Oil and gas pools in shallow basins or on the shallow, stable shelves of deeper sedimentary basins may not be exceptions to the model of a hot deep origin of petroleum. The oil in shallow basins is directly associated with faulting extending out of the deepest parts of the basin. Evidence exists that some of these shallow basins have been much hotter in the past either from igneous activity or from a higher geothermal gradient. Uplift and erosion may also have removed substantial thicknesses of sediments in some of these basins. Oil on the stable shallow shelves of deep basins may have originated in the deeper part of the basin and undergone long lateral migration to the traps where it is now found. Conduits for such migration have been sandstones in delta-distributary systems (eastern Oklahoma and Kansas), reef trends (Alberta, Canada), or regional porosity and permeability in sheet carbonates (Anadarko basin, western Oklahoma and Kansas).
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USGS Numbered Series
Hot, deep origin of petroleum: shelf and shallow basin evidence and application