Thursday, July 31, 2008

Interview With A Cultist

Suzan Mazur interviews fossil fuel cultist Roger Buick: Buick: Follow The H2O Or Energy, Not Selection

Suzan Mazur: I was wondering also, since you discovered the oldest oil, if you could comment on the possible existence of abiotic oil that’s now being talked about a lot.

Roger Buick: It’s an argument that’s been around for a long time. Thomas Gold wrote about it.
Hilarious response demonstrating total ignorance. Any idea how long the argument has been around? It's been around since 1804 but of course Buick has no clue. Another dead give away is that he mentions Thomas Gold but adds nothing else of content. Buick is blatantly ignorant on the subject and therefore throws her the Thomas Gold bone so as to appear knowledgeable. Whenever you hear a biogenic theorist mention Thomas Gold and then stop, as though that's all they need to know or say on the subject, you know they are clueless about deep abiotic petroleum origin.

Suzan Mazur: I know Bob Hazen hosted a conference on it earlier this year at Carnegie. He mentioned that the Russians were very much behind the existence of abiotic oil. Is the idea of abiotic oil simply a way of prolonging the life of the oil industry? Or is abiotic oil a reality?

Roger Buick: We know that there are several different geochemical processes that can synthesize complex hydrocarbons out of very simple molecules and we also know that some of those processes may have been more active on an early Earth that had greater rates of volcanic activity, hydrothermal alteration and things like that.

So it’s at least plausible that the 3.2 billion year old oil we found did in fact have an abiotic origin.
So here we have Buick saying that all natural petroleum COULD "in fact have an abiotic origin".
Roger Buick: We can’t prove it one way or the other.
So here we have Buick saying that petroleum's origin CANNOT be proven. But you only need to wait for the next answer for him to contradict himself.

Suzan Mazur: Why not?

Roger Buick: We can’t chemically analyze the oil because it’s in such minute quantities. But we can go to slightly younger rocks and we can tease apart oil in those and find out what molecules it’s composed of. And when we go to rocks 2.4 billion years ago (something we published last year and the beginning of this year), you can analyze that oil in detail and you find molecules that could only have been produced by living organisms. Really complex multi-ring hydrocarbon molecules.

And if you go to every oil deposit we know of on the Earth today, and you analyze that oil – it also has these biological indicator molecules. Abiotic oil might be produced now. It might have been more significant in the past. But it’s not a significant component of any oil reservoir that we know of on Earth. And geochemistry shows that quite conclusively.
LOL. Hilarious. Now he contradicts himself and adds a bunch of unsubstantiated nonsense that is simply wrong. The only biological molecules in crude oil are contaminants. What biological indicator molecules is Buick referring to? Geochemistry shows precisely the opposite of what Mr. Buick claims: ICP-MS analysis shows conclusively that all oil has inorganic geochemistry.


Anaconda said...


OilIsMastery has pointed out the blatant contradictions in Buick's statements.

But for a guy who supposedly is "top-notch" in his field, he demonstrates either a lack of fundemental knowledge or makes assumptions that the scientific evidence simply doesn't warrant.

" can analyze that oil in detail and you find molecules that could only have been produced by living organisms. Really complex multi-ring hydrocarbon molecules."

How do we know "complex multi-ring hydrocarbon molecules" can only be made by living organisms?

No explanation is given which backs up his statement.

Of course, he expects the readers to take his word for it. Another case of "geologists say."

When actually, the observable scientific evidence is just the opposite.

Take for instance diamondoids.

"In late 2002, ChevronTexaco scientists, who were studying certain oil and natural gas pipelines that had become clogged, revealed they had discovered 20 new flavors of diamondoids in crude oil from the Gulf of Mexico -- some with up to 11 cages stuck together. The molecules had the rigidity and stability of diamonds."

"For years, scientists have salivated over the possibilities inherent in higher diamondoids -- those possessing four or more cages. The molecules come in a menagerie of shapes, from rods to disks to screws, and combine the useful properties of diamonds with the versatile chemistry of hydrocarbon molecules."

Focus on the following sentence:

"The molecules come in a menagerie of shapes, from rods to disks to screws..."

Clearly, diamondoids can take a variety of shapes and molecular structures.

Complex diamondoids are only found in deep oil:

"Diamondoids are found in only trace levels in most oils, varying anywhere from a few parts per million to thousands of parts per million."

"The diamondoids are formed in the extreme heat and pressure found in crude oil buried at great depths."

"Although they learned to synthesize adamantane, fusing even a few such cages together proved extraordinarily difficult, and efforts at creating larger diamondoids failed."

"'Diamantane and triamantane can be synthesized in laboratories, but it's very difficult and very expensive.' Qureshi said [a Chevron scientist]."

And that is because it takes ultra-high heat and pressure.

But you say: "I'm still not convinced."

Here is another case in point: " Fullerenes are a family of carbon allotropes, molecules composed entirely of carbon, in the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, tube, or plane."

These different shaped carbon polymorphs (multiple molecular structures) have been found in in the Earth, geological fullerenes.

"By means of high-resoluton transmission electron microscopy, both C60 and C70 fullerenes have been found in a, carbon-rich Precambrian rock from Russia."

