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.How original...pfff... big ass rolleyes.
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.
"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