Download article

The microelement composition of caustobioliths and oil generation processes – from the D.I. Mendeleev’s hypothesis to the present day

S.A. Punanova

Original article



open access

Under a Creative Commons license

The past 2019 is the year of the 150th anniversary of the Periodic Law discovery by D.I. Mendeleev. The international community has recognized it as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. This initiative was made by the Russian Academy of Sciences, which was supported by UNESCO and the UN General Assembly. The law of D.I. Mendeleev is an interdisciplinary phenomenon, the universal language of communication between scientists – not only chemists, but also doctors, biologists, physicists, geochemists, geologists, and probably many other specialties.

The article presents the features of microelements (ME) distribution in various classes of caustobiolites in connection with the Mendeleev’s Periodic Table. Their comparative assessment was carried out. MEs were identified that are concentrated in oils and shales in increased ore concentrations. Theories of oil generation developed by D.I. Mendeleev and other scientists, possible sources of ME in oils, features of the correlation dependencies of ME of the composition of oils and the Earth’s crust at different levels. The polygenic source of ME in oils is substantiated, which is associated both with sedimentary rocks and organic matter (OM) buried in them, and the occurrence of ME in oils introduced from deep zones of the Earth’s crust. A comparative assessment of ME composition of oil and gas basins and the composition of various geological substances indicate that the bulk of MEs are inherited by oils from OM. High enrichment by moving elements is associated with the migration activity during the formation of oil fields, while the correlation of ME oils with the chemical composition of the lower crust indicates the involvement of lower crustal fluids in this process. 

Mendeleev’s Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, hydrocarbon, caustobiolith, organic matter, clay rocks, sources of microelements, oil generation, Earth’s crust, clarks composition


