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Russian Geology and Geophysics

2004 year, number 7


A.E. Kontorovich
Institute of Petroleum Geology, Siberian Branch of the RAS, 3 prosp. Akad. Koptyuga, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Keywords: Biosphere, types of lithogenesis, cyclic phenomena, biochemistry of bacteria and plants
Pages: 738-754


The study presents elements of the theory of oil generation in the Earth's history. Oil generation, assumed to be associated with organic lipids, is considered as related to the origin and chemical evolution of the biosphere and to the geodynamic and deposition histories of source rocks. The presented reconstruction outlines the Archean and Proterozoic evolution and biochemistry of organic matter and main biochemical changes in bacteria and plants. Two key events of life history caused critical influence on oil generation: (i) the onset of life and the biosphere in the Archean and (ii) the onset of land plants in the Late Paleozoic. Land plants provided a new type of organic matter, the source of oil, and expanded the scope of source rock facies and increased the scale of gas formation. Hydrocarbon generation evolved periodically in several intensity cycles correlated with the directed Earth's evolution.