Many points of agreement are observed between our position and that of Walters et al. (2005). We all agree that petroleum is produced by the thermal decomposition of kerogen. We disagree on the whether the entire kerogen fraction yields liquid hydrocarbons or whether a specific component is largely responsible for the crude. However, a major reinterpretation of an important aspect of the petroleum system hinges on this apparently small disagreement.

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The primary carbon fixers are a variety of planktonic and benthic organisms. Bacteria may attack this material during and after sedimentation. These reactions occur at rather low temperatures, and...

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