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The oils differ considerably in their content of C15- compounds as well as compound class composition. These variations can be attributed to secondary processes such as biodegradation and thermal alteration. Umiat oil can be separated from all other oils by its lack of tricyclic triterpanes. All other oils revealed sterane and triterpane fingerprint patterns that are similar in principal characteristics. Stable isotope ratios clearly separate the Umiat oil from all others, suggesting that the Barrow-Prudhoe oils form one genetic group.
The rocks in the NPRA are isotopically and by their biomarker patterns significantly different from the Barrow-Prudhoe type oils but could have sourced the Umiat type. The general similarity of most NPRA oils with the Prudhoe oils suggests that the NPRA oils migrated from the Prudhoe Bay area along the Barrow arch.
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