Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Plenty Of Oil Out There

for now anyway, at least according to this guy. Of course, what he's saying is pretty much just theory, or speculation, just as much as what others claim. He seems to be making a fairly educated guess, though.

If you're a devotee of Jan Lundberg's Peak Oil Crisis Club, this may not be one you'll enjoy reading.

As usual, if asked for a login, use humboldtlib for the username and blogspot for the password.

42 Comments:

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

I'll look at the article later when I have time, but is this the theory that oil is not biogenic but rather seeps up from the mantle? It's a fascinating theory actually, with some good arguments but also some problems. Wikipedia does a pretty good job of summarizing the debate from both sides. I guess the biggest problem is that oil contains some biological signatures, which would be one hell of a cosmic coincidence if oil is not of biological origin.

I believe the other problem with the theory of abundance is the question of access to the allegedly unlimited supply of oil.

 
At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "peak oil"argument has been around a long time and keeps moving into the future. It was used during the the 1940s and 50s by the domestic oil industry to justify the 27.5% "depletion" allowance for taxing purposes.
Eric is right with regard to the access issue. Much of currently known reserves are off the table due to political concerns. Even exploration for additional reserves is prohibited by states such as California that are heavily influenced by the enviro nazis.
The non biogenic theory of crude oil is indeed interesting (and not referenced in the article) but needs further data for validation. As one who in early life earned his living often having crude oil running down the crack of his ass, I would be interested in learning more about its "biological signatures".

 
At 10:24 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Yes, he doesn't mention the non- biogenic theory, but that theory makes more sense to me. Still, even if oil didn't come from plants or animals, I could still see human demand being more than the earth could produce, at least after a while.

Indeed, technology is the key as more ways are figured to extract oil from other sources, such as shale and whatever that tar stuff in Canada the guy talks about is.

 
At 11:14 AM, Blogger Steve Lewis said...

How can hydrocarbons come from basalt? What's in the mantle to produce hydrocarbons?

It seems to me oil deposits are all over the place and there's lot's more that hasn't been found or tapped than enviros claim.

Enviros often push the panic button before there's any solid proof, e.g. Paul Ehrlich's Population Bomb, any remember that? We're all supposed to have starved to death by now. That's not to say we shouldn't heed oil warnings but not for the scarcity reasons but for environmental protection.

I'm posting my old Solar Rail idea on my blog site if anyone wants to see a communitarian's alternative solution to big rigs and mass transit.

 
At 11:22 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

The debate is pretty well (though far from completely) summarized here and here

 
At 1:11 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Without reading the summaries, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me that oil could come from putrefied plants and animals. How would it end up so deep in the earth when the tendency of crude oil is to float.

As an aside, I read somewhere that 25% of the crude oil "pollution" is from seepage from the ocean floor- crude oil finding its way up here on its own.

That, and I find it odd that most things we've seen die just rot away to nothingness. Sure, some petrify and such, but most just biodegrades.

Has anybody opened up an ancient crypt and found a puddle of crude oil instead of human remains?

The idea that oil could be the result of compressed methane, or however it supposedly happened, makes much more sense.

I wonder if they could duplicate the process in a lab?

 
At 1:30 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Abiotic oil is actually very much a minority opinion Fred. But it is an interesting theory.

 
At 2:52 PM, Blogger Fred said...

It may be a minority opinion, but it makes more sense to me.

 
At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, for you the problem will be wrapping your head around the concept of geologic time. Oil is a fossil fuel, its not magically coming from the mantle, although that would be awesome if true. Oil comes from millions of years of deposits of algea and other crap on the ocean floor. These deposits get buried by heavy sediments or more algea. Over time it heats up and creates oil. oil Shale is this process halfway complete. I think the scientific community is pretty much in on this. What is so hard to understand? Where do you think coal comes from? Ceretainly you must agree that it was biological in nature, right? Please Fred, think real real hard. Our time on this planet is nothing. 3000 years of civilization is absolutly nothing!

 
At 3:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred's to dumb to understand. He probably still secretly believes the world is flat.

