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The Role of Carbon Dioxide in the Origin of Hydrocarbons - 19 04 2009

This essay was sent to me a couple of weeks ago, and I thought it was interesting. But it also goes against the grain of consensus on hydrocarbon formation. Not being a geologist, I can’t comment much on the validity of the idea, but since we have some geologists in our group, I’ll leave it to WUWT readers to discuss and evaluate. - Anthony

The traditional view of oil and gas formation

The Role of Carbon Dioxide in the Origin of Hydrocarbons

Guest Essay by Robert Chouinard

For 250 years, the prevailing working hypothesis of the origin of oil (aka petroleum and hydrocarbons) is the “dead dinosaur hypothesis” and dates back to the 18th century. Its originator was a Russian scientist named Mikhail Lomonosov, who put it this way in a 1757 paper: “Rock oil (petroleum) originates as tiny bodies of animals buried in the sediments which, under the influence of increased temperature and pressure acting during an unimaginably long period of time, transforms into rock oil.”
However, a more scientific hypothesis originated in the 1950s when Russian and Ukrainian scientists developed a new theory about petroleum’s origins called the abiotic or abiogenic theory. According to this view, oil is fundamentally inorganic and has no relationship to dead plant or animal life. Rather, oil originates deep in the Earth’s crust from inorganic material - marine carbonate deposits (limestone).

http://www.studien-von-zeitfragen.de/Zeitfragen/Petroleum/petroleum.html

In the laboratory, "...pure solid marble (CaCO3 - aka metamorphic marine carbonate or limestone) and iron oxide (FeO) wet with triple-distilled water are subjected to pressures up to 50 kbar (50,000 times atmospheric pressure) and temperatures to 2000 C. With no contribution of either hydrocarbons or biological detritus, the CaCO3-FeO-H2O system spontaneously generates, at the high pressures predicted theoretically, the suite of hydrocarbons characteristic of natural petroleum." Hydrocarbons are compounds containing only hydrogen (H) and carbon (C) atoms. Hence, neither the calcium (Ca) nor oxygen (O3) part of the CaCO3 is transformed, only the carbon (C), and the iron oxide (FeO) acts only as a catalyst, under pressure, to break down the H2O into elemental hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) to make hydrogen (H) available to combine with the carbon (C).
http://www.gasresources.net/Introduction.htm

In the real world, tectonic processes such as one tectonic plate sliding over another, if it occurs in the ocean, can cause enormous amounts of limestone deposits (CaCO3, the precursor to marble used in the above experiment) to subduct (be buried) under the top plate and thus be subjected to intense pressure and temperature. The other ingredients such as iron would be present in the earth’s mantle overlaying the wet limestone but the H2O may also be present as elemental hydrogen and oxygen along with the iron. Thus, all the ingredients and conditions of the above laboratory experiment would very likely be present within the earth’s mantle to form the suite of hydrocarbon compounds we call oil.

Just as the food chain on land and in the sea depend on atmospheric CO2 so does the formation of hydrocarbons. The first step starts with atmospheric CO2 that is absorbed by the ocean and combined with calcium to form dissolved calcium carbonate (CaCO3). CaCO3 can become concentrated in seawater and, as it reaches a critical point, it begins to precipitate out in tiny grains the size of sand. The dissolved CaCO3 can also be used by marine organisms for shells which also deposit to the bottom when the organism dies. As described above, this CaCO3 becomes the source of carbon which combines with elemental hydrogen to form hydrocarbons. The enormous energy required for this miraculous transformation is provided by the immense heat and pressure within the Earth’s mantle. This energy is converted and stored as chemical energy in the molecular structure of the hydrocarbons and it is this energy that is released to satisfy our energy needs. Thus, this process starts with CO2 and water and should end with CO2 and water when the hydrocarbons are burned. Unfortunately, lots of other compounds, including more than 250 toxins, are created when we burn the hydrocarbons.

