner the source materials and natural history of petroleum genesis. The evaluation of these relationships as practical criteria in petroleum exploration requires that they be assessed critically in basin-wide studies by closely cooperating geologists and geochemists. Some types of exploration problems appear to be amenable to geochemical analysis.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists