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Abiogenic oil theory

Unread postPosted: Mon 13 Apr 2009, 08:12:43
by AirlinePilot
I'm interested in finding credible and scientific refutation of Thomas Gold's premise put forth in the book "Deep hot Biosphere". Specifically I'm interested in the chemistry behind why this theory does/does not have credence over the normally accepted one of plankton and plant material finding the right conditions for oil genesis.

I have worked under the assumption for quite some time that oil's origins were fairly well understood and accepted. I'm learning that this may not be the case and have a debate with a "freind" going on currently concerning abiogenic theory.

Any links or insight into refutation of the abiotic theory would be apreciated.

Re: Abiogenic oil theory

Unread postPosted: Mon 13 Apr 2009, 08:25:05
by Leanan

Re: Abiogenic oil theory

Unread postPosted: Mon 13 Apr 2009, 09:22:06
by TreeFarmer
Let's try some quick math.

Suppose the world's supply of oil is 80 trillion barrels, a sum at least 10 times larger than the most over the top estimate I've ever seen.

Now, lets assume that the world is 2 billion years old, an understatement I know, but as you'll see below I'm being very very conservative in my calculations.

Now, let's divide the two to see how many barrels of oil the world has produced abiotically. 80 trillion/2 billion is 40,000 barrels produced per year.

Now, since the world uses 70+ million barrels per day, there is no way this method can produce enough oil to make any difference in the current world supply even if it were true.

As someone once said in another thread, if this method was capable of producing a meaningful amount of oil, the world would have popped like a giant pimple long ago.


TF

Re: Abiogenic oil theory

Unread postPosted: Mon 13 Apr 2009, 09:38:51
by crude_intentions
Now, lets assume that the world is 2 billion years old, an understatement I know, but as you'll see below I'm being very very conservative in my calculations.


Most Abiogenic oil people are even more conservative than that with the world only being 6000 years or so old. 8)

Re: Abiogenic oil theory

Unread postPosted: Mon 13 Apr 2009, 09:45:48
by mos6507
Watch this, start to finish.

Re: Abiogenic oil theory

Unread postPosted: Mon 13 Apr 2009, 16:12:39
by TheDude
The Wiki article summarizes the evidence nicely, you'd be interested in the geological argument against. If your friend combines wild eyed frenzy with dogmatic insistence that we can drive our SUVs forever I'd just not bother. Same with people who chalk the biotic theories to conspiracies of Big Oil. Think of it as intellectual triage.

Well put, TreeFarmer.

Re: Abiogenic oil theory

Unread postPosted: Mon 13 Apr 2009, 16:24:11
by eastbay
TreeFarmer wrote:Let's try some quick math.

Suppose the world's supply of oil is 80 trillion barrels, a sum at least 10 times larger than the most over the top estimate I've ever seen.

Now, lets assume that the world is 2 billion years old, an understatement I know, but as you'll see below I'm being very very conservative in my calculations.

Now, let's divide the two to see how many barrels of oil the world has produced abiotically. 80 trillion/2 billion is 40,000 barrels produced per year.

Now, since the world uses 70+ million barrels per day, there is no way this method can produce enough oil to make any difference in the current world supply even if it were true.

As someone once said in another thread, if this method was capable of producing a meaningful amount of oil, the world would have popped like a giant pimple long ago.


TF


Excellent!! Now, let's use more widely accepted numbers to see what happens:

For this calculation, I'll assume a 4 billion year old Earth creating 4 trillion bbls, two trillion of which will be accessible and two trillion too costly to reach. That leaves us with a planet 'abiotically' creating 1,000 bbls of oil per year.

The abiotic oil theory is flat out nonsense. It's brain candy for those poor at simple arithmetic.

Re: Abiogenic oil theory

Unread postPosted: Mon 13 Apr 2009, 19:32:32
by misterno
I got a super stupid question

Howcome an oil field as deep and as big as Ghawar be formed? I looked at the oil fields picture in Saudi Arabia and it seems like there must have been million os dinasours and trees on top of each other for millions of years coincidentally all at the same small area.

How is this possible? or am I missing something?

Re: Abiogenic oil theory

Unread postPosted: Mon 13 Apr 2009, 19:45:22
by eastbay
http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=f ... l=en&emb=0

Here's a very basic old video featuring oil formation in the Mississippi delta region.

Re: Abiogenic oil theory

Unread postPosted: Mon 13 Apr 2009, 20:07:47
by copious.abundance
misterno wrote:I got a super stupid question

Howcome an oil field as deep and as big as Ghawar be formed? I looked at the oil fields picture in Saudi Arabia and it seems like there must have been million os dinasours and trees on top of each other for millions of years coincidentally all at the same small area.

How is this possible? or am I missing something?

Most oil is formed from algae or plankton. Trees, plants and dinosaurs are a tiny component of oil formation.

Tens or hundreds of millions of years of algae such as in blooms like these will give you plenty of decaying biomass deposited on the floor of a sea or lake. Check out the huge one here.

Then add in the plankton which, if I'm not mistaken, accounts for the majority of oil formation.

