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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Oil From Dinosaurs? Finite Supply?

My dad tells me that when he was a kid back in the 40's and 50's, he remembers his teachers telling him, and the rest of his classmates, that oil is the ultimate product of decomposed dinosaurs, sea life, and vegetation. He was also told at that time that there was only about 40 years worth of [salvageable] oil.

I won't go into the folly of public schools and standardized teaching, but suffice to say, I was taught the same thing nearly 40 years later.

Well apparently, nobody actually tested the theory. I recently heard an interview with a fellow on the Art Bell show who actually says that oil doesn't come from dinosaurs, that we have an infinite supply, and that peak oil is a myth.

Talk about being knocked back on my heels. I was like, whoa!

So I did some sleuthing and I found this great article by Chris Bennett, an environmental engineer, who claims that oil is an inorganic byproduct of plate tectonics. Here's how the theory works (from article):

Crude oil forms as a natural inorganic process which occurs between the mantle and the crust, somewhere between 5 and 20 miles deep. The proposed mechanism is as follows:

  • Methane (CH4) is a common molecule found in quantity throughout our solar system - huge concentrations exist at great depth in the Earth.
  • At the mantle-crust interface, roughly 20,000 feet beneath the surface, rapidly rising streams of compressed methane-based gasses hit pockets of high temperature causing the condensation of heavier hydrocarbons. The product of this condensation is commonly known as crude oil.
  • Some compressed methane-based gases migrate into pockets and reservoirs we extract as "natural gas."
  • In the geologically "cooler," more tectonic stable regions around the globe, the crude oil pools into reservoirs.
  • In the "hotter," more volcanic and tectonically active areas, the oil and natural gas continue to condense and eventually to oxidize, producing carbon dioxide and steam, which exits from active volcanoes.
  • Periodically, depending on variations of geology and Earth movement, oil seeps to the surface in quantity, creating the vast oil-sand deposits of Canada and Venezuela, or the continual seeps found beneath the Gulf of Mexico and Uzbekistan.
  • Periodically, depending on variations of geology, the vast, deep pools of oil break free and replenish existing known reserves of oil.

But of course this isn't news to "unconventional wisdom". Bennettt goes on to quote Dr. J.F. Kenney of Gas Resources Corporation of Houston, TX,

"competent physicists, chemists, chemical engineers and men knowledgeable of thermodynamics have known that natural petroleum does not evolve from biological materials since the last quarter of the 19th century." (emphasis mine)


Somebody better inform the environmentalists, the politicians, and the public school system.

What impact will an inexhaustible supply of petroleum have on environmental politics? What will be the impact on oil markets if this theory is proven? One shudders to think of all of the implications.

Want to shock (and maybe break the heart) your favorite leftist? Tell him or her that oil comes from plate tectonics and that as long as the plates move, we will have oil.

11 Comments:

Blogger Mike's America said...

That's an excellent post... Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

I could have used that the other day when the moonbat invasion was insisting that we shouldn't even bother drilling for oil because it was going to run out.

And that IS the problem, isn't it? We have to DRILL for the stuff, and the anti-capitalist, socialist utopiasts want to limit or eliminate our ability to do that, even in places like ANWR where it is perfectly safe to drill and no one would even so much as be annoyed at the site of the platforms.

But energy, as it is linked with the broader environmental religion of the socialist/utopiasts isn't to be viewed through the cold lens of science and fact.

9:47 AM

 
Blogger The Plumber said...

I was blown away at this development.

I'm also pissed that I've been misled and lied to all these years.

11:11 AM

 
Blogger Mike's America said...

Plumber: I'm disappointed... I thought for sure the link to that story would send the moonbats winging your way!

Maybe they just like me so much they don't want to leave.

Let me know if they show up... More fun than clubbing baby seals!

1:36 PM

 
Blogger The Plumber said...

Yeah, I have this problem. I know they drop by, some of them quite frequently.

They are sporatic in their comments. Because they know I do this for sport, many choose to deny me my fun.

Maybe I need to be more controversial.

4:04 PM

 
Blogger Holly said...

I'm a leftist and I'm not pissed. I'm jubilant!

If this is true, then we don't really need to drill in Alaska, right? I mean, really - as long as there is an infinite supply, why do we need to start drilling in new places? Oh, I'm sure there are reasons you could dig up. Don't bother though.

All I'm saying is that this is good news for envirnomentalists, not bad.

9:04 PM

 
Blogger Holly said...

P.S. Did you guys think the term moonbats made us mad? I think it is quite cute.

9:06 PM

 
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