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Saturday, 4 February 2012

Peak Oil Myth

Peak Oil Myth

   Hydrocarbons such as oil and natural gas surely are abiotic and primordial materials in its origin. Oil is very abundant and peak oil is merely a myth as well as to think that “fossil fuels” could exist. It’s noteworthy that we are in 21th century and not in the Middle Age. 

The question is:
When our world finally runs out of oil…? 
That’s a huge long time! Maybe when our Sun in stage of red giant expansion consumes entirely Earth. Oil and natural gas are abundant primordial materials, not “fossil fuel”. Petroleum (oil and natural gas) comes surely from Earth’s mantle and they still in upwelling, clearly replenishing oil and gas in conventional reservoirs as proposed by scientist Thomas Gold. This refilling or recharging of reservoirs have many examples such as Eugene Island, in Gulf of Mexico, Romashkinokoye, in Russia, Prudhoe Bay, in Alaska.

   Unfortunately, nowadays still exists the claim that petroleum and natural gas are fossil fuels, produced by the decay of organic sediments composed of microscopic marine organisms which miraculously would transformed into oil or gas. Supposedly their decay produces a tar like substance called kerogen, which is largely composed of very heavy hydrocarbons. As layers of sediment pile on top of these supposed kerogen deposits, they are eventually buried so deep that the Earth’s internal heat and pressure convert the kerogen to lighter hydrocarbons, including methane (CH4, the main component of natural gas). And according to this suggestion  there would be no doubt that kerogen, found in oil shales and tar sands, can be converted by heat into oil and gas, which is nonsense of high order .

   Decades ago, some eminent researchers, most of them in the old Soviet Union, proposed that the fossil fuel theory is incorrect, and that most oil and gas is of abiotic origin, formed from methane and other carbon compounds trapped in the Earth when it was formed. They state that there is no “peak oil,” but that vast amounts of oil and gas are slowly rising from Earth’s mantle and the lower crust, enough to last us for thousands or even millions of years. Dmitri Mendeleev, a chemist, was one of the Soviet proponents of abiotic origin; many of the others were geologists. French chemist Marcellin Berthelot and American astronomer Thomas Gold were among the first Westerners to agree with them. Gold even convinced Swedish authorities to drill a test well in granite with no organic sediments over, under, or in it, and small amounts of oil were found. Oil and gas have been found elsewhere when wells penetrated below all the sediments, but skeptics claim that the oil somehow leaked down from overlying sediments, or that the rock layers had so folded and twisted that the igneous basement rocks were now above some sediments.

   It's incredible that some "peak oil" writers highlights how proponents of abiotic petroleum were generally chemists with very little geological knowledge (Berthelot, Mendeleev, for instance). That's another nonsense.  Do geologists who think oil is fossil fuel have much knowledge of chemistry? What then was the miracle that would transform biological detritus in hydrocarbons (oil and natural gas)? The eminent chemists as Marcelin Berthelot, Dmitri Mendeleev (father of Periodic Table) certainly had considerable knowledge of chemistry and the modern science has proven that these scientists are right and many geologists still need learn better chemistry.

   In the mud on ocean bottoms, vast amounts of methane are trapped in frozen hydrates or methane clathrates, far exceeding all the gas ever produced or found in proven reserves. Found at depths over 300 meters, the methane molecules, due to cold and pressure, are trapped in a kind of cage of water molecules and mixed with the sediments. The methane trapped in one small area off the coast of the Carolinas could, if we could extract it, supply the US with over fifty years of natural gas…and this is but a small part of the worldwide supply of clathrates. We may or may not be able to develop safe and economical ways of tapping this resource, but the sheer volume of the gas is hard to explain with the biological theory. The carbon alone in the clathrates is estimated at twice the total amount of carbon in all other “fossil fuel” deposits, and these include coal, which is mostly carbon.

   Helium gas is found in some gas wells, enough to make it profitable to extract it. This light and inert gas, because it cannot burn, is used in balloons and airships. Being inert and non-reactive it cannot form compounds, including organic compounds. So everyone is forced to admit that helium is abiotic; it was trapped inside the Earth when our planet was formed. So if helium was trapped, why not methane?

   Interstellar gas and dust clouds contain a variety of hydrocarbons and other organic compounds, obviously not formed from marine algae, compounds such as methane, formaldehyde, acetylene, ethylene, ketene, methanol, and benzene. In addition, the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan is mostly methane, and no one seriously believes that oceans of liquid water and marine organisms exist on Titan, which is far from the Sun and colder than dry ice. So if methane and other hydrocarbons form in space and can be trapped on Titan, obviously some must have been trapped in the early Earth. In addition, some meteorites, called carbonaceous chondrites, contain kerogen, the supposed residue of marine organisms which is converted into petroleum…but there are no marine organisms in space, largely because there are no oceans. Currently accepted theory holds that the Earth was formed by the accretion of meteors, asteroids, and comets, so, along with the methane, significant amounts of kerogen had to have been trapped in our planet at its birth.