Re: Abiogenic oil theory

Unread postPosted: Mon 13 Apr 2009, 21:54:18
by misterno
I understand all that

but what I don't understand is why concentrated in such a small place and so deep?

How is that possible that this is happening only in that area called Ghawar? Something very extra ordinary must have happened. Dinasour grave which was used for the same purpose for millions of years.

Sounds funny but how else can it be like that?

Re: Abiogenic oil theory

Unread postPosted: Tue 14 Apr 2009, 17:51:01
by rockdoc123
but what I don't understand is why concentrated in such a small place and so deep?

How is that possible that this is happening only in that area called Ghawar?


First off it isn't necessarily concentrated in one place. The great Silurian source rock covered a seaway that is now seen (in broken up fashion) across all of North Africa, Egypt, Middle East. The mid-Cretaceous source rocks which are so prolific in West Africa and Brazil covered a seaway that was likely in the size of 10,000 km2. Of course there are richer parts but the source rocks in Cretaceous, Jurassic and Silurian are very extensive.

The depth is where it is now or in the not too distant past. In order for source rock kerogens to mature and generate hydrocarbons. Exposure to high temperatures for a length of time is what drives the maturation process. In general cratonic basins need depths of burial quite deep since heat flow is much lower (10 - 20 mW/m2), areas of transitional crust shallower (heat flows in the >45 mW/m2 range and areas such as modern rift basins in East Africa (eg: Uganda) quite shallow (heat flows > 110 mW/m2). Source rocks can exist in the subsurface over vast areas....but often the area that is mature due to burial and heating is somewhat limited...hence limiting the amount of potential hydrocarbon generated. You can, of course, have source rocks that are currently at shallow depth or exposed but were at one time deeply buried, generated hydrocarbons and were then uplifted to a point where hydrocarbon generation was shut off.

And it's not just happening in Ghawar area. Ghawar is a good example of all the elements of hydrocarbon trapping (Source, Migration, Reservoir, Seal, Containment) all coming together perfectily. In other areas with just as much access to mature source rock there may have been issues with thinner reservoir, a poor top seal, leakage due to cross fault seal, migration shadows etc. which determined the amount of trapped hydrocarbon was much less.

THE Abiotic Oil Thread pt 3

Unread postPosted: Thu 08 Dec 2016, 22:43:53
by ROCKMAN
"...Petroleum is actually the result of Fischer-Tropsch processes taking place naturally inside the Earth at great depth". Sounds reasonable to the Rockman. Now we just need to keep looking for those abiotic oil and NG accumulations just like we have been since Col. Drake poked that first hole in 1859. Nothing changes in the game.

Re: THE Abiotic Oil Thread pt 2 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Thu 08 Dec 2016, 23:15:27
by rockdoc123
Nothing changes in the game.


actually it does....dry holes increase, discovery rate goes to the lowest in a hundred years. The Russian's already tried this game....lets see....zero success rate. Pretty impressive. :roll:

Re: THE Abiotic Oil Thread pt 2 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Thu 08 Dec 2016, 23:22:48
by ROCKMAN
Doc - "...actually it does....dry holes increase, discovery rate goes to the lowest in a hundred years."

Exactly what I said: the oil/NG development game doesn't change. LOL.

Re: THE Abiotic Oil Thread pt 2 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Sat 04 Feb 2017, 10:13:23
by ROCKMAN
Once again more "expects" have pushed their way into our Peak Oil News section. So figured it would be worthwhile to pull up THE most important response the story drew:

H - "Even if true, can this process produce oil in the quantities currently extracted." And that's actually not the critical question. What's important is where the oil (abiotic or otherwise) has accumulated. Which is exactly how I shut the abiotic fanatics down: the 40+ year experienced petroleum geologist, the Rockman, believes all oil has an abiotic origin. End of debate. The problem facing the world is the increasing difficulty (and expense) of finding the yet discovered abiotic oil accumulations. Yes: the world is fast approaching PAO...Peak Abiotic Oil. LOL.

And refilling depleted fields? Obviously too slow in a human time frame. For instance:

bahamased - "So we should go back and re-drill Spindletop as it should be refilled by now". Guess what: the field is still producing. Not a lot but there are still wells completed in the reservoirs that began producing over 100 years ago. And guess what else: drilling in Spindletop field has never stopped. Granted not a lot of new wells but enough to find any new abiotic oil that might have migrated there since the discover of the field.

In fact, as recently as 2013: "Hard-hatted roughnecks returned to Spindletop this week, aiming to make another historic strike on the storied grounds. “This is one of the best Christmas presents I have ever had, getting this well spudded on the 22nd of December, 2013.” said Bud Tippens, a landman who has worked on the Southeast Texas project since 1999. Once that pipe reaches 10,000 feet a team of geologists will arrive to begin analyzing the findings to see if there really are deep undiscovered pockets of oil and gas at the Spindletop dome, site of the huge discovery in 1901 that transformed the oil industry and American life."

