Thursday, April 15, 2010

Huge Petroleum Find In Gulf of Mexico


Last week, Royal Dutch Shell PLC announced the discovery of 100 million barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico at a depth more than 25,000 feet below the seabed, in 7,217 feet of water, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The report once again confirms the argument my co-author Craig Smith and I made in writing "Black Gold Stranglehold: The Politics of Oil and the Myth of Scarcity," namely that oil is generated by abiotic processes on an ongoing basis deep within the mantle of the earth.

In other words, oil is not (and never has been) a "fossil fuel," produced by biological material, including dead dinosaurs, ancient forests, or today's favorite championed by the remaining advocates supporting the biological theory of the origin of oil – plankton.

Six months earlier, BP announced a "giant" discovery of oil in its Tiber prospect in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Wall Street Journal further reported that in 2008 alone, 15 discoveries of large oil reserves were found in the Gulf of Mexico, largely due to advances in deep-water drilling technology.

Brazil discovers giant offshore oil fields in Atlantic

One of the continuing fallacies of peak oil theory is that there is a reliable way to know how much undiscovered oil remains yet in the earth.

Peak-oil theorists are typically fossil-fuel advocates who believe that since there were only a limited number of fossils, the oil produced from those fossils must also be limited.

Abiotic oil theory postulates that oil is formed on a constant basis deep within the mantle of the earth, requiring no deterioration of biological material to produce the oil.

In November 2007, Brazil announced the discovery of a huge offshore oil field that could contain as much as 8 billion barrels of oil, enough to expand Brazil's 14.4 billion barrels of proven oil reserves by 40–50 percent.

The "ultra-deep" Tupi field was found under 7,060 feet of water (1.34 miles down), under 10,000 feet of sand and rocks (another 1.89 miles down), and another 6,600 feet of salt (1.25 miles), for a total of 4.48 miles below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.

Sergio Gabrielli, the chief executive officer of the state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR), told Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva that reserves in the pre-salt area off Brazil's coast are much larger even than the Tupi field, possibly containing as much as 80 billion barrels in oil reserves.

By specializing in advanced ultra-deep offshore oil exploration, Brazil has moved from being a country dependent on ethanol for its gasoline consumption to becoming a net exporter of oil within less than a decade.

That Brazil has effectively become the Saudi Arabia of the Western Hemisphere should be enough to cast doubt on the peak-oil theory.

With three-quarters of the world's surface under water, how many more Tupi fields are there yet to be discovered?

The abiotic-oil theory predicts deep-water finds of oil will dramatically increase estimates of world oil reserves in coming decades.

Why the world will never run out of oil

Economist Julian Simon, then a professor of business administration at the University of Maryland and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, was famous for taking a contrarian position on energy resources, arguing that our perception of scarcity was not validated by the current or historical factual record of energy abundance.

Simon argued that gloomy predictions about running out of oil, coal or any other energy resource, including natural gas, were typically wrong for several reasons, including these:

* Typically, all energy resources exist on earth in quantities much larger than initially estimated;

* Advances in technology make exploration and recovery of previously difficult-to-develop energy resources more efficient and economically affordable;

* Improvements in productivity lead to more efficient use of energy resources over time;

* Alternative sources of energy are found, even while predominately used energy resources remain abundant;

* Previously dominant energy resources, such as coal, become less dominant as more efficient energy resources, such as oil, become more understood and utilized – a process Simon believed would continue as liquefied natural gas replaces oil applications, culminating in nuclear energy replacing many current applications of oil and natural gas.

Simon's energy-resource analysis essentially maintains that we will be running automobiles with nuclear batteries long before we run out of oil.

Yet peak-oil theorists insist we have only another 10 years left before the world's oil supply begins to dwindle.

Red Alert believes that scientists in the next 10 years will accept that peak oil, like global warming, was predicated on "junk science."

Still, that does not mean peak-oil theorists or global-warming alarmists will abandon their ideological views.

1 comment:

Geologist said...

Surely Jerry Corsi and Craig Smith have reason. As said by Sir Fred Hoyle:
"The suggestion that petroleum might have arisen from some transformation of squashed fish or biological detritus is surely the silliest notion to have been entertained by substantial numbers of persons over an extended period of time."