During combustion, CO2 is released to begin this endless cycle once more. Of course, that makes oil renewable and we are not supposed to know that and so there is great opposition to this theory from the peak oil crowd. But why does burning oil create so many toxins instead of reverting back to pure CO2?

To answer this question it is necessary to understand something about carbon chemistry. Carbon, an exceptional element, has the unique property of forming highly complex compounds, many of which are found in living things. Carbon easily combines with itself to build up molecules with an apparently endless variety of chain and ring structures. Carbon readily combines also with hydrogen and oxygen and to a lesser extent with only a few other elements like nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur, yet it forms more than half the compounds known to science. The current literature on the chemistry of carbon contains data on millions of carbon compounds with many of them being toxic. For example, when flaring (burning off the gas that comes from oil wells) a great many new carbon compounds are spontaneously created during combustion and more than 250 of these compounds are known to be toxic. The reason for all the toxins is that when burning the hydrocarbons, which consist only of hydrogen and carbon atoms, it now combines with oxygen and other elements like nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur to form countless new compounds. One of the most toxic is carbon monoxide (CO) which we are all familiar with.

The purpose of installing catalytic converters on automobiles is to convert toxins in the exhaust, which include carbon monoxide and other unburnt carbon compounds, into the harmless carbon dioxide from which oil originated (plus other harmless gases that were present in the air that took part in the combustion). The most hopeful and benign result of burning any hydrocarbon is to end up with pure water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen (N), and oxygen (O2)-all harmless gasses.

The reality is that enormous amounts of toxic compounds, however, escape into the atmosphere and end up in the ocean where they are broken down by small, simple, and diversified prokaryote bacteria that form the base of the ocean food chain. The breakdown of organic compounds into inorganic materials is called “mineralization“. Until these toxic chemicals are broken down, unfortunately, they can cause damage to local ecosystems but their overall effect on the ocean is to add nutrients, not to endlessly accumulate as pollutants. Mineralization of toxins occurs on land as well.

Carbon forms the backbone of biology for all life on Earth and yet we are being fed one lie after another about its most important form - CO2: first, we are lied to about it causing a global warming catastrophe; second, we are lied to about the enormous harm to corral reefs due to it causing ocean acidification; third, we are lied to about it being a pollutant; and, finally, we are lied to, by omission, about its connection to the origin of oil. (Lying by omission is a serious crime for individuals but the Supreme Court has ruled that it is not a crime for Corporate America. No wonder that Al Gore always speaks as Chairman of his Generation Investment Management.)

The abiotic theory of renewable oil is heresy to the peak oil religion just as so much good science is heresy to global warming/climate change. In fact, peak oil is often spoken of in the context of climate change, the conflagration of two hypothetically “huge” problems.

In the above diagram note in the lower right corner the “subduction and metamorphism of marine carbonate sediments”. This is the CaCO3 that contributes the carbon (C) under the immense temperature and pressure for the formation of hydrocarbons.

Above is a diagram of a single-cell prokaryote bacterium that dominates the living world and can live in almost any environment and derive energy even from toxic organic and inorganic molecules. They are highly diversified (thousands of different kinds) and are considered the oldest life form. They are everywhere in the ocean and on land and even live in and on humans. They are the base of every food chain on the planet. Only viruses are smaller, but oddly, they often feed off each other.

enough (13:14:07) :

The case for abiotic Hydrocarbons has been around for some time. The most recent developments was the confirmation on abiotoc methane from deep ocean ridge vents. Its manufacture has also be demonstrated in the lab. Do not have references handy but a Google search will provide lots of info. One thing is certain, a significant percentage of methane in the atmosphere is abiotic. One issue the AGW religion does not like to discuss.


bill (13:31:27) :

CO2 is safe! (in the right quantity) Wiki entry
Lake Nyos is a crater lake in the Northwest Province of Cameroon, located about 200 miles (322 km) northwest of Yaoundé.[1] Nyos is a deep lake high on the flank of an inactive volcano in the Oku volcanic plain along the Cameroon line of volcanic activity. A natural dam of volcanic rock hems in the lake waters.

