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The Use of the Radiometric Response to Hydrocarbon Microseepage in Oil and Gas Exploration

Robert Olson

In 1981, Sylvain Pirson recognized that subsurface accumulations of hydrocarbons had an associated negative electric charge at depth that changes the redox potential of the surface soil above the accumulation. Microseepage of hydrocarbons from the subsurface reservior creates a relative reducing environment at the surface above the reservoir. Catalytic cracking of the hydrocarbons in and above the reservior creates local negatively charged hydrocarbon ions, which leads to the negative electrical charge at the reservoir. This subsurface negative charge is the equivalent of a local South magnetic pole. That creates a relative North magnetic pole at the surface. This situation then 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. This series of vertical magnetic fields is both the constraining force and the driving force for ionic hydrocarbon microseepage, which is vertical. Windowed radiometrics can be utilized to map the effects of these magnetic fields.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90156©2012 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, Grand Junction, Colorado, 9-12 September 2012