An overview of the theories about the origin, migration and entrapment of oil and gas beneath the Earth's surface

Essay by ciphersaf May 2006

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It can never be generally controversial that theories preceed development. It is the perspective that gives vision to abberant ideas.Though theories do prove to be wrong at times, but still, to do so the newer diverse explanations that emerge to interpret a phenomenon, add to knowledge.

The organic theory of the origin of petroleum began to come to the forefront as the oil and gas industries grew in size economic importance, and as geologists were called upon to accurately locate new and larger deposits. It became the most widely held theory, and is still so today, although recently it has been facing renewed challenges as new tools and techniques for the study of the earth's history and development.

The organic theory is that the carbon and hydrogen necessary for the formation of gas and oil came from the early forms of life on earth, or, in short, from biological origin.

The remains of these plants and animal were caught up in the process of erosion and sedimentation and carried down the river to seas which then covered large portion of the earth's surface. They and their accompanying but and silt were spread along the shoreline where they were covered and compressed by the weight of many more succeeding layer building u on top of them. In time, these layers became sedimentary rock. Today, these sedimentary rock, sand stone, shale, and dolomite are often where deposits of petroleum are found.

Unlike solid rocks, petroleum and gas are capable of moving that is of migrating the rock mass. The only liquid more widespread in nature than petroleum is water the total amount of which is many times greater than that of petroleum and gas combined. Water being like petroleum a liquid is capable of migrating within porous and fissured...