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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Journal of Petroleum Geology


Journal of Petroleum Geology, Vol.3, No.3, pp. 279-302, 1981

┬ęCopyright 2000 Scientific Press, Ltd.


Richard R. Donofrio*

* Exploration and Production Dept., American Ultramar Ltd., 90 S. Bedford Road, Mt. Kisco, New York 10549. USA. (Ultramar Company Ltd., London, UK is the parent company of American Ultramar Ltd.). Extracts from this paper were presented to the Petroleum Society of New York in September 1979, under the title: "Subsurface Impact Craters as Hydrocarbon Traps".


The impact cratering process results in unique structures and extensive fracturing and brecciation of the target rock which can be conducive to hydrocarbon accumulations. Examination of Viewfield and Red Wing Creek oil pools in North America reveals that they may have been formed by meteoritic impact in Paleozoic sediments. Additional hydrocarbon traps have most likely been produced by impact but have not been recognized as such because geologists are generally not familiar with crater structures and shock-metamorphic effects in rocks. It is proposed that petroliferous basement impact craters also exist and that despite arguments to the contrary, at least one may have already been found. Further discoveries are severely limited because of conservative exploration procedures, which characteristically avoid penetrating crystalline basement.

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