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Oil Prospects in the British Isles

Nature volume 100, page 336 (27 December 1917) | Download Citation



MR. W. H. DALTON read a paper upon the above subject before the Institution of Petroleum Technologists on November 20. He deals in the paper with actual liquid petroleum only, and not with the potentialities of distillation from so-called oil shale, from coal, peat, or any other carbonaceous solids. He regards the widespread conception of a store of petroleum of commercial value lying intact within the limits of the British Isles as wholly untenable. Nature stems at all times since the initiation of organic life to have evolved hydrocarbons, in very variable quantity, sometimes for prolonged storage, often for rapid dissipation. In a rapii summary, in geological order, of all recorded appearances of oil or tar within the kingdom, the Carboniferous series receives most attention, chiefly from the extensive mining operations, which have revealed pockets of oil where none is seen at the surface. Those occurring in the Scotch oil shales are presumably due to natural distillation by the heat of intruded igneous rock. Others, in the Yorkshire and associated coalfields, are assigned to the alternations of terrestrial with marine conditions.

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