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Direct radiometric dating of hydrocarbon deposits using Rhenium-Osmium isotopes

Selby, D; Creaser, R.A


D Selby

R.A Creaser


Rhenium-osmium (Re-Os) data from migrated hydrocarbons establish the timing of petroleum emplacement for the giant oil sand deposits of Alberta, Canada, at 112 ± 5.3 million years ago. This date does not support models that invoke oil generation and migration for these deposits in the Late Cretaceous. Most Re-Os data from a variety of deposits within the giant hydrocarbon system show similar characteristics, supporting the notion of a single source for these hydrocarbons. The Re-Os data disqualify Cretaceous rocks as the primary hydrocarbon source but suggest an origin from older source rocks. This approach should be applicable to dating oil deposits worldwide.


Selby, D., & Creaser, R. (2005). Direct radiometric dating of hydrocarbon deposits using Rhenium-Osmium isotopes. Science, 308(5726), 1293-1295.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2005-05
Deposit Date Feb 16, 2007
Journal Science
Print ISSN 0036-8075
Electronic ISSN 1095-9203
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 308
Issue 5726
Pages 1293-1295