A pocket of magma lies beneath the lake and leaks carbon dioxide (CO2) into the water, changing it into carbonic acid. Nyos is one of only three known lakes to be saturated with carbon dioxide in this way[citation needed], the others being Lake Monoun, at a distance of 100 km SSE, and Lake Kivu in Rwanda. On August 21, 1986, possibly triggered by a landslide, the lake suddenly emitted a large cloud of CO2, which suffocated 1,700 people and 3,500 livestock in nearby villages.[2] Though not completely unprecedented, it was the first known large-scale asphyxiation caused by a natural event. To prevent a repetition, a degassing tube that syphons water from the bottom layers of water to the top allowing the carbon dioxide to leak in safe quantities was installed in 2001, though additional tubes are needed to make the lake safe.[3]


Tom in South Jersey (13:32:38) :

Coincidentally, WHYY, a PBS in Philly, had a fascinating program on the life and works of Thomas Gold this afternoon. He was a supporter of the abiotic source of oil and gas. Part of his reasoning had to do with the finding of methane and other hydrocarbons in outerspace where it was unlikely that plant and dinosaurs had previously existed.


Gary Pearse (13:32:53) :

Perhaps (only slightly?) related to the topic: an article in Friday’s “Science” (link below to news article) in which bacteria from under antarctic glacier ice that came from a trapped salt lake (former arm of the sea) that was cut off by uplift and over-ridden by the glacial ice. The bacteria are believed to be millions of years old and to be subsisting on iron sulphides (There are modern sulphide-eating bacteria that are used to dissolve iron pyrites in uranium ore thereby generating sulphuric acid that in turn dissolves uranium minerals which can be recovered by production wells). Perhaps these beasties are relatives to the toxic sludge eaters described in the post above.

Two things perhaps of interest: 1) the water is 4 times the saline content of seawater suggesting that a period of likely high evaporation (hot climate?) existed before the development of the ice cap. 2) possibly carbon dioxide trapped in the water or sediments may give an idea of ancient atmospheric composition. Any biologists/oceanographers out there to comment?

I have to say I’m sometimes amazed at what researcher’s don’t investigate or remark on when coming across such a find.


Wilson Flood (13:33:49) :

Formation of coal from plants is well established. The bulk of the plants provides the mass of coal. But the theory of oil formation does not involve dinosaurs. The story is that tiny sea creatures are buried. Their shells turn into chalk and the bodies become oil. That is the story and for a quiet life we believe it and teach it. But, you would need unimaginable amounts of these tiny crustaceans. There is an awful lot of oil in an oilfield. And what happens to all the chalky bodies. Are they there to accompany the oil? The primeval sea would have to resemble thick pea soup. And they all get buried before they can oxidise. Hmmm. One does not have to be a raving lunatic to be sceptical about this story.

The abiotic synthesis is at least tempting. At very high temperatures and pressures most problems thrown up by the 2nd law of thermodynamics (free energy being negative, reaction feasibility etc) can be overcome if the conditions are right. Can the reaction be reproduced in a lab? The claim is that it can (see the ref). If that is the case then perhaps somebody should do some research. However we still may not have any more oil but it does throw up the possibility of an oil generator. How many oil fields have actually been pumped dry? Genuine enquiry - I don’t know the answer. As to the 250 toxins, they will most likely be the product of incomplete combustion but a list would have been nice.


jack mosevich (13:36:28) :

The physicist Gold also believed in the abiotic origins of petroleum. The environmentalists do not like this theory since it reduces the chance of peak oil. From Wiki:”Hydrocarbons are not biology reworked by geology (as the traditional view would hold) but rather geology reworked by biology.” – Thomas Gold
Gold achieved fame for his 1992 paper “The Deep Hot Biosphere” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,[2] which presented a controversial view of the origin of coal, oil, and gas deposits, a theory of an abiogenic petroleum origin. The theory suggests coal and crude oil deposits have their origins in natural gas flows which feed bacteria living at extreme depths under the surface of the Earth; in other words, oil and coal are produced through tectonic forces, rather than from the decomposition of fossils. At the beginning of his 1992 paper Gold also referred to ocean vents that pump bacteria from the depth of the earth towards the ocean floor in support of his views. A number of new such hydrothermal vents have since been discovered, as recently as 2007.[3]

