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Consideration of southern Oklahoma geologic history in the context of plate-tectonic analogies to present continental margins suggests several avenues of investigation that help explain some oil and gas accumulations and could lead to more discoveries. Postulated origin as the abandoned arm (aulacogen) of a rift triple junction in the late Precambrian and early Paleozoic suggests the potential for fault-controlled sedimentation and early generation of oil and gas by magmatic heating. Collision-related late Paleozoic deformation suggests displacement of early Paleozoic reservoirs by wrench faulting and the formation of traps by wrench-controlled thrust faulting. The search for fracture reservoirs involves facies relationships to the precollision continental margin, fractur ng during collision, and prediction of open fractures based on stress orientation related to formation of the Gulf of Mexico. Position of the early Paleozoic continental margin with its unrealized potential for oil and gas accumulation remains an enigma concealed by late Paleozoic emplacement of the Ouachita thrust complex unknown distances over the edge of the early Paleozoic continental edge and subsequent burial by Mesozoic sediment during formation of the Gulf of Mexico.
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