 
At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of the theories on the origin of oil are just that: THEORIES! As yet to be explained are the increases in proven reserves in existing fields of the middle east, Russia and the Gulf of Mexico that have increased when extraction should have led to depletion. Is it better technology or accretion from as yet unexplained source? To state flatly that the "debate is over" reeks of the pseudo science of the global warmistas.

 
At 5:26 PM, Blogger Fred said...

3:15 writes, "Oil is a fossil fuel, its not magically coming from the mantle, although that would be awesome if true. Oil comes from millions of years of deposits of algea and other crap on the ocean floor.".

We shall see, except we won't know for sure. We'll all have died before the answer is known.

3:24 writes, "Fred's to dumb to understand.".

Nope. You are. You seem to be the one that doesn't look outside your left wing newsroom.

Leonidas writes, "All of the theories on the origin of oil are just that: THEORIES!".

Exactly.

 
At 5:45 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Well, yes, they're all theories. But the biomarkers are real. So the abiotic crowd has introduced a new theory, namely that certain microbes live that far down in the mantle.

Now, it's possible of course, but the possibility gets more and more remote, and at a certain point you have to admit that your theory is in trouble and wait for more data.

According to the wikipedia article, microbes have been discovered as deep as 4 kilometers under the surface in Sweden or someplace, but how prominent they are to account for all of the biomarkers found in oil around the world is an open question.

 
At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The claims which purport to argue for some connection between natural petroleum and biological matter fall into roughly two classes: the “look-like/come-from” claims; and the “similar(recondite)-properties/come-from” claims. "The “look-like/come-from” claims apply a line of unreason exactly as designated: Such argue that, because certain molecules found in natural petroleum “look like” certain other molecules found in biological systems, then the former must “come-from” the latter. Such notion is, of course, equivalent to asserting that elephant tusks evolve because those animals must eat piano keys."
This debate can be resolved easily: Find out which position's research will generate the most government grants and conduct a vote of "experts". The government will then decide which hypothesis will contribute to an increase of its power and voila! Debate over; a la the warmista position.

 
At 8:26 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

One thing I've wondered about is if oil deposits act as buffers against seismic shifting, earthquakes. Seems like the ground without oil deposits would shift more and shake harder, seismic waves traveling stronger through solid material than liquid. We should maybe fill in those empty oil dome reservoirs with liquid garbage. Can you see the gems created by plastic and chrome cars crushed miles beneath the surface and later dug up as gemstones? Why they travel the length and depth of the Universe just to come to old Earth to see the fabulous gems created by ancient garbage.

 
At 8:29 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

Hey, I changed my blog spot to the new Google format and everything got screwed up royal. I can't access my old site. Won't recognize my new log in name or old one but I can get to my site via my old address for it. Now this "Stephen"? I didn't do that.

Just goes to show you what happens when somebody says jump and you do. Don't jump, Fred. It's a trap!

 
At 8:31 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

And my pics gone too! This is too much! I will have to commit seppaku now.

 
At 9:49 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Steve said, "Don't jump, Fred. It's a trap!".

That's why I suggested, if you remember earlier on, that someone else try the beta version of blogspot first.

 
At 10:45 PM, Anonymous mresquan said...

There does exist an abundance of oil,not point though.The problem is how much more of it can our atmosphere take.Hell we may have enough to drill for hundreds of years to come,won't matter though as human existance would drastically have decreased from either different forms of cancer, or other devastating effects of climate change.

 
At 11:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, when you've passed your remedial science courses at Eureka Adult School maybe then you can chime in on this topic. The fact that some (Not all) oil fields have proven to be larger than initially expected does not throw out the fossil fuel argument. There are multiple explanations, the most plausible is pourous rock sourrounding the fields. The oil fields are like sponges, and I doubt we will ever fully be able to drain them of all their oil. The saudi's are trying though. They pump seawater under the oilfields to push the oil up. The question really is economics. The fossil fuel argument is overhwelmingly supported by science, and its also easy to understand. I know Fred, I know... you think the world's only 5000 years old, and Noah had all the animals on his boat....

