Earth’s Oil & Gas Fields to Produce Until the Sun Blows Up?

There are several ways in which oil & gas are constantly being produced inside the Earth’s mantle and crust. The much-reviled “abiotic process” has been demonstrated in the deep ocean vents, on other planets, in deep space, and is well supported by theory.

To rule out the possibility that the hydrocarbons collected from the vents were created from biological material, the team analysed several different isotopes.

Among other measurements, the team analysed the amount of carbon-13 in methane, which contains one carbon atom, and in hydrocarbons containing two, three, and four carbon atoms. As the number of carbon atoms rose, the concentration of carbon-13 fell — the opposite trend to that seen in biologically derived hydrocarbons. __ Nature News

Do Oil & Gas Wells Re-Charge Themselves?

There have been numerous reports in recent times, of oil and gas fields not running out at the expected time, but instead showing a higher content of hydrocarbons after they had already produced more than the initially estimated amount. This has been seen in the Middle East, in the deep gas wells of Oklahoma, on the Gulf of Mexico coast, and in other places. It is this apparent refilling during production that has been responsible for the series of gross underestimate of reserves that have been published time and again, the most memorable being the one in the early seventies that firmly predicted the end of oil and gas globally by 1987, a prediction which produced an energy crisis and with that a huge shift in the wealth of nations. Refilling is an item of the greatest economic significance, and also a key to understanding what the sources of all this petroleum had been. It is also of practical engineering importance, since we may be able to exercise some control over the refilling process. _Recharging of Oil & Gas Fields

There is a detectable difference between biogenic and pure abiotic oil. But if oil & gas from different sources mix, the distinction is not so easy to make. Abiotic Production of Short Chain Hydrocarbons
The above image illustrates the likely abiogenic formation of hydrocarbons in the upper mantle. These hydrocarbons then can migrate upward into the crust, and become trapped under impermeable minerals. Abiogenic hydrocarbons almost certainly mix with biogenic hydrocarbons.

There are other, slower ways that the planet is continuously replenishing hydrocarbon reservoirs, including subduction of bio-rich ocean sediments under continental crust, and the ongoing biogenic production of buried sediments under heat & pressure inside continental crust.

Why Middle Eastern Oil Fields May Never Stop Producing

The two major ingredients, carbon and hydrogen, necessary for the formation of hydrocarbons in the Middle East, can originate from organic and inorganic sources. Hydrocarbons should be continuously forming in the Persian/Arabian Gulf area to account for the annual increase in oil reserves.

… The location of oil and gas fields along, nearby, or above subduction and rift zones in the Middle East relates the formation of hydrocarbons to geodynamic activities, the counterclockwise movement of the Arabian plate since the opening of the Red Sea in the Miocene, and the chemical process which generates and combines carbon and hydrogen at 300-500°C within subduction zones and/or deep in the basement rocks of the crust.

The necessary pressure is supplied by the movement of the Arabian plate and the subduction events. Fractures, faults, and horsts provide a route for hydrocarbons to reach traps and accumulate.


Biogenic Oil & Gas Production

As modern economies move away from hydrocarbon energy dependency to electrical power generation — in particular nuclear energy — demand for hydrocarbons will likely plateau, and eventually decline.

Lower future demand for fossil fuels could wreck the finances of producing countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia and Venezuela that depend on high oil prices to fund public spending, but would be an overall boon for the world. The overwhelming majority of people live in countries – whether rich like the United States, middle-income like China or poor like Bangladesh – that consume more energy than they produce. __

With improved methods of oil discovery and production, there will be enough oil & gas for several decades longer.

As higher temperature nuclear reactors come online — providing high quality process heat for a large number of chemical processes — lower quality hydrocarbons such as cheap coal, kerogens, bitumens, etc. will be cheaply converted to high quality fuels, fertilisers, polymers, etc. etc.

More on hydrocarbons in the Earth’s mantle

Modern science does not yet understand the carbon cycle in full. Otherwise, all the hysteria over the climate apocalypse and peak oil armageddon would never have grown to such outlandish international levels. But in essence, humans are stupid. Even intelligent humans fail to think on the levels of logic required to escape the mob reasoning of groupthink — whether in science, politics, journalism, academia, the corporate world, or any other arena.

Fortunately, there still exist a small proportion of humans who are capable of multiple levels of thought — so that the rest of the populations do not have to exert themselves.


More than 10 trillion barrels of conventional oil! About 10X more than has been used so far. Peak oil, anyone?

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3 Responses to Earth’s Oil & Gas Fields to Produce Until the Sun Blows Up?

  1. Abelard Lindsey says:

    The abiotic origin theory of hydrocarbons is reviled because it clashes with the limits to growth ideology that is promulgated by the left (and even some social conservatives) in the West. However, it is well-supported by astronomical observations of the other bodies in the solar system, including Mars, which has Methane in its atmosphere.

    Natural gas is clearly of abiotic origin. Helium comes from natural gas wells. Helium, which is an inert nobel gas, is not involved in any known molecular biology. Indeed, there is no known Helium chemistry at all. Oil has several origins. Most of it is from fossils (ocean life). However, much (most?) of it as well may be produced by extremophile bacteria in the deep, hot biosphere. Coal is clearly from land life.

    Something to remember about coal is that no one ever prospects for coal because there is so much of it where ever anyone has stumbled across it in the early industrial age. The total biomass of ocean life is several times that of land life, and has been around for 2-3 times longer. Hence, there should be a lot more biogenic oil than coal in the Earth.

  2. jdseanjd says:

    Another leg cut from the doomsayers rickety table. Thanks. 🙂
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