Gold also published a book of the same title in 1999, which expanded on the arguments in his 1992 paper and included speculations on the origin of life.[4] He has been accused of stealing the abiogenic theory outright from Soviet geologists who first published it in the 1950s. [5] Although he later credited Soviet research, it is claimed that he first published a paper on the abiogenic theory in 1979 without citing any of the Soviet literature on the subject.[6] Gold’s defenders maintain[citation needed] that these charges are unfounded: they say that, after first formulating his views on petroleum in 1979, he began finding the papers by Soviet geologists and had them translated. He was both disappointed (that his ideas were not original) and delighted (because such independent formulation of these ideas added weight to the hypothesis). They insist that he always credited the Soviet work once he knew about it.
According to Gold and the Soviet geologists who originated the abiogenic theory, bacteria feeding on the oil accounts for the presence of biological debris in hydrocarbon fuels, obviating the need to resort to a biogenic theory for the origin of the latter. The flows of underground hydrocarbons may also explain oddities in the concentration of other mineral deposits.

Most western geologists and petrologists consider petroleum abiogenic theories implausible[citation needed] and believe the biogenic theory of ‘fossil fuel’ formation adequately explains all observed hydrocarbon deposits. Most geologists do recognize the geologic carbon cycle includes subducted carbon, which returns to the surface, with studies showing the carbon does rise in various ways. Gold and geology experts point out the biogenic theories do not explain phenomena such as helium in oil fields and oil fields associated with deep geologic features.
However, recent discoveries have shown that bacteria live at depths far greater than previously believed. Though this does not prove Gold’s theory, it may lend support to its arguments. A thermal depolymerization process which converts animal waste to carbon fuels does show some processes can be done without bacterial action, but does not explain details of natural oil deposits such as magnetite production.

An article on abiogenic hydrocarbon production in the February 2008 issue of Science Magazine reported how the abiotic synthesis of hydrocarbons in nature may occur in the presence of ultramafic rocks, water, and moderate amounts of heat.[7]


joe (13:40:15) :

I work in the oil industry and even though I’m not a geologist or geochemist, the organic theory when applied to prospecting for oil is generally successful in finding hydrocarbons when combined with 3d seismic. the basic rule is you need some formation with Kerogen or organic materials that are decomposing, then you need a migration path from there to a reservoir that is sealed by another formation that makes a trap. So when you’re looking for oil in an area and you find one reservoir you can use that same generation/migration/trap theory to look for other places to drill and that method seems to work.

to me if a model works and explains what is seen physically then it probably could be true. (just the opposite of what AGW models say). the inorganic generation method from what I’ve heard hasn’t found any oil. I remember in the ’90s a well in norway was drilled and they did find some gas, but not in commercial quantities.


John M (13:42:32) :

Hmmm.

I’ve heard of abiogenic theories before, but I have to be suspicious when claimants have to resort to accusations of fraud and refer to “evidence (sic)”. I think that it’s a reasonable hypothesis that there might be abiotic methane deep underground from the Earth’s formation, but people have looked, and so far, no luck.

A couple of things that immediately give blips on the radar screen:

“The other ingredients such as iron would be present in the earth’s mantle overlaying the wet limestone but the H2O may also be present as elemental hydrogen and oxygen along with the iron.”

That one’s sort of like “and then a miracle happens”.

The second item inolves the thermodynamic argument about higher hydrocarbons. I may wrong, but I thought the higher hydrocarbons were formed, in part, from the higher molecules that flora and fauna generate related to fatty acids and oil. Microalgae, for example, synthesize C20 and C22 chains, which is why they can be sources of biodiesel.

