Has Magma ever broken through an oil field?

What would happen if Magma did intrude into an oil field?

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  • 8 years ago
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    The only example I can think of is in a field in northern Louisiana. The result was that where the intrusion took place the oil was cooked to graphite. Since there is no free oxygen in the subsurface (most of the time) there was no way for the oil to combust, so instead it just heated up and reached the endpoint of catagenesis, which is when the petroleum or natural gas converts to pure carbon in the form of graphite.

    The Richland Gas Field in Louisiana had " A test....penetrated igneous rock from 2330, to 2600 feet. Other wells in or adjacent to the Richland Field encountered igneous rock instrusive...." from SP 7, "Geology of Natural Gas", "Richland Gas Field, Richland Parish, Louisiana" published 1935 by AAPG.

    In other examples the presence of igneous intrusive rock near, but not in an oil field was the reason the oil field was formed. The heat from intrusive rocks in the subsurface can cause local catagenesis converting organic material in shales and carbonate rocks into petroleum and natural gas. These sorts of processes are very important for exploration for oil and gas because they can determine where oil and gas may be found. Igneous activity in the subsurface can change both regional geothermal heating patterns, and where it takes the form of sills or dikes, can create very localized geothermal changes that may cause oil and gas to form.

    The other example given is a great one since the Siberian Traps had volcanic activity for over one million years and covered an area over 750,000 square miles.

    Source(s): geologist
  • 8 years ago

    Yep.

    Not, to my knowledge, in historical times, but the geological record DEFINITELY shows evidence of oil-bearing rock units altered by "contact metamorphism." in the past. One spectacular example is associated with Permian-Triassic magma emplacement on the Siberian Craton- the famous Siberian Traps. Oil-bearing carbonates were affected, and researchers suggest that the result was a LOT of volatilized hydrocarbons and CO2, a resultant de-carbonization in the affected reservoir rocks- all kinds of nifty phenomenon. The paper I reference below suggests that the event may have significantly contributed to the catastrophic climate-change that is generally believed to have precipitated that terminal-Permian extinction event that everyone loves to speculate on. Fun stuff.

    Now, if a hypothetical bystander had been around back then to witness the event (besides the odd trilobite or whatever), might that observer have even been able to DISTINGUISH all that burning crude, in the midst of the larger-scale volcanic hell taking place? ...Such that he or she might exclaim, "Whoa! That magma's coming up through an OIL-FIELD!" ?

    Beats me. But I bet it was the FIRST question that the authors of this paper were asked at the AGU meeting where it was presented.

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