Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oil Is Not A Fossil Fuel



Peter J. Morgan via Canada Free Press: Oil is NOT a fossil fuel and AGW is non-science

We all grew up believing that oil is a fossil fuel, and just about every day this ‘fact’ is mentioned in newspapers and on TV. However, let us not forget what Lenin said – “A lie told often enough becomes truth.” It was in 1757 that the great Russian scholar Mikhailo V. Lomonosov enunciated the hypothesis that oil might originate from biological detritus. The scientists who first rejected Lomonsov’s hypothesis, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, were the famous German naturalist and geologist Alexander von Humboldt and the French chemist and thermodynamicist Louis Joseph Gay-Lussac, who together enunciated the proposition that oil is a primordial material erupted from great depth, and is unconnected with any biological matter near the surface of the Earth.

With the development of chemistry during the nineteenth century, and following particularly the enunciation of the second law of thermodynamics by Clausius in 1850, Lomonosov’s biological hypothesis came inevitably under attack. In science, a hypothesis is merely somebody’s attempt to explain something. It is merely that – an attempt. In the scientific method, a hypothesis is also an open invitation for somebody else to discredit it by using physical evidence to demonstrate that the hypothesis is flawed, or incorrect – that is how scientific knowledge is advanced. Einstein is reputed to have remarked that just one fact was all that was needed to invalidate his theory of relativity.

The great French chemist Marcellin Berthelot particularly scorned the hypothesis of a biological origin for petroleum. Berthelot first carried out experiments involving, among others, a series of what are now referred to as Kolbe reactions and demonstrated the generation of petroleum by dissolving steel in strong acid. He produced the suite of n-alkanes and made it plain that such were generated in total absence of any “biological” molecule or process. Berthelot’s investigations were later extended and refined by other scientists, including Biasson and Sokolov, all of whom observed similar phenomena and likewise concluded that petroleum was unconnected to biological matter.

During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the great Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev also examined and rejected Lomonosov’s hypothesis of a biological origin for petroleum. In contrast to Berthelot who had made no suggestion as to where or how petroleum might have come, Mendeleev stated clearly that petroleum is a primordial material which has erupted from great depth. With extraordinary perception, Mendeleev hypothesised the existence of geological structures which he called “deep faults,” and correctly identified such as the locus of weakness in the crust of the Earth via which petroleum would travel from the depths. After he made that hypothesis, Mendeleev was abusively criticised by the geologists of his time, for the notion of deep faults was then unknown. Today, of course, an understanding of plate tectonics would be unimaginable without recognition of deep faults.

Soon after the end of World War II, the Soviet dictator, Stalin, realized that the then Soviet Union needed its own substantial oil reserves and production system if it was ever again called upon to defend itself against an attacker such as Hitler’s Germany. In 1947, the Soviet Union had, as its petroleum ‘experts’ then estimated, very limited petroleum reserves, of which the largest were the oil fields in the region of the Abseron Peninsula, near the Caspian city of Baku in what is now the independent country of Azerbaijan. At that time, the oil fields near Baku were considered to be “depleting” and “nearing exhaustion.” During World War II, the Soviets had occupied the two northern provinces of Iran, but in 1946, they were forced out by the British. By 1947, the Soviets realised that the American, British, and French were not going to allow them to operate in the Middle East, nor in the petroleum producing areas of Africa, nor Indonesia, nor Burma, nor Malaysia, nor anywhere in the Far East, nor in Latin America. The government of the Soviet Union recognised then that new petroleum reserves would have to be discovered and developed within the U.S.S.R.

Stalin’s response was to set up a task force of top scientists and engineers in a project similar to the Manhattan Project – the top-secret US program to develop the atom bomb during WWII – and initially under the same secrecy, and charged them with the task of finding out what oil was, where it came from and how to find, recover and efficiently refine it.

In 1951, the modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins was first enunciated by Nikolai A. Kudryavtsev at the All-Union petroleum geology congress. Kudryavtsev analyzed the hypothesis of a biological origin of petroleum, and pointed out the failures of the claims then commonly put forth to support that hypothesis. Kudryavtsev was soon joined by numerous other Russian and Ukrainian geologists, among the first of whom were P. N. Kropotkin, K. A. Shakhvarstova, G. N. Dolenko, V. F. Linetskii, V. B. Porfir’yev, and K. A. Anikiev.

