Coal is organic and is formed by swamp lands and peat soils bearing down on the soil causing the coal to form by the natural and effective stress of the soil. Gas and petroleom are formed from ocean organisns such as plankton settleing down into the bottom of the ocean. RECAP: Coal is formed in freshwater swamp lands and oil and or gases are formed in salt water lands.
Considerable oil has been generated in the geologic past in lakes and lagoons. The other answer is correct in suggesting that marine environments are major sources for oil, but it is not correct to say that oil and natural gas form only in “salt water” areas.
Geographically, oil, natural gas and coal may indeed be found near each other – Pennsylvania is an example, as is the Powder River Basin of Wyoming, a prolific producer of all three. But they are not (usually) found in the same geologica intervals.
An important exception is natural gas, which IS often found intimately associated with coal – it is called coal-bed methane and is an extremely significant source for natural gas in many US coal basins.
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