February 10, 2008

Discovery backs theory oil not 'fossil fuel' - A study published in Science Magazine presents new evidence supporting the abiotic theory for the origin of oil, which asserts oil is a natural product that the Earth generates naturally.

The Origin of Methane (and Oil) in the Crust of the Earth - Thomas Gold A Critique of Thomas Gold's Claims for Abiotic Oil #1 - # 2 Brazil's giant offshore oil discoveries

  • Hmmm, all this time I thought the abiotic theory had been relegated to the dustbin of Junk Science. I'm tend to favor the Peak Oil-ist as it seems reasonable to assume, regardless of whether you believe Gold's theory or not that whatever reserves are there now, someday won't be and all the low hanging fruit has been picked bare. This Corsin guy, who wrote the lead article and the Brazilian one, seems positively hostile to the peak oil bunch which makes me question his own objectivity. I tend to favor Critique #2 above. Like the issue of Global Warming one has to be very skeptical of whichever "scientist" is leading the arguments against scientific consensus.
  • Aha- here from Wiki, a section on Corsi that tells me evertything I need to know about his journalistic integrity: In August 2004, during Corsi's cooperation with the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth, the website Media Matters for America reposted a number of controversial comments some interpreted to be anti-Islam, anti-Catholicism, anti-semitic and anti-homosexuality[6] made by Corsi at the forum threads of the Free Republic website, dating from 2001 through 2004.[7] Corsi responded that the selected posts were failed attempts at humor,[8] but the Media Matters for America story rapidly spread.[9] When questioned about his connection with Corsi at this time, John O'Neill claimed that Corsi was not actually a co-author of the book Unfit for Command, but rather was "simply an editor." ("Scarborough Country," Aug. 10, 2004; "Wolf Blitzer Reports," Aug. 11, 2004).[10] Conservative author and pundit Debbie Schlussel has accused Corsi of plagiarizing elements from columns that she has published, and subsequently posting them under his byline in his WorldNetDaily column.[11][12] Corsi is also a prominent endorser of the concept of "abiotic oil" production; the idea that oil is naturally produced underground through methods other than the scientifically-accepted process of converting biological material. This view is sometimes used to counter concerns over "peak oil", but as yet has no demonstrable basis in fact
  • Mabus countered by Kamus... something poetic here...
  • Well, the conservatives *would* want us to keep burning oil like madmen.
  • Interesting set of ads on that first link. Wow.
  • > Interesting set of ads on that first link. It's world nut daily. Bunch of complete loons. I can't read the original article because I don't have a subscription to Science, but I would guess that it provides quite meagre support for abiotic oil theory.
  • roryk - I do have a subscription, and you are absolutely right. Their work suggests that low molecular weight hydrocarbons may form at very low yield near certain oceanic thermal vents. More about gathering evidence for an accepted theorem (FTT) than gathering evidence for abiotic oil production.
  • Yeah. The science is interesting, the article is bullpucky. There are lots of hydrocarbons in deep space that were formed abiotically, but we're not burning extraterrestrial carbon. Reduced carbon in hydrothermal vent fields is not completely surprising, either, but it's kind of neat to see. In fact there's quite a broad field of study of microfossils in petroleum and coal and so forth. There is no doubt whatsoever that the oil we burn too much of comes from fossil biota. Unless you're a complete raving lunatic.
  • I've always thought the biotic oil theory was pretty silly, actually, not that I particularly believe the evidence these guys are pushing. But finding biological material in oil doesn't prove that the oil is derived from biological material. It just proves it has been contaminated. We know that there are organisms that can feed off hydrocarbon based stuff, so that isn't surprising. And some oil fields considered depleted have started to refill. Coal is a different issue. That's clearly carbonised ancient wood, etc. Oil from ancient lifeforms is a really old theory. There aren't that many scientific theories from the late 19th century that have really stood the test of time. Doesn't prove it is wrong, but it should probably be given a good hard look, imho.