During the first decade of its existence, the modern theory of petroleum origins was the subject of great contention and controversy. Between the years 1951 and 1965, with the leadership of Kudryavtsev and Porfir’yev, increasing numbers of geologists published articles demonstrating the failures and inconsistencies inherent in the old “biogenic origin” hypothesis. With the passing of the first decade of the modern theory, the failure of Lomonosov’s eighteenth century hypothesis of an origin of petroleum from biological detritus in the near-surface sediments had been thoroughly demonstrated, the hypothesis discredited, and the modern theory firmly established.

An important point to be recognised is that the modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of abiotic petroleum origins was, initially, a geologists’ theory. Kudryavtsev, Kropotkin, Dolenko, Porfir’yev and the developers of the modern theory of petroleum were all geologists.

Their arguments were necessarily those of geologists, developed from many observations, and much data, organized into a pattern, and argued by persuasion.

20 comments:

Quantum_Flux said...

Is it thermodynamically impossible for sedimentary rock layers at the subduction zones to be squeezed into oil though?

OilIsMastery said...

I wouldn't say thermodynamically impossible. It's possible that recycled carbon from the crust could be used to make petroleum. However there is plenty of carbon in the mantle so it's not necessary. Mendeleev speculated that it was water from the crust, not carbon, that was used in the formation of petroleum. The carbon source according to Mendeleev, and modern theory, is the mantle. What's impossible is that a biological molecule could survive at mantle temperatures and pressures. Or that petroleum could migrate down through impermeable rock.

Anaconda said...

OIL IS A MINERAL

"Oil is a primordial material" is too mysterious.

Rather, oil is a mineral composed of the two elements: Hydrogen and carbon. Hydrogen is the most common element in the known universe and carbon is close behind.

These elements chemically combine because of atomic affinity or attraction, based on their atomic structure and electron placement.

Hydrocarbons combine in a series molecules that form the alkane series. This family consists of molecules of increasing atomic weight and assume various chemical structures of the two elements.

The chemical formation of this molecular family follows the same rules as the rest of the mineral world: Temperature and pressure dictate oil's formation and dissolution.

Oil is a mineral of unique properties; it's a liquid where most minerals are solid -- sharing this unique characteristic with the metal mercury.

Due to this mineral's relative low atomic weight, thus low density, and liquid state, while other minerals are in a solid state and high density in the same temperature/pressure environment, oil is transported to the crust much more prolifically than its other cousin ultramafic minerals.

Ultramafic minerals are minerals that form in the ultra-high temperature and pressure present in the Earth's mantle.

This same liquid property then allows the mineral, oil, to travel up through the crust, while other minerals, trappped in their solid state and higher density, are retarded in their ability to travel up through the stratigraphic column.

This is why, while most ultramafic minerals -- as opposed to the mineral, oil -- are so much rarer in the near surface crustal environment.

Ultramafic minerals upon rising in the mantle and crust cool into a solid state, while the mineral, oil, retains its liquid property.

There is no mystery about oil, it's a mineral formed in the Earth's interior, just like all the other minerals.

Oil is a mineral.

Nothing mysterious.

Quantum_Flux said...

Oh, I think I see:

(1) Plenty of carbon in the mantle and water from the crust get mixed in the subduction zone, forming petroleum.

(2) Some of that liquid-mineral petroleum rises up into the crust and gets confined in a petrol-trap, while some of that crust compound causes flux melting and results in volcanism.

(3) Oil drillers have to drill down through that impermeable trapping layer in the crust to pump out the oil, which is often times under high potentiometric pressures that have built up over time.

(4) This is why there is a continual seepage of oil into the reservoirs, even long after biotic theory predicts that the reservoir should run out.

....furthermore, it is a ridiculous conception that sedimentary rock would be conveyed into the mantle without dissociating into the carbon forms that are already present in the mantle, and hence biologic compounds would be considered abiotic once they break down. Although, there are ....

Hmmmm, so you are saying that the biomarkers are really abiomarkers, and that there already is a high enough concentration of the carbon in the mantle to make organic sediments neglidgeable? Does that mean that the mantle carbon is consistent everywhere, or does it vary from place to place beneath the Earth's crust? Does the concentration of the mantle-oils decrease locally as it is being pumped?

OilIsMastery said...

To Quantum_Flux in response to "so you are saying that the biomarkers are really abiomarkers."

No I'm saying there is no such thing as biomarkers.

The only markers in petroleum are abiomarkers.

Also see here: Molecular Diamond Technologies

Quantum_Flux said...

thank you

OilIsMastery said...

Thanks for commenting =)

Anaconda said...

To Quantum_Flux:

Your statement: "(1) Plenty of carbon in the mantle and water from the crust get mixed in the subduction zone, forming petroleum."

My response is more "no" than "yes."

