Utah’s oil is very iron rich. When Iron oxidizes, it becomes a rich red or orange color. This is no different than when you see a pipe, bench, or piece of scrap-metal changing color. If Iron doesn’t have enough oxygen it turns green and if oxygen, hydrogen and iron are mixed together the mineral will turn yellow.
Utah is famous for its brilliantly colored rock formations, including the iconic arches of Moab and Red Rock Country. The rocks in the area are rich in iron and with the addition of oxygen have become oxidized, becoming hematite. Think about a rusty nail- when an iron nail is exposed to water and air for prolonged periods, it will begin to rust. The iron in the rocks of Utah are subject to the same phenomena.
The most common rock type found in the area is sandstone. The quartz present in the sandstone is easily coated by hematite, transmitting a widespread and uniform red color.
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