  • Babaev F.R., Punanova S.A. (2014). Geochemical aspects of the trace element composition of oils. Moscow: Nedra, 181 p. (In Russ.)
  • Dmitrievskii A.N. (2008). Polygines of oil and gas. Doklady Academii Nauk, 419(3), pp. 373-377. (In Russ.)
  • Dobretsov N.L., Lazareva E.V., Zhmodik S.M. et al. (2015). Geological, hydrogeochemical and microbiological features of the oil platform of the Uzon caldera (Kamchatka). Russian Geology and Geophysics, 56(1-2), pp. 56-88. (In Russ.)
  • Fedorov Yu.N., Ivanov K.S., Erokhin Yu.V., Ronkin Yu.L. (2007). Inorganic geochemistry of oil in Western Siberia (the first results of a study using ICP-MS). Doklady Academii Nauk, 414(3), pp. 385-388. (In Russ.)
  • Galimov E.M., Kamaleeva A.I. (2015). Source of hydrocarbons from the supergiant oil field Romashkino (Tatarstan) – inflow from the crystalline basement or oil source sediments? Geochemistry International, 53(2), pp. 95-112.
  • Goldberg I.S., Mitskevich A.A., Lebedeva G.V. (1990). Hydrocarbon-metal-bearing provinces of the world, their formation and allocation. Coll. papers: Problems of resource assessment and integrated development of natural bitumen, high viscosity oils and associated metals. Leningrad: VNIGRI, pp. 49-60. (In Russ.)
  • Gottikh R.P., Vinokurov S.F., Pisotskii B.I. (2009). Rare earth elements as geochemical criteria for endogenous sources of trace elements in oil. Doklady Academii Nauk, 425(2), pp. 223-227. (In Russ.)
  • Ivanov K.S., Biglov K.Sh., Erokhin Yu.V. (2013). The trace element composition of the oils of the Republic of Tatarstan (on the example of the Romashkinskoye field). Vestnik of the Institute of Geology of the Komi Science Centre UB RAS, 8, pp. 2-6. (In Russ.)
  • Kontorovich A.E. (2004). Essays on the theory of naftidogenesis: Selected articles. Ed. S.G. Neruchev. Novosibirsk: SO RAN, Geo, 545 p.(In Russ.).
  • Kovalskii V.V. (1970). Biogenic elements. Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd ed., pp. 327-328. (In Russ.)
  • Kravchenko K.N. (2004). Basin basis of the general theory of naftidogenesis. Moscow: Priroda, 66 p. (In Russ.)
  • Lomonosov M.V. (1763). On the layers of the Earth. The second addition to the “First foundations of metallurgy or ore business. St. Petersburg: Imperial Academy of Sciences, pp. 237-416. (In Russ.)
  • Maslov A.V., Ronkin Yu.L., Lepikhina O.P., Izotov V.G., Sitdikova L.M. (2015). Trace elements in the oils of some satellite fields of the Romashkinsky oil field (Republic of Tatarstan). Litosfera = Lithosphere, 1, pp. 53-64. (In Russ.)
  • Mendeleev D.I. (1877). The origin of oil. Zhurnal Russkogo khimicheskogo obshchestva i fizicheskogo obshchestva [Journal of the Russian Chemical Society and Physical Society]. Is. 2, part chem., pp. 36-37. (In Russ.)
  • Mukhametshin R.Z. (2019). About the “facts of renewability” of hydrocarbon reserves in the developed oil and gas fields. Proc. Int. Sci.-Pract. Conf.: Hydrocarbon and mineral resources potential of the crystalline basement. Kazan: Ikhlas, pp. 242-245. (In Russ.)
  • Neruchev S.G. (2013). Transformation of planet Earth by living matter of the biosphere. Neftegazovaya Geologiya. Teoriya I Praktika = Petroleum Geology - Theoretical and Applied Studies, 18(1). (In Russ.)
  • Neruchev S.G., Smirnov S.V. (2007). Assessment of potential hydrocarbon resources based on modeling the processes of their generation and formation of deposits. Neftegazovaya Geologiya. Teoriya I Praktika = Petroleum Geology - Theoretical and Applied Studies, 2. (In Russ.)
  • Perel’man A.I. (1989). Geokhemistry. 2nd edition. Moscow: Vysshaya shkola, 420 p. (In Russ.)
  • Pikovskii Yu.I. (2012). Memoirs of D.I. Mendeleev on the mineral origin of oil (modern reading). Proc.: Earth degassing and the genesis of oil and gas fields. Moscow: GEOS, pp. 198-239. (In Russ.)
  • Punanova S.A. (1974). Trace elements of oils, their use in geochemical studies and the study of migration processes. Moscow: Nedra, 244 p. (In Russ.)
  • Punanova S.A. (2004). About the polygenic nature of the source of trace elements of oils. Geokhimiya = Geochemistry, 8, pp. 893-907. (In Russ.)
  • Punanova S.A. (2017). Trace elements of naphthides in the process of ontogenesis of hydrocarbons due to petroleum potential. Dr. geol.-min. sci. diss. Moscow, 288 p. (In Russ.)
  • Punanova S.A. (2019). Trace elements of naphthides in oil and gas basins. Doklady Academii Nauk, 488(5), p. 103-107. (In Russ.)
  • Punanova S.A., Rodkin M.V. (2019). Comparison of the contribution of differently depth geological processes in the formation of a trace elements characteristic of caustobiolites. Georesursy = Georesources, 21(3), pp. 14-24.
  • Punanova S.A., Vinogradova T.L. (2017). Geochemical features of oils of hydrothermal origin. Geologiya, geofizika i razrabotka neftyanyh i gazovyh mestorozhdeniy = Geology, geophysics and development of oil and gas fields, 6, pp. 32-36. (In Russ.)