Fullerenes are found in meteorites: "The presence of low concentrations of fullerenes has been reported from numerous terrestrial and METEORITIC (emphasis added) sources." fullerenes in meteorites and geological samples.

Another case were multiple shapes of carbon molcules are found. So, in one case, diamondoids, the controlling factor is ultra-high heat and pressure just like for Abiotic Theory where ultra-high heat and pressure creates oil. In another case, fullerenes, the carbon molecules are found in meteorites, where clearly, no life is involved with its formation.

After this "tour de force," are readers supposed to simply go along with "geologists say?"

Quantum_Flux said...

According to A Microcosm In the Sea Floor, there is carbon reducing life at least to a depth of several hundred meters beneath the sea floor. This ought to give some credence to Thomas Gold's predictions, and surely some oil is being produced by this process, but this is still dwarfed by the much deeper hundred plus kilometer deep production of abiotic oil in the upper mantle though.

Anaconda said...

Postscript: Diamondoids Found in Meteorites and Interstellar Medium

Incidently, diamondoids aren't only found on Earth. They have been found in meteorites and interstellar medium as well.

Diamondoids in Space

"Diamonds may be rare on Earth, but surprisingly common in space -- and new research shows that the infrared eyes of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope are perfect for finding them."

"However, astronomers began to speculate about their cosmic abundance in the 1980s, when studies of meteorites that crashed into Earth revealed numerous diamonds about a nanometer -- that's a billionth of a meter -- in size." Diamondoids found in meteorites

See, also, Diamondoids found in interstellar medium

"Diamondoid Molecules: New Insights into the Presence of Nanodiamonds in the Interstellar Medium"

These scientific papers on diamondoids in space strongly suggest (if not outright prove) that diamondoids are independent of "life" and that diamondoid formation is dependent on physical forces present deep inside the Earth and deep in space.

How ultra-high is the temperature and pressure when a star is exploding, going super nova?

OilIsMastery said...

Great work on diamondoids as usual Anaconda. Links have been added to side bar under the appropriate section...=)

Anaconda said...

To Quantum_Flux:
The link is appreciated, but in reviewing the link, I fail to see what scientific evidence or proof is cited or offered that shows oil is created by these organisms.

Quantum_Flux said...

You're correct, there is nothing cited in that article that explicitly claims that those organisms produce oil.

However I think it would be a safe bet to say that there is SOME secondary oil production at those relatively shallow few-hundred meter depths due to the biological reduction of organic matter from these organisms in combination with heating temperatures of about 300 degrees celsius according to fossil theory. How much would be minimal though, of course, compared to abiotic generation of oil.

Anaconda said...


QF states: "[T]here is SOME secondary oil production at those relatively shallow few-hundred meter depths due to the biological reduction of organic matter from these organisms in combination with heating temperatures of about 300 degrees celsius according to fossil theory."

So, it's clear you are "back in the 'fossil' theory camp" to the extent that your position is that both "fossil" theory and Abiotic Theory happen.

Your position "saves face" for geologists by, in effect, adding to geological knowledge, rather than, and opposed to "disgracing" geologists for holding on to a false idea for so long.

Interesting, in terms of scientific politics, because your position might encourage geologists to accept Abiotic Theory because they don't have to reject what they have held so long to be scientific truth.

But until I analyze "your" paper, I think it's an expression of your cognitive dissonance at seeing "scientists" disgraced.

Science is what you put stock in. So to see scientists disgraced makes you feel uncomfortable.

("If scientists can't be believed in, then what can be believed in." A very discomforting thought for some people.)

Hopefully, I will receive the PDF file, as a result of the e-mail I sent you, of the the scientific paper regarding coalification, as it's obvious you are placing much stock on that paper's scientific findings.

Focus on the following parts of the above quote:

"[B]iological reduction" even "in combination with heating temperatures of about 300 degrees celsius" isn't supported by any "fossil" theory literature without pressure, that I'm aware of.

Geologists don't argue "fossil" theory without a pressure component or a time component for that matter.

This is a radical position because even "fossil" theory requires pressure over long "geological time" to convert organic detritus to kerogen and then onto oil in a two-step process.

Quantum_Flux, at this point, without back up, consisting of scientific points and authorities, you're simply making up "word games" wishing "fossil" theory to be true.

You can't wish science.

I'll say this: Your statement has the attractiveness of sounding plausible -- strictly from a "word construction" point of view. But that's exactly what got geologists in trouble in the first place.

They fell in love with their words without any scientific back up consisting of laboratory experiments or mathematically expressed, chemical equations constrained by physical and chemical laws.

And then when Abiotic Theory supplied both laboratory experiments and results, and mathematically expressed chemical equations constrained by physical and chemical laws -- geologists turned anti-science because they just couldn't stand the thought they were wrong again.

Maybe, just like you.

But I'll await the scientific paper you "hang your hat" on.

After that, perhaps there will be an explanation for a "math guy" throwing mathematics "under the bus" in supporting "fossil" theory.

Although, I must remind you, your above statement in an incorrect statement of "fossil" theory becuase you make no reference to pressure or time, which are both necessary components of "fossil" theory.

