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HI Keith,

Please tell me about the importance of Biomarker in age determination of oil? Are there any specific BM which can correctly determine age and depositional setting and its environment and if you name them? How does a Biomarker preserve? Can we term a biomarker as Chemical fossil?

Can you suggest further reading references?

Thanks for your time and efforts for helping person like me.

Kindest Regards


You are confusing the two types of biomarkers.  One in the context of petroleum, are groups of compounds that can be used to "fingerprint" petroleum and be used to tell what source rock formation the petroleum came from and the migration pathways it took to the reservoir.  

They can help in the age determination of petroleum by indentifying the formation, which can them be put in its stratigraphic context.  The strategraphic position can them be determined and fossils another biomarker can be used to help with the age identification.

I am not familiar with any petroleum chemical biomarker that can identify the depositonal setting or its environment.

Kerogen can.  Amorphous kerogen vs woody kerogen differenciate the source of the petroleum from marine or terrestrial source rocks.  Kerogen are not what we would call biomarkers, but rather constituents of the petroleum derived from the source rock from which they came.

Okay, I stand corrected, I looked a bit deeper and biomarkers CAN be related to depositional Evironements.  check this table:


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Keith Patton


I can answer questions concerning physical and historical geology, environmental geology/hydrology, environmental consulting, remote sensing/aerial photo interpretation, G&G computer applications, petroleum exploration, drilling, geochemistry, geochemical and microbiological prospecting, 3D reservoir modeling, computer mapping and drilling.I am not a geophysicist.


I have 24 years experience split between the petroleum and environmental industries. I have served as an expert witness in remote sensing, developmental geologist, exploration geologist, enviromental project manager, and subject matter expert in geology and geophysical software development.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists
American Association of Photogrammetrists and Remote Sensing

Bachelor and Master of Science
Registered Geologist in State of Texas

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