There is plenty of hydrogen in the mantle locked up in various minerals to provide the "raw material" for the chemical "building" process of petroleum.

The only way water (H2O) provides the hydrogen for the formation of hydrocarbons is if the water reaches a depth in the mantle where the temperature and pressure are high enough to start the hydrogen-carbon chemical combining process.

Or, the water (H2O) becomes incorporated into minerals that then continue down into the mantle to a sufficient depth where temperature and pressure conditions will begin the hydrocarbon cycle.

There are minerals that incorporate hydrogen -- they are called hydrates.

One unknown is whether there are chemical catalysts or other variables that reduce the temperature and pressure requirements for the initiation of the hydrocarbon cycle.

At this point, the 'known' temperature/pressure requirements suggest the "shearing" process ...

-- Shearing: The macro kinetic movements of chemical elements or minerals within the mantle-crustal environment that forces interaction, and thus chemical reaction and formation of resultant minerals at various depths in the stratigraphic column according to a temperature/pressure continuum.

Usually these "shearing" processes consist of materials moving past each in parellel movements.

A visual aid analogy is to think of two sports teams lined up in parellel lines and "shearing" past each other in opposite directions, so that each member of the opposing teams shakes every opposing team member's hand.

Thus insuring maximum chemical "molecule to molecule" interaction.

Analogous to "each player shaking every opposing team members hand."

... Would have to happen in the deepest part of the subduction zone to satisfy the temperature/pressure contraints of the hydrocarbon cycle as presently understood.

Another statement: "furthermore, it is a ridiculous conception that sedimentary rock would be conveyed into the mantle without dissociating into the carbon forms that are already present in the mantle, and hence biologic compounds would be considered abiotic once they break down. Although, there are ...."

Your statement needs a couple of qualifications because the amount of "disassociated" carbon and hydrogen from organic detritus, nowhere near accounts for the amounts of carbon and hydrogen needed for the mass amount of petroleum "processed" in the mantle.

Also, it's questionable whether carbon and hydrogen from "disassociated" organic detritus ever "transports" down to a depth required in the mantle to be involved in the start of the hydrocarbon cycle.

I hope this clarifies my theories on the hydrocarbon mineral cycle.

Anaconda said...

POSTSCRIPTS: On response to Quantum_Flux's comments

Anaconda stated: "One unknown is whether there are chemical catalysts or other variables that reduce the temperature and pressure requirements for the initiation of the hydrocarbon cycle."

More likely, the real question is: What conditions or circumstances, if any, create temperature/pressure environments at shallower depths in the stratigraphic column of the crustal mantle profile?

Anaconda stated: "Shearing: The macro kinetic movements of chemical elements or minerals within the mantle-crustal environment that forces interaction, and thus chemical reaction and formation of resultant minerals at various depths in the stratigraphic column according to a temperature/pressure continuum."

Where does this "shearing" occur?

Answer: Mantle plumes, hot spots, rifting regions, and other volcanic areas where great masses of material are rising and falling in the crust mantle profile.

Fluid dynamics suggests for any rising of material there is a tendency for material to also sink, too.

The "shearing" happens where these opposing "rivers" of material are juxtaposed in opposite directions.

As hydrocarbons are formed they have a strong tendency to split-off and begin upward transport, because of their low atomic weight and liqid state, to the crust and then travel upward in the crust via fracture network conduits.

john a. bailo said...

The idea of abiotic oil goes far beyond just gasoline prices. The idea that dinosaur bones could have ever been posited to be the source of oil is so far from plausible, it seems like a children's story -- sort of the like the stork making babies. But more than that, it's really about a lack of understanding what the Universe is made of and how life is not some anomaly that rides on top of a lifeless set of orbiting rocks, but is present everywhere. Hydrocarbons are one of the most abundant molecules in the Universe!

Quantum_Flux said...

According to Structure of the Earth and the Origin of Magmas


Ocean=> 1.03 g/cm^3 (0-3.3 km?)

Crust=> 2.7 g/cm^3 (100 km oceanic - 200 km continental)

Aesthenosphere=> 3.3g/cm^3 (250 km thick)

Mesosphere=> 3.6-4.3-5.7g/cm^3 (2500 km thick)

Outer Core=> 9.7-14 g/cm^3 (2250 km thick)

Inner Core=> 14-16 g/cm^3 (1230 km radius)

I suppose you could get a pressure value (30kPa??) if you discretely integrate this density with depth and then times times by the 9.81m/sec^2 or variable gravitation as you progress down toward the Earth's core

Anaconda said...

John,
You are right.

