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Planet Mars: Prospects of Biogenic or Thermogenic Oil and Gas from Deeper Sources

Abstract

The presence of liquid water within the gullies of the Newton Crater from Mars (near the equator), oil like hydrocarbons on the surface on Mars, methane in the atmosphere on Mars, and a list of publications on the geochemistry and astrobiology of carbonaceous chondrites have indicated that these petroleum hydrocarbons could be closely related to the simple to complex biological species similar to our Precambrian terrestrial environment (Nagy and Klaus, 1961; Hoover, 2011; Mukhopadhyay, 2012). Evidences of bacterial globule associated with carbonate minerals, salt, and petroleum like substances in Mars may indicate the link between bacterial growth and generation petroleum hydrocarbons on Mars. Recent evidences of the presence of deltaic sediments and petroleum system elements within the earlier Martian geological time in the Eberswalde and Holden Deltas of Mars may have evolved both biogenic and thermogenic oil and gas. Our geochemical findings of carbonaceous chondrites showed the possible presence of bacterially (or primitive algal) derived source rocks and three distinct thermal events. Based on the current knowledge gained from carbonaceous chondrites, the Geology of various deltas within Mars, and recent evidences of hydrocarbons within Mars, the oil and gas resources could be discovered on Mars in the future. Our concept of possible presence of oil and gas on Mars may be derived from the following evidences: (a) both from the cracking of geopolymer to oil and gas within deeper oil or gas bearing conventional reservoirs or as unconventional resources in geological older sediments similar to Earth; (b) the thermal conversion of present bacterial bodies within the upper surface of Mars; and (c) the high temperature volcanic or meteoric events (>250oC) on bacterial mat or older source rocks could evolve methane, pyrobitumen, and PAHs.