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What is the most important factor in the generation of hydrocarbons?
(Question asked by Ross Thomson)
The most important factor in the generation of hydrocarbons is temperature.
In an average sedimentary basin, the Oil Window for oil generation starts at 120°F (50°C), peaks at 190°F (90°C), and ends at 350°F (175°C). Time is also an important factor.
The older the sediments are, the lower the temperature of generation. On average, younger sediments require higher temperatures to generate oil. It takes millions of years to generate oil from organic matter. The youngest known source rock which has generated oil is Pliocene.
Heavy oils are generated at lower temperatures. They may also be generated by effects of oil biodegradation (e.g. air). Light oils are generated at higher temperatures.
(Answered by Admin)
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