You say: "The idea that [organic detritus] could have ever been posited to be the source of oil is so far from plausible, it seems like a children's story -- sort of the like the stork making babies."

Geology developed when the understanding of chemistry and physics was primitive.

Authority was the name of the game. As an example: Aristotle, is a giant historical scientific figure, who richly deserves his place in history. But his memory ultimately held up the progress of science because most would not dare challenge his ideas.

Aristotle's ideas became an unchallengable law.

As much as Aristotle enriched scientific thought, his views became the "dogma" of authority.

The "church" and secular powers adopted Aristotelian thought.

That is what Galileo had to break through and he did at great cost to his own personal freedom.

At his "Inquisition," as sentence was passed down, Galileo was heard to mutter to himself, "But the Earth moves."

So, even to suggest "Earth processes" independent of God, even as late as the 19th century when geology was taking its present shape -- was problematic.

Look at the stir Darwin caused and still does, today, in some circles.

Another high athority, in 1757, the great Russian scholar Mikhailo V. Lomonosov enunciated the hypothesis that oil might originate from biological detritus.

And instead of following the scientific evidence, geologists invented elaborate "processes" like "diagenesis and catagenesis" to promote and protect the dogma -- sadly, most geologists still do, today.

John, it is "about a lack of understanding" of how things work.

Man's quest is to use our 'reason' to dispell the darkness and usher in the light of knowledge.

Anaconda said...

John,
Here is an additional thought on how this "great" mistake happened.

Geologists were "life-centric." They thought, "this 'substance' of great energy must come from the 'source' of all energy -- life -- even if the 'source' was the dead remnants of 'life'."

We crawl to our knowledge, myself included -- only rarely does humanity have huge 'leaps' of knowledge and many times there is error.

Science for most of its history has been a story of trial and error.


Oil Is Mastery is the best Abiotic Oil website in the world.

I am crawling into the "computer" internet communication age, myself.

This is important to remember when having discussions with folks that cling to the antiquated notion of "fossil" theory.

Count on me to spread the good word like Johnny Appleseed who was a legend for spreading apples in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

Those that are given knowledge have a duty to spread it.

Anaconda said...

Let's see if I can get this right:
Oil Is Mastery .

Anaconda said...

It just goes to show how easy it is to make mistakes -- and the truth is -- how much harder it is to admit mistakes.

Anaconda said...

To Quantum_Flux:

Your data is wrong.

The following is copied from the paper you cite:

Crust - variable thickness and composition


Continental 10 - 70 km thick, underlies all continental areas, has an average composition that is andesitic.


Oceanic 8 - 10 km thick, underlies all ocean basins, has an average composition that is basaltic.

How did you come to the following numbers?

Crust=> 2.7 g/cm^3 (100 km oceanic - 200 km continental)

The numbers certainly don't come from the cited paper.

Quantum_Flux said...

Oh, I meant the continental and oceanic parts of the lithosphere, since I was thinking about the tectonic plates, sorry about the mistake...

"Lithosphere - about 100 km thick (up to 200 km thick beneath continents, thinner beneath oceanic ridges and rift valleys), very brittle, easily fractures at low temperature. Note that the lithosphere is comprised of both crust and part of the upper mantle. The plates that we talk about in plate tectonics are made up of the lithosphere, and appear to float on the underlying asthenosphere."

The densities, came from the diagram I was looking at. Hmmm, I suppose the density difference between the crust and the asthenosphere is about 0.6 g/cm^3 though, which wouldn't be quite that neglidgeable.... I guess I could call the density of the upper mantle as 3.0 g/cm^3 then instead.

Quantum_Flux said...

Ocean=> 1.03 g/cm^3 (0-3.3 km?)

Crust=> 2.7 g/cm^3 (10 km oceanic - 70 km continental)

Upper Mantle=> 3.0 g/cm^3 (90 km oceanic - 130 km continental ~ beneath crust in lithosphere)

Aesthenosphere=> 3.3g/cm^3 (250 km thick)

Mesosphere=> 3.6-4.3-5.7g/cm^3 (2500 km thick)

Outer Core=> 9.7-14 g/cm^3 (2250 km thick)

Inner Core=> 14-16 g/cm^3 (1230 km radius)

Anaconda said...

Quantum_Flux:

I appreciate the clarification.

I'm curious what conclusions, if any, should be drawn from the data you present?

Quantum_Flux said...

I don't know, somebody somewhere probably already has a much more detailed schematic for the hydrostatic pressures with depth of the stratigraphic layers....I might as well look for them first before or instead of attempting to do those calculations and try to derive it myself.