   So it is virtually certain that much oil and gas is of abiotic origin, and the amounts remaining are likely to far exceed all that we have tapped so far.

   It seems likely that theories of ”peak oil” are just that…theories. The US is, in fact, incredibly rich in “fossil fuels.” Our dependence on imports is a contrived situation, and our failure to develop our vast domestic reserves is based on political decisions by environmental extremists. If, as seems virtually certain, most of our hydrocarbon fuels were trapped in our planet when it formed some 4.6 billion years ago, the chances that we just happen to be living in the period when most of it is depleted are remote. Almost certainly we have enough oil and gas to last us thousands, even millions of years. Of course we should practice energy conservation when it is economical to do so, and of course we should try to develop new energy sources. But failure now to tap the reserves we know we have is madness.

A Peak Oil Contrarian

   F. William Engdahl once accepted peak oil analysis, but no longer does. He explains why in his writing, and this section summarizes his reasoning. It's based on the Russian-Ukrainian theory that oil originated from deep carbon deposits dating as far back as the Earth's formation. It's not a fossil fuel or of biological origin, and its potential may be far greater than current hydrocarbon estimates.

   According to Engdahl and others sharing this view, peak oil adherents believe oil is a fossil fuel, its origin is biological, its supply finite, and it's only found in areas where it was "geologically trapped millions of years underground reservoirs (around) 4-6000 feet below the surface of the Earth." At times, large amounts may also be in shallow water offshore rock formations in places like the Gulf of Mexico, North Sea or Gulf of Guinea. In any event, prevailing reasoning is that it's running out, and it's a just a matter of deciding how much is left and when it no longer will be available in amounts needed to sustain world economies. Peak oil proponents believe the time is fast approaching.

   Petroleum science dates from the year 1757 when Russian scholar Mikhail Lomonosov hypothesized that oil's origin might be biological. In the early 19th century, two scientists disagreed - German naturalist and geologist Alexander von Humboldt and French chemist and thermodynamicist Louis Joseph Gay-Lussac. Together they proposed that oil is primordial matter, it erupted from deep within the Earth, and it has no connection to biological material nearer the surface. Later in the century, others held similar views - most notably the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev (the father of the Periodic Table of chemical elements) and French chemist Marcellin Berthelot. Mendeleev, in particular, believed that "petroleum was born in the depths of the Earth (called "deep faults"), and it is only there that we must seek its origin."

   Modern petroleum science dates from the end of WW II when the Cold War began and the former Soviet Union faced isolation from the West. At the time, its scientists believed the country was in trouble. It had limited reserves and was shut out of many parts of the world for supply. It thus became imperative to find new deposits inside the country.

   So its scientists at the Institute of the Physics of the Earth of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Geological Sciences of the Ukraine Academy of Sciences set out to do it. They studied oil's origin, how reserves are generated, and the most effective exploration methods to extract it.

   In 1951, Nikolai Kudryavtsev proposed the first modern deep abiotic oil origins theory at the All-Union petroleum geology congress. He discounted claims about oil's biological origin and was joined by other Russian and Ukrainian geologists, including Vladimir Porfir'yev.

   In 1956, Porfir'yev announced their conclusions that even now are largely unacknowledged in the West: that "Crude oil and natural petroleum have no intrinsic connection with biological matter originating near the surface of the Earth." They're "primordial materials which have been erupted from great depths," and believing their supply is limited is a hoax to keep prices high at times like now.

   The theory rests on the abiotic origin of oil. It's mirror opposite orthodox geology, and, if right, here's what it means - that available oil is only limited by deep Earth organic hydrocarbon constituents at the time of the planet's formation, and technological advances will eventually tap them in ultra-deep reservoirs and from old fields believed to be barren.

   The theory defies conventional science, but it's paying off. It let Soviet Russia develop huge oil and gas fields in regions previously thought unsuitable. In the 1990s, it was also successfully used in the Dnieper-Donets Basin between Russia and Ukraine in areas considered barren. Sixty-one wells were drilled of which 37 (60%) proved out. Engdahl compares this to US wildcat drilling that produces 90% dry holes.

It’s also interesting keep in mind what Sir Fred Hoyle said:

“The suggestion that petroleum might have arisen from some transformation of squashed fish or biological detritus is surely the silliest notion to have been entertained by substantial numbers of persons over an extended period of time.”
Fred Hoyle, cosmologist/astrophysicist, 1982


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  3. LOL keep dreaming. Not long now. Mid 2016 to 2017 oil supply falls off the cliff. I wish I could say I told you say when it happens (not if) but I doubt we'll have email or electricity. Oh well at least you keeping all the delusional morons out there happy.

    1. Peak oil exists only in mind of its creators! That's high order nonsense. Hydrocarbons on Earth only will exhaust when our Sun reach condition of red giant star or if a giant meteorite impact hit our mother Earth and reduce it to powder.