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Abstract: Synergetic Catalysis in Hydrocarbon Generation

Robert W. Sabate, Claude C. Baker

Thermogenesis as the sole origin of hydrocarbons has been questioned by Gulf Coast petroleum geologists for two reasons: (1) lack of thermally mature source beds except on the basin's Mesozoic rim and (2) persuasive empirical evidence of shallow, early migration and implacement. Enigmatically, even subsequent deeper burial of the reservoirs has not resulted in thermal maturity. However, recent laboratory research has identified several natural catalysts that significantly lower temperatures needed for conversion of organic materials into hydrocarbons. Perhaps synergism among these or as yet undiscovered catalysts, together with geologic reaction times, is capable of producing hydrocarbons at temperatures low enough for early emplacement.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90983©1994 GCAGS and Gulf Coast SEPM 44th Annual Meeting, Austin, Texas, October 6-7, 1994