And guess who was one of those geologists? None other then your very own ROCKMAN!!! Yes, my company bought an interest in that well from Bud and was the operator. Unfortunately it was a dry hole...as was the sidetracked second well. And then Bud shifted south and drilled a 3rd dry hole. The Rockman passed on that one: two misses chasing those elusive remaing abiotic oil accumulations was enough. LOL.

Abiogenic Petroleum: Peak Oil and “Fossil Fuels” – Debunked

Unread postPosted: Thu 16 Nov 2017, 18:27:10
by AdamB

Live on Tuesdays at 5pm Pacific time – UnSpun #094: Greg Quinones is a business consultant, writer, public speaker, trainer and teacher. He is Founder and Managing Executive Partner of ZEN Enhanced Oil Recovery (ZENEOR) a Texas based privately held limited liability company. ZENEOR specializes in “out-of-the-box” thinking in oil production and process. Through extensive knowledge of the oil industry, they bring new innovations and technologies to market in order to help practical minded operators lower costs, improve efficiency and reduce environmental risks. The Company’s mission is to help achieve higher revenues for industry investors and higher netbacks for producers, land owners, royalty owners and working interest owners. In the past Greg has served as a leadership/sales trainer and marketing associate in the investment banking and venture capital industries for various private firms in New York City. He began his career


Abiogenic Petroleum: Peak Oil and “Fossil Fuels” – Debunked

Re: THE Abiotic Oil Thread pt 2 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Mon 08 Jan 2018, 19:25:07
by Subjectivist
It's our nature to sort, divide, and classify. We label ourselves to identify political leanings, religious beliefs, the food we enjoy, and the sports teams we cheer. The oil industry too has its own distinct labels which include the "Peak Oil" theorists, those who believe the world is fast depleting the finite supply of fossil fuel; and the pragmatists, those who recognize that engineering and technological advances in oil drilling and extraction continuously identify new reserves that make oil plentiful.

And there's a third group you may not know. These people are deeply interested in oil and its origins, but their advocacy of "abiotic theory" has many dismissing them as heretics, frauds, or idealists. They hold that oil can be derived from hydrocarbons that existed eons ago in massive pools deep within the earth's core. That source of hydrocarbons seeps up through the earth's layers and slowly replenishes oil sources. In other words, it turns the fossil-fuel paradigm upside down.

Perhaps the breakthrough for this theory came when Chris Cooper's story appeared April 16, 1999, in The Wall Street Journal about an oil field called Eugene Island. Here's an excerpt:

Production at the oil field, deep in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, was supposed to have declined years ago. And for a while, it behaved like any normal field: Following its 1973 discovery, Eugene Island 330's output peaked at about 15,000 barrels a day. By 1989, production had slowed to about 4,000 barrels a day.

Then suddenly—some say almost inexplicably—Eugene Island's fortunes reversed. The field, operated by PennzEnergy Co., is now producing 13,000 barrels a day, and probable reserves have rocketed to more than 400 million barrels from 60 million. Stranger still, scientists studying the field say the crude coming out of the pipe is of a geological age quite different from the oil that gushed 10 years ago.

According to Cooper,Thomas Gold, a respected astronomer and professor emeritus at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, has held for years that oil is actually a renewable, primordial syrup continually manufactured by the Earth under ultrahot conditions and tremendous pressures. As this substance migrates toward the surface, it is attacked by bacteria, making it appear to have an organic origin dating back to the dinosaurs, he says.

All of which has led some scientists to a radical theory: Eugene Island is rapidly refilling itself, perhaps from some continuous source miles below the Earth's surface. That, they say, raises the tantalizing possibility that oil may not be the limited resource it is assumed to be.

More recently, Forbes presented a similar discussion. In 2008 it reported a group of Russian and Ukrainian scientists say that oil and gas don't come from fossils; they're synthesized deep within the earth's mantle by heat, pressure, and other purely chemical means, before gradually rising to the surface. Under the so-called abiotic theory of oil, finding all the energy we need is just a matter of looking beyond the traditional basins where fossils might have accumulated.

The idea that oil comes from fossils "is a myth" that needs changing according to petroleum engineer Vladimir Kutcherov, speaking at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. "All kinds of rocks could have oil and gas deposits."
Alexander Kitchka of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences estimates that 60 percent of the content of all oil is abiotic in origin and not from fossil fuels. He says companies should drill deeper to find it.

Is abiotic theory the real deal? Is Eugene Island "Exhibit A?" Look how long it's taken for this conversation to reach a tipping point!


https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/on ... -exploring

Re: THE Abiotic Oil Thread pt 2 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Tue 09 Jan 2018, 15:31:15
by Tanada
This is a topic we have pounded for a long time, I am saddened that the general media still thinks it is a viable topic of conversation.

Re: THE Abiotic Oil Thread pt 2 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Tue 09 Jan 2018, 15:43:59
by GHung
Tanada wrote:This is a topic we have pounded for a long time, I am saddened that the general media still thinks it is a viable topic of conversation.


Uh,,, the media from Sept. 14, 2011 ?

Another oldie from Sub's Wayback Machine. Not sure why.