High wax content of crude oil appears to be an original characteristic related to genetic environment or to kind of organic matter from which the oil was derived. A review of worldwide distribution of probable high-wax crudes indicates that they are restricted largely to certain stratigraphic sequences and regions. These sequences have in common the following: shale-sandstone (as opposed to carbonate) lithology; nonmarine origin or origin in waters of less-than-normal-marine salinity; common association with coal or other highly carbonaceous strata; stratigraphic range from Devonian to Pliocene, inclusive; continental, paralic, or nearshore-marine environment; association with low-sulfur (rather than high-sulfur) crudes. High-wax oils may reflect the contribution of terrigenous organic matter (or of organic matter derived from aquatic organisms associated with waters of less-than-normal-marine salinity).

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