  • Rodkin M.V., Punanova S.A. (2019). Ideas of D.I. Mendeleev and processes of naftidogenesis. Priroda, 10, pp. 14-21. (In Russ.)
  • Rodkin M.V., Rundkvist D.V., Punanova S.A. (2016). On the question of the relative role of the bottom and upper crust processes in the formation of the trace element composition of oils. Geokhimiya = Geochemistry International, 11, pp. 1025-1031. (In Russ.)
  • Saukov A.A. (1975). Geochemistry. 4th ed. Moscow: Nauka, 477 p. (In Russ.)
  • Shpirt M.Ya., Punanova S.A. (2007). Comparative evaluation of the trace element composition of coal, oil and shale. Khimiya tverdogo topliva, 5, pp. 15-29. (In Russ.)
  • Shpirt M.Ya., Punanova S.A. (2010). Features of the microelement composition of coals, shales and oils of various sedimentary basins. Khimiya tverdogo topliva, 4, pp. 57-65. (In Russ.)
  • Shpirt M.Ya., Punanova S.A. (2012). Microelements of caustobioliths. Problems of genesis and industrial use. Saarbrucken. Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing, 367 p. (In Russ.)
  • Simoneit B.R.T. (1986). Organic Maturation and Oil Formation: The Hydrothermal Aspect. Geokhimiya = Geochemistry International, 2, pp. 236-254. (In Russ.)
  • Skorobogatov V.A., Solov’ev N.N. (2013). Comparative analysis of the conditions of oil and gas accumulation in the West Siberian and Arab-Persian megabasins. Vesti gazovoi nauki, 5(16), pp. 43-52. (In Russ.)
  • Sokolov B.A. (1996). Fluidodynamic model of oil and gas formation. Moscow University Geology Bulletin, 4, pp. 28-36. (In Russ.)
  • Sokolov B.A., Guseva A.N. (1993). About the possibility of fast modern generation of oil and gas. Moscow University Geology Bulletin, 3, pp. 39-46. (In Russ.)
  • Teilor S.R., Mak-Lennan S.M. (1988). Continental crust: its composition and evolution. Moscow: Mir, 384 p. (In Russ.)
  • Tisso B., Velte D. (1981). Formation and distribution of oil. Moscow: Mir, 501 p. (In Russ.)
  • Vassoevich N.B., Guseva A.N., Leifman I.E. (1967). Biogeochemistry of oil. Geokhimiya = Geochemistry International, 7, pp. 1057-1084. (In Russ.)
  • Vernadskii V.I. (1954). Chemical elements and the mechanism of the Earth’s crust. Selec. papers, v. 1. Moscow: USSR Academy of Sciences, pp. 513-519. (In Russ.)
  • Vernadskii V.I. (1994a). Essays on geochemistry. 8th ed. In the book: Library of Works of Ac. V.I. Vernadsky. Proceedings in geochemistry. Moscow: Nauka, pp. 159-468. (In Russ.)
  • Vernadskii V.I. (1994b). Biosphere. 5th ed. In the book: Library of Works of Ac. V.I. Vernadsky. Living matter and the biosphere. Moscow: Nauka, pp. 315-401. (In Russ.)
  • Vinogradov A.P. (1931). The chemical elemental composition of marine organisms in connection with the issues of their systematics and morphology. Priroda, 3, pp. 230-254. (In Russ.)
  • Vinogradov A.P. (1956). Regularities of distribution of chemical elements in the Earth’s crust. Geokhimiya = Geochemistry International, 1, pp. 6-52. (In Russ.)
  • Vinogradov A.P. (1962). SThe average content of chemical elements in the main types of igneous rocks of the earth’s crust. Geokhimiya = Geochemistry International, 7, pp. 551-571. (In Russ.)
  • Vinogradov A.P. (1970). Biogeochemistry. BSE. 3rd ed., v. 3, pp. 329-330. (In Russ.)
  • Vinokurov S.F., Gottikh R.P., Pisotskii B.I. (2010). Features of the distribution of lanthanides in resinous-asphaltene fractions is one of the geochemical criteria for the sources of trace elements in oil. Geokhimiya = Geochemistry International, 4, pp. 377-389. (In Russ.)
  • Yakutseni S.P. (2005). Prevalence of hydrocarbon raw materials enriched with heavy impurity elements. Environmental risk assessment. St.Petersburg: Nedra, 372 p. (In Russ.)
  • Yudovich Y.E., Ketris M.P. (2006). Valuable impurities in coals. Yekaterinburg: Nauka, 538 p. (In Russ.)
  • Yudovich Ya.E. (1978). Geochemistry of fossil coals. Leningrad: Nauka, 264 p. (In Russ.)
  • Yudovich Ya.E., Ketris M.P. (1994). Impurity elements in black shales. Yekaterinburg: Nauka, 304 p. (In Russ.)
  • Yudovich Ya.E., Ketris M.P. (2002). Inorganic substance of coals. Yekaterinburg: UrO RAN, 422 p. (In Russ.)
  • Yudovich Ya.E., Ketris M.P. (2005). Toxic impurity elements in fossil coals. Yekaterinburg: UrO RAN, 655 p. (In Russ.)
  • Yudovich Ya.E., Ketris M.P. (2006). Valuable impurities in coals. Yekaterinburg: Nauka, 538 p. (In Russ.)
  • Zavaritskii A.N. (1944). Introduction to petrochemistry of igneous rocks. AN SSSR. (In Russ.)
Svetlana A. Punanova
Institute of Oil and Gas Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences
3, Gubkin st., Moscow, 119333, Russian Federation

For citation:

Punanova S.A. (2020). The microelement composition of caustobioliths and oil generation processes – from the D.I. Mendeleev’s hypothesis to the present day. Georesursy = Georesources, 22(2), pp. 45-55. DOI: