Monday, October 01, 2007

Abiotic Oil - Gaia's fruit after all?

This is the latest (and, to my mind, clearest) statement about the origin of Oil - it ain't a 'fossil' fuel at all, according to those contararian Ruskies. It's a natural product, created deep within the Earth and slow-erupted up into the crust. Where it can be found by following geological signs, but just not the ones the Western scientific world tends to use.

All this rather does blow a big hole in Peak Oil theories, and indeed in any theory which treats oil as a finite resource. According to the Asia Times article (and I guess, to the book behind it) by F. William Engdahl, the Russians have followed an abiotic-origin theory since Wegener's time - the 1930's. They find oil where Western geological wisdom says there shouldn't be any.

So cars, SUV's and other devil-spawn are going to have four energy sources in future:

1 - oil, the natural, Gaia-created product of the deep
2 - hydrogen - and note the recent breakthrough in making this directly from plant starch
3 - electricity - I'll have a Wrightspeed, please
4 - Liquid fuels with similar energy density to petrol, from biomass

Who says that science isn't fun? Or that it can't save us (yet again - remember that hysterical old ninny Paul Erlich, anyone? "The edge of the crisis - we describe our first encounters with the age of scarcity and outline the greatest threat in the immediate future: the food crunch" - chapter One heading from "The End of Affluence", 1974).

I'll take Science over State of Fear, any day.

1 comment:

Anaconda said...

It's, indeed, folks like the author of this blog who will promote scientific advancement and enlightenment over ignorance and fear, when others see fit to decide ignorance and fear is best for mankind (will further their agenda).

Man makes the wisest decisions when he's fully informed of the facts. In matters of science and technology, when he has the best science currently available.

Abiotic oil theory is the best science currently available on the origins of petroleum.

Abiotic oil theory answers scrutiny in all the ways demanded by reasonable scientific scepticism. It's confirmed by theoretical modeling conforming to chemical and physical laws as expressed by mathematical equations.

Galileo famously stated the language of Nature is mathematics.

Those models have been confirmed in the laboratory and those properties observed in the laboratory are consistent with observations in the field of crude oil's properties, and the geologic structures where crude oil is found.

There has even been astronomical confirmation with the discovery of large quanities of methane on Saturn's moon Titan (literally oceans of methane).

Two illustrations are helpful:

Fossil fuel theory proponents, oil geologists and their Peak oil supporters, claim there is an "oil window" between 7,500 feet deep and 15,00 feet deep, they call the "generating kitchen" for crude oil, which is the only place oil will form, any deeper and oil will not develop, in fact, they claimed it would breakdown into methane because of the heat. Therefore, no oil could be found below 15,000 feet deep.

Chevron, at its Jack 2 well, has hit oil at over 20,000 feet below floor of the Gulf of Mexico in 7,000 feet of water. This has been described in its "Human Energy" ad campaign.

Oil has been discovered 180 miles off the coast of Brazil, 16,000 feet below the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.

Oil has been discovered in 9,000 feet of water in the Nigerian Delta off the West African coast. Other finds have been made significantly beyond this 15,000 foot "oil window."

Clearly, fossil theorists were wrong. The presence of "deep oil" is undeniable.

The second illustration involves the presence of diamonds in crude oil. All natural petroleum has at least traces of microscopic diamonds. A diamond fingerprint or diamond signature, if you will. More properly, called diamondoids, diamonds on a molecular level.

All authorites agree diamonds can only be created in nature in the ultra high pressure and ultra high temperature of the earth's deep mantel, some 100 miles deep. Or in the laboratory under similar conditions.

Turns out, diamondoids like their larger brethren diamonds, share similar qualities like molecular structure, stability, rigidity, and hardness, because they are diamonds, just reduced in size to a molecular level.

Diamondoids, like their larger brethren, can only be created in the lab by subjecting carbon to ultra high pressure and temperature.

Diamondoids weren't able to be created in conditions consistent with the low pressure and temperature (relative to the mantel) conditions in the crustal environment.

Therefore, it goes to reason that the only way diamondoids are present in crude oil is because both were formed in the mantel in tandum, and migrated together up to the sedimentary oil trapping deposits.

There are other examples where on the one hand "fossil" theory is left unable to explain some characteristic of oil (where it's found, or what it's made of), as opposed to abiotic theory being able to explain a characteristic of petroleum (I'm hard pressed to cite one aspect of abiotic theory not supported by observations in the field or experiments in the lab).

The blog Oil is Mastery has direct links to scientific papers, news articles, tradepapers, and posts with comments. Oil is Mastery's focuss is deepwater, deep-drilling oil exploration.