 
At 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading Fred's comment's about how oil accumulates is like listening to Roseanne Bar talk about the space shuttle. Neither know anything about the subject, yet both have a high opinion of themselves and what their mouths (Or fingers) excrete.

 
At 2:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh. The science of oil generation originates from a "left wing newsroom." Now that's a conspiracy theory! I have to agree, this sounds a lot like flat earth talk.

 
At 6:46 AM, Blogger Fred said...

11:07 wrote, "The fact that some (Not all) oil fields have proven to be larger than initially expected does not throw out the fossil fuel argument".

I don't know that I've suggested that. I'm not sure the supposed expert in the news article was linking the amount of oil to an argument for or against oil having a biological origin, either. But, perhaps I didn't read close enough.

I've simply said a non- organic origin of oil makes more sense to me.

11:07 also wrote, "The fossil fuel argument is overhwelmingly supported by science, and its also easy to understand.".

So was the idea that the earth was flat, way back when. We've since seem to have agreed that the Earth is roughly spherical in shape. Just because something's accepted by a majority of people at one point in time doesn't make it right, or true.

Unfortunately, we'll probably never know what the true origin of oil is. All we'll likely have is theory.

 
At 6:54 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Mr. Esquan wrote, "The problem is how much more of it can our atmosphere take.".

Probably more than you give the Earth credit for. Our atmosphere isn't a closed room. Air is constantly cleansed and refreshed by plant life.

In the United States, the air has become consistently less polluted through the years, or so I'm told. For you youngsters, who haven't experienced a bad smog day in Los Angeles, you likely have no way of knowing how much better it's gotten.

Problem is, the larger emerging fuel users, like China and India, don't have the environmental concerns other countries do. Let's hope they start working on cleaning up their air as others have.

I support alternative fuel exploration, but not so much from an environmental perspective. I think we need to get away from oil so we can divest ourselves from the middle east- a simple matter of national security.

 
At 8:39 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

So was the idea that the earth was flat, way back when. We've since seem to have agreed that the Earth is roughly spherical in shape. Just because something's accepted by a majority of people at one point in time doesn't make it right, or true.

True. But the scientific method has been honed a bit since then, and the abiotic theory has been around for a century and a half now. Nobody really took it seriously until peak oil came to the mainstream and then all of the sudden certain folk start tossing out the abiotic theory which coincidentally gets more support from conservatives and yes libertarians. The problem is that politics and science don't mix very well and when you see scientific theories falling along politically ideological lines it's time to take a step back.

 
At 8:50 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Perhaps. But what application to politics has been made with regard to the origin of crude oil?

It seems to me, regardless of what the origin is, it doesn't change much, at least the way I see it. Even if oil has a non- organic origin, I've still suggested that doesn't mean it would last forever. At the very least, even if the earth constantly created more crude, it doesn't mean the supply would always meet demand.

 
At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...and when you see scientific theories falling along politically ideological lines it's time to take a step back."
Amen to that! Let's insert some logic here:
1. government is a political construct
2. government's purpose is to maintain its power and steal from its subjects
3. government will distribute its loot (grants) to those who further its objectives
4. "scientists" who advocate government solutions to the crisis de jure will garner more loot
Voilá you have politicized scientists i.e. global warmistas and geologists crying "peak oil next year" (since 1922).

 
At 1:09 PM, Blogger Open Mic said...

Stephen said...
Hey, I changed my blog spot to the new Google format and everything got screwed up royal. I can't access my old site. Won't recognize my new log in name or old one but I can get to my site via my old address for it. Now this "Stephen"? I didn't do that.

Same thing here. Heed Stephen's warning, Fred. I changed because I couldn't post and now I can't post at all. But Google servers are all messed up right now while they make big changes on all their services. It'll get worked out.

I also tend to favor the non-bio origin of oil. I'm sure that this is fueled by my distrust of big oil, but I also have a hard time thinking that the weight of all past life on earth could possibly account for all the oil. If oil were discovered on another planet I think that would pretty much indicate that oil is a product of planet forming. It's my understanding that the fossil markers are due to the solvency of oil. Much like the sea, all things wind up in the oil.

