22 June 2008

2003 report: astonishing amount of oil and gas off louisiana

via: rense.com

Below the Gulf of Mexico, hydrocarbons flow upward through an intricate network of conduits and reservoirs. They start in thin layers of source rock and, from there, buoyantly rise to the surface. On their way up, the hydrocarbons collect in little rivulets, and create temporary pockets like rain filling a pond. Eventually most escape to the ocean. And, this is all happening now, not millions and millions of years ago, says Larry Cathles, a chemical geologist at Cornell University.

"We're dealing with this giant flow-through system where the hydrocarbons are generating now, moving through the overlying strata now, building the reservoirs now and spilling out into the ocean now," Cathles says.

He's bringing this new view of an active hydrocarbon cycle to industry, hoping it will lead to larger oil and gas discoveries. By matching the chemical signatures of the oil and gas with geologic models for the structures below the seafloor, petroleum geologists could tap into reserves larger than the North Sea, says Cathles, who presented his findings at the meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans ...~ read more