Perhaps this is addressed in all the linked articles, but given the vaguely wrtiten summaries, I don’t have a great deal of desire to spend the whole afternoon slogging through them all. For now, I would heed Steve Mc’s words of caution: “Your arguments are only as strong as your weakest point”.


WakeUpMaggy (13:43:36) :

This was linked on a NZ website some time ago. I thought it was interesting.
Petroleum engineers I asked figured it was bunk, but weren’t positive.

“The high-pressure genesis of petroleum hydrocarbons has been demonstrated using only the solid reagents solid iron oxide, FeO, and marble, CaCO3, 99.9% pure, wet with triple-distilled water.” http://www.gasresources.net/AlkaneGenesis.htm

Neither was this subject completely ignored at the 2008 International Geologic Conference in Oslo.
urederra (13:53:38) :

Retired Engineer (13:07:18) :

What about coal? I thought we were sure it came from squashed plants. Or the papers at the bottom of the pile on my desk.

I recommend to read about the carboniferous period. You can start with wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carboniferous

I quote an interesting paragraph:

The large coal deposits of the Carboniferous primarily owe their existence to two factors. The first of these is the appearance of bark-bearing trees (and in particular the evolution of the bark fiber lignin). The second is the lower sea levels that occurred during the Carboniferous as compared to the Devonian period. This allowed for the development of extensive lowland swamps and forests in North America and Europe. Some hypothesize that large quantities of wood were buried during this period because animals and decomposing bacteria had not yet evolved that could effectively digest the new lignin. Those early plants made extensive use of lignin. They had bark to wood ratios of 8 to 1, and even as high as 20 to 1. This compares to modern values less than 1 to 4. This bark, which must have been used as support as well as protection, probably had 38% to 58% lignin. Lignin is insoluble, too large to pass through cell walls, too heterogeneous for specific enzymes, and toxic, so that few organisms other than Basidiomycetes fungi can degrade it.

What is also interesting is that during the early carboniferous the CO2 levels were around 1500 ppm but by the middle carboniferous levels had declined to 350 ppm. So, it can be said that the ‘discovery’ of lignin, which could not be degraded by microorganisms, lead to the trapping of carbon in form of Coal, and the decline of CO2 levels in the atmosphere.


B Kerr (13:54:22) :

The article about Freeman Dyson which was published here a few weeks ago had a link to “HERETICAL THOUGHTS ABOUT SCIENCE AND SOCIETY [8.8.07]
By Freeman Dyson” http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/dysonf07/dysonf07_index.html

Dyson talks of his friend Tommy Gold
“He was famous as a heretic, promoting unpopular ideas that usually turned out to be right.” “Later in his life, Tommy Gold promoted another heretical idea, that the oil and natural gas in the ground come up from deep in the mantle of the earth and have nothing to do with biology.”

When I first read this sentence I thought no no no no. However the rest of the paragraph gave me cause for taught.

“Just a few weeks before he died, some chemists at the Carnegie Institution in Washington did a beautiful experiment in a diamond anvil cell, [Scott et al., 2004]. They mixed together tiny quantities of three things that we know exist in the mantle of the earth, and observed them at the pressure and temperature appropriate to the mantle about two hundred kilometers down. The three things were calcium carbonate which is sedimentary rock, iron oxide which is a component of igneous rock, and water. These three things are certainly present when a slab of subducted ocean floor descends from a deep ocean trench into the mantle. The experiment showed that they react quickly to produce lots of methane, which is natural gas.”


Carsten Arnholm, Norway (13:55:43) :

kim (12:56:34) :

I submit that it is more likely that petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons are formed by the same sort of processes which form coal, which is full of fossils.

I don’t suppose that abiogenic oil is impossible, just unlikely.

