The Sulfur to Nitrogen Ratio as an Aid in Mapping the Petroleum Producing Trends of the Contiguous U.S. 48 States Using the USGS Database
New Ideas in Mapping and Exploration (GRBCC, Room 332B)
Tuesday, September 22, 2015, 3:45 pm
The ratio of sulfur to nitrogen, developed by Keith Thompson as a petroleum source diagnostic parameter, is used to generate the first published and comprehensive map of the contiguous 48 U.S. states reservoired petroleums using the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) database and Nehring coordinates.
The southern part of the S/N map includes an area showing similar petroleum trends to another map generated for the northern Gulf of Mexico in 1983 by the present author and others using terpane fingerprinting “biomarkers,” carbon isotopes, metals, etc., but differs in several important respects, one of which is evidence of thermochemical sulfate reduction in the coastal Gulf of Mexico oils. The congruence of the two maps give some credibility to the assertion that petroleum contains a lithostratigraphic or chemostratigraphic imprint and that petroleum, though usually liquid, should be treated as a mappable geological entity rather as an elaborate statistical exercise. Another aspect of much greater topicality is the demonstration of compositional trends that appear to mimic the local geology.