Monday, July 27, 2009

Hydrocarbons In The Deep Earth

Hydrocarbons are chemical compounds and not biological organisms. Since hydrogen is the most abundant chemical element in the universe and carbon is the fourth most abundant chemical element in the universe, hydrocarbons are infinite.

"One can, then, conceive the production, by purely mineral means, of all natural hydrocarbons. The intervention of heat, of water, and of alkaline metals -- lastly, the tendency of hydrocarbons to unite together to form the more condensed material -- suffice to account for the formation of these curious compounds. Moreover, this formation will be continuous because the reactions which started it are renewed incessantly." -- Marcellin Berthelot, chemist, 1866

Science Daily: Hydrocarbons In The Deep Earth? (Hat tip: Bloggin Brewskie)

ScienceDaily (July 27, 2009) — The oil and gas that fuels our homes and cars started out as living organisms that died, were compressed, and heated under heavy layers of sediments in the Earth's crust. Scientists have debated for years whether some of these hydrocarbons could also have been created deeper in the Earth and formed without organic matter. Now for the first time, scientists have found that ethane and heavier hydrocarbons can be synthesized under the pressure-temperature conditions of the upper mantle —the layer of Earth under the crust and on top of the core.

The research was conducted by scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Laboratory, with colleagues from Russia and Sweden, and is published in the July 26, advanced online issue of Nature Geoscience.
How original...pfff... big ass rolleyes.

"The capital fact to note is that petroleum was born in the depths of the Earth, and it is only there that we must seek its origin." -- Dmitri Mendeleyev, chemist, 1877

"It may be supposed that naphta was produced by the action of water penetrating through the crevices of the strata during the upheaval of mountain chains because water with iron carbide ought to give iron oxide and hydrocarbons." -- Dmitri Mendeleyev, chemist, 1877

"Whether naphta was formed by organic matter is very doubtful, as it is found in the most ancient Silurian [Ordovician] strata which correspond with the epochs of the earth's existence when there was very little organic matter; it could not penetrate from the higher to the lower (more ancient) strata as it floats on water (and water penetrates through all strata)." -- Dmitri Mendeleyev, chemist, 1877

"Do these fuels result always and necessarily in one way from the decomposition of a pre-existing organic substance? Is it thus with the hydrocarbons so frequently observed in volcanic eruptions and emanations, and to which M. Ch. Sainte-Claire Deville has called attention in recent years? Finally, must one assign a parralel origin to carbonaceous matter and to hydrocarbons contained in certain meteorites, and which appear to have an origin foreign to our planet? These are questions on which the opinion of many distinguished geologists does not as yet appear to be fixed." -- Marcellin Berthelot, chemist, 1866

"The hydrogen gas evolved from volcanoes, or from chasms in the earth during earthquakes, is generally combined with sulphur or carbon; it is probably formed by the decompostion of water, when it finds access to subterranean fire." -- Robert Bakewell, geologist, 1813

"Petroleum is the product of a distillation from great depth and issues from the primitive rocks beneath which the forces of all volcanic action lie." -- Alexander Von Humboldt, naturalist, 1804


Anaconda said...

Thank you OilIsMastery!

And, yes, it is significant that ScienceDaily publicized and popularized this paper.

Of course, all these facts have been known for a long, long time, but the obstacle has always been simply getting the word out.

OilIsMastery devoted a lot of time and effort to catalog the substantial and overwhelming body of scientific evidence for Abiotic Oil theory, so much so that this website is the number one site on the world internet today for Abiotic Oil theory.

But having a popular website such as ScienceDaily report this finding reaches more people and that really is the key.

My experience, here, is that if people take the time and researh the scientific evidence they come to only one conclusion: All oil is abiotic.

Thank you Bloggin Brewski and thanks again OilIsMastery for all your hard work on this issue.

Now, well over year ago, I came to the conclusion oil was abiotic and I wanted to write about it, but I'm not very computer savy so I looked around for a website devoted to Abiotic Oil theory that allowed comments and was actively in real time posting on Abiotic Oil theory.

This website, Oil Is Mastery, was the ONLY one.

Considering the economic importance of the issue I was surprised, but here it was and so here am I.

So, I started commenting, on the posts that were available.

I suspect even OilIsMastery was surprised when he looked at his website and saw all the comments.

Hopefully, I stirred OilIsMastery's creative juices and he took off and made this website what it is today.