Well, it is a known reality. On Saturn’s biggest moon Titan, there are methane lakes.
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/multimedia/pia09183.html


Leonard Ornstein (13:59:01) :

Robert’s interesting theory has no relevance to the peak oil problem. Burning oil and gas at near present rates guarantees their exhaustion within a century or two. Even if they are formed abiogenically, as Robert describes, the process takes millions of years. So peak oil and peak gas are ’short term’ problems which must be faced independently of whether production is biogenic or abiogenic!


Gary Pearse (14:04:12) :

Gold spoiled his theory when he included coal as abiogenic. Tree ferns and other fossils abound in some coal deposits and certainly lignite is a bog material that hasn’t had enough heat and pressure to carbonize it. Now if he had chosen the track that oil was formed from the coal he may have had something there. The South Africans have been doing this commercially for half a century (Sasol its called).


Xavier Itzmann (14:07:34) :

«So when you’re looking for oil in an area and you find one reservoir you can use that same generation/migration/trap theory to look for other places to drill and that method seems to work»

I concur. The current biogenic theory has found us a whole lot of oil. The onus is on the abiogenic guys to demonstrate how come.

Still, I am reminded of the bacterial origin of ulcers. For decades it was thought antacids reduced its likelihood and bacteria had nothing to do with it: it took a lone doctor from Australia to show otherwise. And still, antacids were effective but not for the reasons the establishment thought, but because the antacids created an unfavorable environment for the bacteria.


tarpon (14:10:09) :

There are now known planets and planetary bodies with hydro-carbons on them. Specially methanes. And no known form of carbon based life forms. The recent discovery of methane on Mars adds to the mystery. Sort of blows up the dino-oil only theory.

CH4 is the basis for many refining processes. Methane can be converted to liquid hydrocarbons. The typical refining process uses temperature and pressure. So why isn’t it quite likely that hydro-carbons form naturally within the earth. The latest renewable fuel.

And for those that may not know, one of the easiest ways to make liquid transport fuel is with the same process used by Germany during WWII — The refining process called Fisher-Tropsch conversion, coal to liquids. Several plants to do just that are being built around the world right now.

And do coal veins really make sense, when life has been around everywhere on planet earth for a long time. You would think that coal would be dispersed all over the surface of the earth, and not just in veins.


Alberto (14:15:51) :

Is the same. It is renewable. We must not forget the hydrates of methane and carbon dioxide in the deep ocean, they accelerate the formation of oil


Britannic no-see-um (14:19:32) :

I’m a petroleum geologist. All of the petroleum provinces I have ever worked are sourced by relatively obvious and in most cases uncontroversial geochemically fingerprint identified source rocks which are, for oil, usually dark predominantly algal kerogen organic marine shales, through mixed kerogen and coals for gas prone sources. The API gravity (heavy to medium to light crude oil through condensates ultimately to dry gas) is proportionate to source kitchen burial depth (of the shale source rock) and consequent thermal maturity (temperature gradient rises at approx 1 to 2 deg F/100ft burial but can vary widely. There is a huge literature on source rocks, source to reservoir fingerprinting, migration history etc for most basins, so it is a very robust established and validated identification of the source of conventional petroleum as we find it.

I recall something about a superdeep well the Russians were drilling decades ago to test their inorganic theory but it was painfully slow prgress with the well- years. Maybe they’re still at it.

All I can say is that perhaps I’m a natural sceptic. But I have commercial oil and gas fields with my theory so I’ll stick with it.


Ellie in Belfast (14:26:57) :

Abiogenic oil formation is a nice idea, but surely most oil has a sulphur content consistent with that of living organisms (>0.3%); limestone on the other hand has generally a maximum 0.1% S. This suggests biological origin.


John F. Hultquist (14:27:48) :

From the text:
According to this view, oil is fundamentally inorganic and has no relationship to dead plant or animal life. Rather, oil originates deep in the Earth’s crust from inorganic material - marine carbonate deposits (limestone).

