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Leo Lesqueroux, the father of paleobotany, decided in 1866 that petroleum in Pennsylvania formed from marine algae in Devonian shales much the same way that coal forms from land plants. Later, Anderson and Arnold convincingly argued in a 1907 bulletin of the U.S. Geological Survey that the only possible source for oils from Santa Maria field in California was microscopic fossil plants, called diatoms, found in organic-rich shales of the Miocene Monterey Formation. Another bulletin by Clarke in 1916 demonstrated that the Santa Maria oils were chemically similar to, and therefore undoubtedly derived from, the organic remains of Monterey diatoms.
photomicrograph of a fossil diatomMost geologists today agree that crude oil forms over million of years from the remains of tiny aquatic plants and animals that are exposed to the combined effects of time and temperature. In other words, oil forms from organic matter that is either "cooked" deep within the earth for long periods of time at low temperatures, or "cooked" for short periods of time at high temperatures.
Fossil organic matter is called kerogen, and sulfur-rich kerogens form oil sooner, and at lower temperatures, than other types of organic matter. This is because atomic bonds between carbon and sulfur break much easier than carbon-oxygen bonds. Kerogen in the Monterey Formation, the main oil source rock for Kern County, was deposited in oxygen-deficient, deep-ocean waters that promoted the formation of sulfur. Thus, organic-rich Monterey shales generate oil easier than other oil source rocks. The down side is that sulfur-rich oils are more difficult to refine, and therefore not as valuable, as other oils.
Most crude oil formed from one-celled plants and animals, called plankton, which floated on the surfaces of ancient oceans. As these organisms died, they settled to the ocean floor and were covered with mud. If the mud did not contain enough oxygen for the soft parts of these organisms to decay, then the organic material was converted into kerogen. If enough kerogen remains, it may later be converted into oil.
As defined here, induced seismicity is earthquake activity that is the result of human activity which causes a rate of energy release, or seismicity, which would be expected beyond the normal level of historical seismic activity. For example, if there is already a certain level seismic activity before human activities begin one would expect that this “historical” seismic activity to continue at the same rate in the future. If, however, human activity causes a concurrent increase in seismic activity then one would consider this increase in seismic activity to be induced. In addition, if the seismic activity returns to background activity after the human activity stops then that is another sign that the seismic activity was induced.
In addition to the subsurface stresses, fluid pressures play a key role in causing seismicity. Explained in simple terms, fluids can play a major role in controlling the pressures that are acting on the faults. The fluid pressure in the pores and fractures of the rocks is called the pore pressure. The pore pressure acts against the weight of the rock and the forces holding the rock together (stresses due to tectonic forces). If the pore pressures are low (especially compared to the forces holding the rock together) then only the imbalance of natural in-situ earth stresses will cause an occasional earthquake. If, however, the pore pressures are increased then it will take less of an imbalance of in-situ stresses to cause an earthquake, thus accelerating earthquake activity.
Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Chesapeake Energy Corp. wells drilled through the Barnett Shale, the biggest Texas natural-gas field, may have caused earthquakes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the company and university scientists said. Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake shut both wells, used to dispose of saltwater that is a byproduct of gas production, as a precaution after university seismologists told executives June 29 that the center of some quakes lay near the base of one of the wells, Steven Turk, vice president of the company’s southern operations, said in an interview.
Release date: 02 September 2009
BP announced today a giant oil discovery at its Tiber Prospect in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico.
The well, located in Keathley Canyon block 102, approximately 250 miles (400 kilometres) south east of Houston, is in 4,132 feet (1,259 metres) of water. The Tiber well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 35,055 feet (10,685 metres) making it one of the deepest wells ever drilled by the oil and gas industry. The well found oil in multiple Lower Tertiary reservoirs. Appraisal will be required to determine the size and commerciality of the discovery.
...as for the oil it is like coal decayed plant matter and no it is not required to lubricate the plates. If there was no life there would be no oil but if the planet still had a rotating core then the plates would continue to move.
About 90% of all earthquakes have depths < 100 km. Earthquakes can be grouped into three categories based on the depth of their foci:
1. Shallow focus - Foci are less than 70 km depth. Most destructive earthquakes.
2. Intermediate focus - Foci are between 70 and 300 km depth.
3. Deep focus - Foci are greater than 300 km.
70 km comes out to 37.80 miles...100 km =54 miles...300 km=161.99 miles...