Littke et al. (1999) present a novel hypothesis for the genesis of the supergiant gas accumulations in the northern West Siberian basin through exsolution of gas from formation water. Some problems are attached to their interpretation, the principal of which are discussed in the following paragraphs.

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Given these problems, the presented hypothesis is interesting but needs much more work before it can be accepted as plausible. In my view the geological and geochemical data point to a mixing of vertically migrating thermogenic gas from a Jurassic (Bashenov) source with an indigenous, biogenic source. To satisfy material balance constraints for this...

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