Anaconda said...

VITRINITE ABSORBS HYDROCARBONS: Unreliable indicator that heat builds hydrocarbons in coal

(A response to the scientific paper cited by Quantum_Flux.)

Quantum Flux:

I submit the key to the riddle of the 'coalification' paper you cited is the chemical composition of the "Peat," "Brown" coal, and "subbitumous" coal, prior to the experiment.

Kenney states in his paper that graphite coal can be made from "biological detritus."

Perhaps, that is why Kenney rarely mentions coal. (Of course, Kenney is interested in oil.)

As Kenney states below:

"The chemical potential of water vapor at STP is -54.636 kcal/mol. The thermodynamic Affinity for the “charcoal burner’s reaction,” (6), to produce amorphous carbon, or graphite, is 109.10 kcal. Therefore, the genesis of coal from biological detritus in an oxygen-poor environment is permitted by the second law."

And this is an interesting quote:

Not only does the hypothesis of a biological origin of petroleum assert processes which are glaringly in contradiction to the second law of thermodynamics, but such stands in violation also of the fundamental law of the conservation of mass for chemical processes. Even if somehow the evolution of highly-reduced hydrocarbon molecules of high chemical potentials might somehow (miraculously) evolve from highly-oxidized biological molecules of low chemical potentials, the law of the conservation of mass would require that, for every ton of oil so generated, 8-10 tons of coal would necessarily also be generated, and likewise for every ton of natural gas, 12-15 tons of coal.12-14 Such deposits of coal are not observed with deposits of natural petroleum."

It should be pointed out: "Coal usually is the most shallow of the hydrocarbons, when it exists in a stratigraphic profile with oil & gas. Gas can exist above or below oil, although observers say gas is below oil more often than not."

There never is coal found in such abundance below an oil deposit as would explain the "miraculous" (Kenney's word) production of oil from coal deposits.

But returning to my opening paragraph. The description of the three samples was non-scientific, in that no elemental chemical composition assay was carried out on the samples before the experiment.

The scientific paper that I cite below stands for the proposition that vitrinite absorbs hydrocarbons, therefore, one can't conclude hydrocarbons weren't present before the experiment started.

Adsorption of petroleum compounds in vitrinite: implications for petroleum expulsion from coal

What is interesting is that the three samples, as stated in your cited paper, all have a high percentage of vitrinite: "These samples are particlularly rich in vitrinite (81 - 87%)."

Vitrinite seems not to have an elemental chemical composition assayed for it.

This is a recurring pattern in "coal" scientific work:

No elemental chemical molecular description.

Getting back to the Adsorption of petroleum compounds in vitrinite abstract.

"Coals are known to be often associated with gas and condensate accumulations. Yet experimental evidence suggests that they generate as much heavy compounds as conventional type II kerogen. The concepts brought forward to date to explain this contradiction are rather unspecific and not quantifiable."

Further: "This paper investigates the role of adsorption in nanopores of vitrinite and suggests quantifiable processes of retention. We combined computer process models of nanopore adsorption and absorption with a generic ten-component generation and cracking scheme in order to model generation, retention and cracking of petroleum component groups in vitrinite."

So it would seem that even "coal scientists" acknowledge that vitrinite absorbs hydrocarbons and then expells the hydrocarbons upon heating.

Quantum_Flux, there is your answer:

The experiment you cite simply measures the expulsion of hydrocarbons from vitrinite, not the creation of hydrocarbons.

I might add, that the "paper" you cited was published in the International Journal of Coal Geology. I suspect the "Journal" is not rigorous if the submitted paper "follows the company line."

In order for this paper to successfully stand for the proposition you propose for it, namely as a proof for "fossil" theory, there would need to be a proper assay to identify all molecules in the samples down to the elemental chemical molecular level BEFORE being put into the "reactor."

Your proposition does not have sufficient scientific support because the scientific paper you cite has flaws that render it unreliable and not a valid support for "fossil" theory.

The paper I cite acknowledges the limits of the knowledge of coal:

"Proper quantitative predictions need more accurate knowledge of multi-component swelling ratios and adsorption systems, vitrinite pore wall polarity at different maturities, and more detailed vitrinite pore size distributions."

This last paragraph quoted above puts the experiment and paper you cite in a "new light" and renders it unreliable, therefore, the paper can't be used to support the "fossil" hypothesis of petroleum formation.

Quantum_Flux's response to the above discussion: (Original comment on Oil Is Mastery post: Oil Doesn't Come From Dead Dinosaurs, August 6, 2008 6:01 PM.)

"Wow, thanks a bunch for the clarification Anaconda. That makes excellent sense.

There was probably some graphene coalification from the peat in combination with some peat combustion (CO2 and CH4 gas production) plus the release of unassayed hydrocarbons in the vitrinite due to melting.... yeah, that makes sense. So, this kind of ambiguity is what made fossil theory go for all these years then."

Anaconda regarding Quantum_Flux's response: I appreciate the feedback and further analysis, Quantum_ Flux, you have filled in the analysis by "grasping the scientific nettle," even if that went against your original proposition.

Your scientific integrity stands tall.