 
At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred wrote:

"So was the idea that the earth was flat, way back when. We've since seem to have agreed that the Earth is roughly spherical in shape. Just because something's accepted by a majority of people at one point in time doesn't make it right, or true."

Fred Fred Fred... The idea that the Earth was flat had no basis in science. That is the point. PEople have known for thousands of years that the Earth is a sphere. But that knowledge and science in general has been inconvenient for religion.

The diffrence here is that its inconvenient for society to acknowledge that oil is a fossil fuel and has no way of being reproduced. Please, youre like a religious nut job on this one, chasing rabbits that are ultimatly irrelevant.

 
At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real strength of science is that it can be changed. Nothing is written in stone. If you have a theory, you can try to scientifically prove it. I have read all about this theory on the origins of oil, and its not convincing. But if the researcher is in it for science, then maybe he will come up with something revolutionary. Thats the strength of science. Thats why religion is so scary, people never change their ideas or thoughts.

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ - your point would be well taken except that government in this country has only been dragged into recognition of global warming kicking and screaming, and they're still resisting any significant measure tooth and nail.

And it should be noted that the oil industry scientists do not concur with the abiotic hypothesis. That's not government. Not yet anyway.

 
At 2:51 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

On another point, the flat earth hypothesis did in fact have a basis in science at one time, based upon observation. The hypothesis was eventually undone by science (by math actually), but based upon observable incidences and what happens when you place water and objects on a ball, it made perfect scientific sense with the information most people had.

 
At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric, are you high? People figured out the earth was round because of the shadows on the moon, not by putting water on a ball! All you would get is a wet ball. What are you smoking, I want some!

Oh, and observing no curve to the Earths surface is not exactly a scientific method. How can you imply science determined the Earth to be flat at one point?

 
At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Fred, If Libertarians had their way their would be no smog control on cars, no airbags, no flouride in water...... the list goes on and on and on. Just admit that in this two party system you're a Republican, just as Bill Maher should admit he's a Democrat!

 
At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred says:

"In the United States, the air has become consistently less polluted through the years, or so I'm told."

maybe you should stick to fried chicken recipes and drunken hunting stories. Y'know, something more in the realm of your understanding.

 
At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...dragged into recognition of global warming kicking and screaming,..."

As far as I know the U.S. government has no stated policy on "global warming". Only an idiot would allege that the earth's climate has been constant and the conflict is over the extent to which recent climate changes are anthropogenic. On that issue the scientific community is by no means unanimous. The range of assignment of the extent to which human activity is the cause of the change varies widely. My point is that those scientists dependent on the largess of bureaucrats for the assignment of research grants will tend to support the view that increased government action will prevail in both the media and with those whose agenda is an accretion of government control. I have recently posted on this at:
http://fightingintheshade.blogspot.com/2006/11/united-nations-sky-is-falling.html

 
At 8:55 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Well, you've got a strawman in there because nobody has argued that climate is constant. What is argued is that the heating trend has accelerated dramatically over the past few decades.

 
At 5:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No more dramatically than in the decades 1500-1540 1660-1710 1800-1850.
See the graphs at:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/11/05/nosplit/nwarm05.xml
The real straw man is cherry picking the decades 1900-2000. Read the article.

 
At 5:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The global warmistas are politicians e.g. Kofi Annan, Al Gore, Bill Lockyer (who has proposed suing Cal Tech scientists for questioning the warmista dogmas) and the other socialist/bureaucrats who utilize the public trough to sign on avaricious pseudo scientists while at the same time exempting the real polluters and producers of CO2 from the government imposed regulations.

 
At 12:44 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

And there are the converted skeptics, including Gregg Easterbrook, Paul O'Neil, and Australian PM John Howard.

 
At 1:46 PM, Blogger Pogo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:08 PM, Anonymous The Lemming said...

Well, as Easterbrook of the New Republic says "the fat lady has sung" oh excuse me. That should read "case closed, debate over". Also with that eminent climate scientist Paul O'Neill on board with the politician from Aussie land, the band wagon is on it's way. Which way to the cliff?

 

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