AMBER AND OIL BEARING SEDIMENTS IN THE PERSIAN GULF
George Poinar, Jr. 1*, Joseph B. Lambert 2 and Yuyang Wu 2
1 Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.
2 Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
* Corresponding author, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amber samples obtained from coal deposits in the Zubair Formation at a depth of 1,800 m in the Persian Gulf were subjected to NMR analysis. The resulting spectra identified the samples as originating from trees belonging to the genus Agathis. The Persian Gulf spectra were virtually identical to those obtained from Lower Cretaceous amber from Lebanon, Israel and Jordan, suggesting that a large forest of Agathis levantensis extended across the Arabian Plateau to the Persian Gulf. In this case, the forest would have extended a distance of approximately 1500 km, which would make it the largest amber-producing forest known. It is suggested that the oil in the Safaniya oil field could have been derived from coal produced, at least in part, by Agathis levantensis.