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sesquiterpanes in Niger Delta oils: Structural identification and potential application as new markers of angiosperm input in light oils
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Dr Martin Jones
Nytoft H-P, Samuel OJ, Kildahl-Andersen G, Johansen JE, Jones M
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Two new C
sesquiterpanes have been isolated from a Niger Delta oil. Based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) data, their structures are similar to the ring D and E part of oleanane. The mass spectra show an
193 base peak typical of rearranged drimanes. They have been found only in oleanane-containing oils with a Cretaceous or Tertiary source. Data are presented for 34 such oils from Angola, Canada, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, New Zealand, Nigeria, Thailand and Vietnam. The ratio between the new sesquiterpanes and rearranged drimanes roughly follows the oleanane index. They are absent from marine oils whose source rock age (Jurassic or older) predates the evolution and proliferation of angiosperms. They are probably formed via degradation of functionalized oleanoids or by cleavage of
-oleananes. These sesquiterpanes may be useful as markers of angiosperm input in light oils (jet fuel, diesel or condensates) usually devoid of higher molecular weight markers for higher plant input.
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