11.17.2009

The 'Abiotic Oil' Controversy

http://www.rense.com/general58/biot.htm
www.rense.com - Abiotic Oil
The debate over oil's origin has been going on since the 19th century. From the start, there were those who contended that oil is primordial - that it dates back to Earth's origin - or that it is made through an inorganic process, while others argued that it was produced from the decay of living organisms (primarily oceanic plankton) that proliferated millions of years ago during relatively brief periods of global warming and were buried under ocean sediment in fortuitous circumstances.
During the latter half of the 20th century, with advances in geophysics and geochemistry, the vast majority of scientists lined up on the side of the biotic theory. A small group of mostly Russian scientists - but including a tiny handful Western scientists, among them the late Cornell University physicist Thomas Gold - have held out for an abiotic (also called abiogenic or inorganic) theory. While some of the Russians appear to regard Gold as a plagiarist of their ideas, the latter's book The Deep Hot Biosphere (1998) stirred considerable controversy among the public on the questions of where oil comes from and how much of it there is. Gold argued that hydrocarbons existed at the time of the solar system's formation, and are known to be abundant on other planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and some of their moons) where no life is presumed to have flourished in the past.
The abiotic theory holds that there must therefore be nearly limitless pools of liquid primordial hydrocarbons at great depths on Earth, pools that slowly replenish the reservoirs that conventional oil drillers tap.
Meanwhile, however, the oil companies have used the biotic theory as the practical basis for their successful exploration efforts over the past few decades. If there are in fact vast untapped deep pools of hydrocarbons refilling the reservoirs that oil producers drill into, it appears to make little difference to actual production, as tens of thousands of oil and gas fields around the world are observed to deplete, and refilling (which is indeed very rarely observed) is not occurring at a commercially significant scale or rate except in one minor and controversial instance discussed below.
The abiotic theorists also hold that conventional drillers, constrained by an incorrect theory, ignore many sites where deep, primordial pools of oil accumulate; if only they would drill in the right places, they would discover much more oil than they are finding now. However, the tests of this claim are so far inconclusive: the best-documented "abiotic" test well was a commercial failure.
Thus even if the abiotic theory does eventually prove to be partially or wholly scientifically valid (and that is a rather big "if"), it might have little or no practical consequence in terms of oil depletion and the imminent global oil production peak.
[Or the moral dilemma once it finally dawns on us that the black, thick fluid is -actually- Earth's blood! Because, whether it's abiotic or biotic, these 'reductionist-materialists' just want to know how much longer they can keep on raping Gaia.]
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1 comment:

Geologist said...

About the text
The 'Abiotic Oil' Controversy
There is a simple response:

"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."
Sir Fred Hoyle, 1982