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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 61 (1977)

Issue: 1. (January)

First Page: 100

Last Page: 104

Title: Distribution of Carbon as Hydrocarbons and Asphaltic Compounds in Sedimentary Rocks: GEOLOGIC NOTES

Author(s): John M. Hunt (2)


Sedimentary rocks of the earth's crust contain approximately 265 × 1018 g of carbon in the form of hydrocarbons and 275 × 1018 g in the form of soluble nonhydrocarbons (asphalt). It is estimated that 9% of the hydrocarbons are in sedimentary rocks that never have been heated above 50°C. About 90% are in sedimentary rocks that have been heated from 50 to 200°C and 1% are in rocks heated above 200°C. The fact that most hydrocarbons are present in fine-grained, nonreservoir rocks at temperatures between 50 and 200°C indicates that this is the temperature range in which most petroleum is formed.

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