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Book Chapter

Summary of Petroleum Potential of Region 1 (Alaska and Hawaii)—Hawaii

By
George Gryc
George Gryc
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Published:
January 01, 1971

Abstract

The Hawaiian Islands have no production of oil or natural gas, and there has been no recorded exploration for hydrocarbons. In view of the oceanic location and volcanic origin of the islands, the accumulation of commercial deposits of oil and gas is improbable. However, there are extremely speculative possibilities that do not warrant, or even permit, sober quantification. Any drilling in the foreseeable future should have purely scientific, rather than commercial, objectives.

Conditions that might favor limited accumulation of hydrocarbons in this volcanic environment could have been created during the late Tertiary stages of growth of the Hawaiian archipelago. The archipelago has a northwest-southeast length of 1,600 mi (2,574 km), and the major islands are concentrated in the southeastemmost 400 mi (640 km). Subsea mountains, guyots, and small islands extend northwestward for the additional 1,200 mi (1,920 km). Little is known about the latter section, but the possibility that submerged atolls with enclosed lagoons are present must be recognized. A lagoonal setting might provide the anaerobic environment essential to the formation of hydrocarbons; 1,100- ft (335 m) cores from the coastal plain on southern Oahu were found to contain some dark muds and two seams of lignite. Whether any such deposits of greater age lie at depths sufficient for the conversion of organic matter to petroleum is unknown.

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Contents

AAPG Memoir

Future Petroleum Provinces of the United States—Their Geology and Potential, Volumes 1 & 2

Ira H. Cram
Ira H. Cram
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
15
ISBN electronic:
9781629812236
Publication date:
January 01, 1971

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