The rocks under NW Pennsylvania and NE Ohio are sedimentary layers –there are sandstones, clay, coal, shale, and limestone deposits. Gas and oil have been found in abundance in the region. The layers also include salt. The salt layer under Cleveland and extending northward under Lake Erie is about 20 feet thick and has been mined with drills, explosives, and large front-end-loaders.
In the 1800s and early 1900s salt was obtained by drilling wells (some were near Akron), dissolving the buried salt with hot water and bringing it to the surface where the water could be evaporated and the salt obtained. It was this drilling technology that Edwin Drake used near Titusville, PA to purposefully drill the “first” oil well.
The source of all these layers was not “deep in the Earth’s crust” but rather in saltwater, marine-brackish water, and freshwater paleoenvironments. Studies indicate a slow marine regression.

This does not refute the abiotic or abiogenic theory of hydrocarbon formation — but it seems clear that the hydrocarbons in the area discussed above were not formed in that manner. Someone will have to find a deposit that could only have been formed in the crust (as discussed) to give this theory credibility.


Leon Brozyna (14:37:53) :

Last year, Canada Free Press ran an interesting article on the abiogenic origins of oil. http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/3952

The article tells of the efforts of Russia (then the USSR) to develop their oil resources:
Stalin’s team of scientists and engineers found that oil is not a ‘fossil fuel’ but is a natural product of planet earth – the high-temperature, high-pressure continuous reaction between calcium carbonate and iron oxide – two of the most abundant compounds making up the earth’s crust. This continuous reaction occurs at a depth of approximately 100 km at a pressure of approximately 50,000 atmospheres (5 GPa) and a temperature of approximately 1500°C, and will continue more or less until the ‘death’ of planet earth in millions of years’ time. The high pressure, as well as centrifugal acceleration from the earth’s rotation, causes oil to continuously seep up along fissures in the earth’s crust into subterranean caverns, which we call oil fields. Oil is still being produced in great abundance, and is a sustainable resource – by the same definition that makes geothermal energy a sustainable resource. All we have to do is develop better geotechnical science to predict where it is and learn how to drill down deep enough to get to it. So far, the Russians have drilled to more than 13 km and found oil. In contrast, the deepest any Western oil company has drilled is around 4.5 km.

It then goes on to link to a rather technical paper at Gas Resources Corporation: http://www.gasresources.net/AlkaneGenesis.htm

The same site also gives a non-technical overview of the modern history of the theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins: http://www.gasresources.net/introduction.htm

Derek (14:49:46) :

Deep formation of oil (not coal) theory.

1) Iron, marble, water, high pressure and temperature = oil formation. Fact, experiments can be reproduced, this is a known to happen process. The amount it happens, not whether it happens is merely being questioned.

2) Many deep Russian / Ukranian oil wells are below depths fossils have ever been found at…..Explain that biotic oil.

3) If ever there was a subject of guaranteed vested interests, it must be oil. If oil is abiotic then it is merely finding the rate that it is being produced at perfectly naturally that is of interest. Making oil THE green renewable source of energy incidentally………

If oil is biotic then it is a finite resource. If oil is abiotic, then all oil companies have a vested interest against this fact becoming widely understood or known.
The high price of the supposed “finite resource” becomes somewhat “unjustified”.


glen martin (14:49:53) :

I recall reading somewhere that below a certain depth oil isn’t’ found, the high temperature causes it to break down into methane (and graphite?). If that is true only methane could be abiogenic, oil could not.


Lucy Skywalker (15:13:20) :

As Leon Brozyna says, the Russians have drilled to 13km and found oil - whereas the rest of the world has only gone to 4-5km. That speaks. There is actually a lot of material on the Internet about abiotic oil. Thomas Gold was no fool.

Just this weekend I read one of those paradigm-quaking books - Magnetic Reversals and Evolutionary Leaps. Lots and lots of evidence that hangs together very well, just compressed into a readable tome. Evidence of abiotic origin of coal in particular. The presence of plants in coal is explained very adequately. And now I understand why Illinois coal would produce more energy if it were mined for its uranium content.

Not for the faint-hearted; not for traditionalists. You have been warned. That said, it’s a cracking good read. Website http://www.iceagenow.com/

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