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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

CSPG Special Publications


Facts and Principles of World Petroleum Occurrence — Memoir 6, 1980
Pages 1001-1001
Symposium Abstracts

The Role of Paleontology in Hydrocarbon Exploration: Abstract

H. J. Sullivan1

Micropaleontology was first introduced to the oil industry during the early 1930’s for age dating and correlation in the Tertiary clastic sequences of the Gulf Coast U.S.A. and California. The absence of distinctive lithologic markers precludes reliable correlations and the ranges of foraminifera were used to define stratigraphic horizons. Even today, these horizons bear the name of the marker microfossil. Once the biostratigraphic framework had been established, foraminifera were used to provide environmental data to aid in the exploration of facies most favourable for the accumulation of oil and gas.

The development of palynology as an exploration tool in the oil industry is a post World War II phenomenon. Palynology extended the use of fossils into rocks of ages and lithologies previously regarded as barren. As well as being used for age dating and facies analysis, palynology has the additional capability of providing source-bed data and is now widely used to determine the degree of thermal maturation and types of hydrocarbons which can be generated.

To illustrate the application of paleontology in the search for hydrocarbons, specific examples from North America and Europe will be discussed.

Acknowledgments and Associated Footnotes

1 Amoco Canada, 444 - 7th Ave. S.W., Calgary, Alberta T2P 0Y2

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