OilIsMastery researched and found documents I had no idea existed and he brought forth the history that clearly showed Abiotic Oil theory was actively considered since 1804 if not earlier and had the best, most compelling scientific evidence, but for numerous reasons, much of them political, "fossil" fuel theory became the accepted theory in spite of the vast majority of scientific evidence.

I think that discovery on OilIsMastery's part really put him on the road to being persuaded that there were many other areas where scientific politics had perverted the science.

Now, I occasionally look at the webmeter for this site and even to this day there is strong indication that numerous individuals come here to research Abiotic Oil theory.

While the website has moved on to cover many other issues, it is quite clear that Abiotic Oil is the reason this website is what it is today!

Thank you OilIsMastery for all your hard work, and I've enjoyed our collaboration on this endeavor, which might be the most important economic and civilizational question of the present era!

OilIsMastery said...

As always, thanks for your comments Anaconda!

Also, I shouldn't make light of the fact that Kutcherov published a new paper, but I mean, come on already. Do people ever learn???

In response to: "While the website has moved on to cover many other issues, it is quite clear that Abiotic Oil is the reason this website is what it is today!"

And all this time I thought they came to read about the reversal of retrograde rotation, giants, hobbits, fire breathing dragons, and alien astronauts...LOL...:P

Fungus FitzJuggler III said...


Very significant. Should gather momentum. Maybe the AGW crowd will try harder and drilling will be reduced in that way?

I too acknowledge the efforts of OIM on this matter. There is no need to cease and desist either! This may even spur on exploration on Mars and the moon. If oil is there, it is still the most convenient means of propulsion and energy production.

Maybe we will also see if the other means of energy generation are now grasped less closely by the Hydra!

Jeffery Keown said...

The article linked does not make mention of oil being produced by this process.

Certainly, methane production occurs on Mars by non-biological processes. Saturn's moon Titan is litteraly swimming in hydrocarbons.

Is there an easily accessed proof of oil production? Not that we really need oil, if ethane and methane are infinite (or nearly so) we could easily adjust to use these other products in place of oil.

Are you aware of any plans by industry to abandon oil and go methane?

Quantum_Flux said... Mantle Hydrocarbons

OilIsMastery said...


FYI oil is hydrocarbons.

Alkanes as high as octane that you can put right in your race car have been found on Titan so yes, oil is hydrocarbons.

No biological molecule can survive at the temperatures and pressures found in the mantle because no biological molecule can survive past the critical temperature of salt water.

Quantum_Flux said...

Why this is coming into the mainstream AFTER Obama visited Russia is another piece of the puzzle. Here's yet another piece

OilIsMastery said...


"Why this is coming into the mainstream AFTER Obama visited Russia is another piece of the puzzle."

What puzzle?

Did you watch the TED Talk with Robert Ballard?

Quantum_Flux said...

The puzzle of what is going on in the damned world. Yes, I'll watch Robert Ballard's again.

Jeffery Keown said...

FYI oil is hydrocarbons.

I'm aware of that. But thanks anyway. How does petroleum form?

I'll buy that this process forms ethane and methane... but petroleum? I am unconvinced.

What is the mechanism that transforms these products into petroleum?

Quantum_Flux said...

Jeffrey, the process produces coal, even diamond.

Anaconda said...

@ Jeffery Keown:

Keown asked: "How does petroleum form?"

The experiment in the post is in some sense a lesser experiment than this experiment:

The evolution of multicomponent systems at high pressures: VI. The thermodynamic stability of the hydrogen–carbon system: The genesis of hydrocarbons and the origin of petroleum, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2002.

Notice Vladimir A. Kutcherov is an author of both studies.

In the 2002 experiment higher forms of hydrocarbons were formed that included most, if not all, of the hydrocarbons present in petroleum.

And here are two abstracts that offer different processes for forming petroleum:

Hydrothermal Hydrocarbons


Peridotites, Serpentinization, and Hydrocarbons

Also, see this OIM post:University of Minnesota Seminar On Abiotic Hydrocarbons, September 3, 2008

Of course, there is a whole section on the left-hand side-bar devoted to Abiotic Oil theory, as well as back-dated posts on this website.

Review it and ask questions.

The question you asked is very broad, perhaps, you could narrow your question or ask a series of questions.

OilIsMastery said...

Great stuff Anaconda.

Geologist said...

Of course hydrocarbons are primordial materials.