Plate tectonics and petroleum basins

Author : David G. Howell
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 1-3
Volume Number : 33
Year : 1993

Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 33, Nov. 1993, pp. 1-3

Plate tectonics and petroleum basins


U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA 94025


Abstract: The formation of basins and associated petroleum habitats can be explained in terms of the fundamentals of plate tectonics. Of all the basin types, plate-margin foreland basins are the most prolific hydrocarbon settings. In these basins, the organic-rich source rocks are deposited prior to continental collision. The effects of the younger collision result in both foreland sedimentation, which stimulates petroleum maturation in buried sediments, and the architecture of foreland basins, which provides a safe haven for huge accumulations of both oil and gas. In all the other basin types, either reflecting intracontinental convergence, continental sags over aborted rifts, continental rifting or translational motions, the oil habitat, from source to reservoir, is wholly within the formation cycle of the individual basins.