The Link between Microseepage, Radiometrics and Other Remote Sensing Indicators
The use of geochemistry as an oil and gas exploration tool dates back to the 1920’s. In 1981, Pirson recognized that subsurface accumulations of hydrocarbons had an associated negative electric charge that changes the redox potential of the surface above the accumulation. In 1990, Reed Tompkins proposed a unified theory for the cause of remote sensing anomalies. Microseepage of oil and gas from the reservoir would create a relative reducing environment at the surface above the reservoir. This would create an Eh-pH gradient in the surface soil away from the area of the reservoir. Precipitation of the various remote sensing indicators would occur at the preferred position on the gradient; the halo effect. The extension of this concept herein explains why hydrocarbon microseepage is vertical and why Uranium and Potassium concentrations show a periodic mutual divergence when compared to regional background. Catalytic cracking of hydrocarbons in and above the reservoir creates the negative charge at the reservoir. This subsurface negative charge is the equivalent to a South magnetic pole. That creates a relative North magnetic pole at the surface. This creates a series of vertical magnetic fields from the reservoir to the surface. Microseepage of hydrocarbons to the surface occurs as negatively charged hydrocarbon ions, not as hydrocarbon molecules. Thus, this series of vertical magnetic fields is both the driving force and guiding force for vertical hydrocarbon microseepage. The result is a variable Eh-pH gradient field around these vertical magnetic fields which allows semi-concentric precipitation of the remote sensing indicators. Potassium and Uranium have an opposite reaction to a reducing environment. Potassium is leached and Uranium is precipitated. We can measure their concentrations through radiometrics. The data can be processed and plotted to show the periodic mutual divergence (the Potassium-Uranium Couplet) that indicates active hydrocarbon microseepage.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90090©2009 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, June 7-10, 2009