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A Novel Plate Tectonic Scenario for the Genesis and Sealing of Some Major Mesozoic Oil Fields

Muttoni, Giovanni; Kent, Dennis V.

Recent research reveals evidence of a major event of global plate motion during the Jurassic, with a magnitude and tempo hitherto not fully appreciated. Yet, its legacy persists today as the potent Jurassic source-reservoir-seal oil systems in the Persian Gulf region. We suggest that these formed as a consequence of a sweeping tectonic movement whereby Arabia drifted rapidly from the oil- forming Intertropical Convergence Zone along the equator to the arid tropics of the southern hemisphere with rapid deposition of relatively uncemented carbonate reservoirs and anhydrite seals, all during as little as 15 m.y. in the Late Jurassic. The Ghawar super- giant oil field of Saudi Arabia was one of the results. Rapid latitu- dinal change may have influenced the development of some source-reservoir-seal oil systems elsewhere as well.

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Published In
Geological Society of America
Publisher DOI
https://doi.org/10.1130/GSATG289A.1
Volume
26
Issue
12
Pages
4 - 11
Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
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