|Publisher||Society of Petroleum Engineers||Language||English|
|Content Type||Conference Paper|
|Title||Natural Hydrocarbon Seepage in the Gulf of Mexico|
|Authors||Geyer, Richard A., Sweet Jr., William E., Texas A and M U.|
SPE Symposium on Environmental Conservation, 13-14 November 1972, Lafayette, Louisiana
|Copyright||Copyright 1972 American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc.|
This paper was prepared for the Second Biennial Evangeline Section Regional Meeting of the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME on Environmental Quality, to be held in Lafayette, La., Nov. 13-14, 1972. Permission to copy is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words. Illustrations may not be copied. The abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper is presented. Publication elsewhere after publication in the JOURNAL OF presented. Publication elsewhere after publication in the JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY or the SOCIETY OF PETROLEUM ENGINEERS JOURNAL is PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY or the SOCIETY OF PETROLEUM ENGINEERS JOURNAL is usually granted upon request to the Editor of the appropriate journal provided agreement to give proper credit is made. provided agreement to give proper credit is made. Discussion of this paper is invited. Three copies of any discussion should be sent to the Society of Petroleum Engineers office. Such discussion may be presented at the above meeting and, with the paper, may be considered for publication in one of the two SPE magazines.
The Dept. of Oceanography of Texas A and M U. has been studying natural hydrocarbon seeps in the Gulf of Mexico for the past 2 years in cooperation with 11 oil companies (Arco, Chevron Cities Service, Conoco, Gulf, Humble, Marathon, Mobil, Phillips, Sun and Tenneco) and the Sea Grant program of NOAA.
Archaeological reports indicate that the Karankawa Indians were using tar in their pottery making in pre-Columbian times. pottery making in pre-Columbian times. Survivors of DeSoto's group used tar found along the Texas-Louisiana coast to caulk their boats. From 1902 to 1909 heavy oil slicks were noted in an area about 100 miles south of the Louisiana coast. Oil spouting into the air was reported in the same area in 1909. Oil ponds off the Sabine area are reported in a USGS publication in 1903. publication in 1903. Reports of seeps in the Gulf are numerous, and the Department's study has located several general areas of seepage within and around the Gulf of Mexico. Samples from these areas have been collected and analyzed, as have samples found floating in the Gulf.
The geological and geophysical characteristics of the sites are being investigated together with pertinent chemical, biological and physical oceanographic characteristics. A physical oceanographic characteristics. A current study was initiated to determine the circulation patterns of the hydrocarbons along the continental shelf. The impact upon the environment in all of its aspects is also being studied.
The Dept. of Oceanography at Texas A and M U., since the fall of 1970, has been engaged in a project to study hydrocarbon seepage within the project to study hydrocarbon seepage within the Gulf of Mexico and its perimeter (Fig. 1).
This project is currently being funded by 11 major oil companies and the National Sea Grant program of NOAA.
The Karankawa Indians used asphalt in their pottery making and in hefting their arrows as pottery making and in hefting their arrows as far back as pre-Columbian times. According to DeGolyer, Oviedo referred to asphalt in the New World in 1533, and Sebastian Ocampo found liquid bitumen in the Bay of Havana, Cuba, in 1508. Survivors of DeSoto's ill-fated expedition used tar found on the Texas-Louisiana coast to caulk their boats. Kennedy (1841) reported tar on the Galveston beaches.
In the early 1900's the Hydrographic Office in New Orleans supplied all ships crossing the Gulf of Mexico with current reporting forms.
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