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In the Media

article imageOp-Ed: The Evidence for Limitless Oil and Gas

By Bill Jencks
Feb 2, 2009 in Science
Everybody seems to believe in Hubbert's Peak Oil Theory. Why do you believe in this theory? Within this article I present fairly convincing evidence that Peak Oil is a theory based on a false premise - that oil is a finite resource.
"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." Sir Fred Hoyle FRS 1982.
"The general concept of petroleum formation by biogenic mechanisms has been firmly entrenched for a long time, but there has been no accumulation of convincing experimental evidence in support of this belief." -- Charles E. Melton and A.A. Giardini, 1983
My own layman's view -- as we all surely believe -- has always been that oil and gas are both derived through the natural and lengthy decomposition of organic detritus. Therefore I've always believed that oil is a finite resource and that it will eventually run out. But recently - and after much hard searching out of the facts, my view has changed. If the Russian view that oil and gas are continuously formed or replaced from a purely physical/chemical thermodynamic process that continuously regenerates oil from ultra-deep locations(>9,000 metres), then the inference here is that oil may, perhaps, not be a finite resource -- and that there is plenty of it.
Oil and Gas Origins - Biogenic or Abiotic ?
Do oil and gas originate from the biological decomposition of organic material (biotic, biogenic) or do they originate simply through a natural physical and chemical thermodynamic process involving just heat and pressure(abiotic, abiogenic)?
It is notable that the whole of Hubbert's Theory of Peak Oil rests completely on the assumption that oil is biogenic in origin. Therefore oil is a finite resource. Simply everyone believes this, because everyone believes that this is a proven fact. I have also read that this Biogenic Theory directly contradicts and offends the Second Law of Thermodynamics. I became suspicious, so I searched all over the internet for substantiative proof -- and particularly the research articles in Google Scholar.
Evidence for The Western Biogenic Theory of Oil Formation
1. In 1757 Russian Scientist, Mikhailo Lomonosov put forward a hypothesis and suggested that oil came from biological detritus.
2. The main argument put forward by the Western Biotic Oil theorists is that biomarkers are always found to exist as organic detritus within all oil deposits, which is certainly true. But unfortunately, oil exists inside the earth, and is surrounded by different types of geological soils - which all contain organic detritus - and oil is a wonderful solvent in which to dissolve and hold this detritus. Also, and by the reverse argument, alkanes, kerogens and many other petroleum related chemicals have been found on meteorites - which can support no organic life. This can be verified by looking at the evidence at the Gas Resources website(read and check the links in the Introduction)and at this CNRS Research site.
2. In his paper "The Abiotic Oil Controversy" by Richard Heinberg which sides with biogenic oil (With relatively little actual quoted research evidence) has even admitted :
"There is no way to conclusively prove that no petroleum is of abiotic origin...Perhaps one day there will be general agreement that at least some oil is indeed abiotic. Maybe there are indeed deep methane belts twenty miles below the Earth’s surface. But the important question to keep in mind is: What are the practical consequences of this discussion now for the problem of global oil depletion? "
The normal geologists view is that all oil and gas formation is biogenic from organic detritus. So I began with Wikipedia which indeed puts forth and recognised the theories of both Biogenic and Abiotic oil and gas origin. And although there has been clear, modern Russian research evidence cited for the theory of Abiotic Oil formation - oddly - there were no proper research citations or references regarding the Western Biogenic Theory of Oil in Wikipedia. I searched the internet including Google Scholar and there seems to be no 'absolute proof' or support from direct modern research for the Biogenic Theory of oil and gas formation. This theory -- for want of a better word -- seems to be greatly 'assumed' by geologists throughout geological research.
Evidence for the Russian-Ukrainian Abiotic Theory of Oil Formation
I am certainly surprised to admit that there is such a large body of research on this theory -- and all mainly Russian in origin. But this modern research -- which is very detailed, seems to have been generally and surprisingly ignored by the West.
1. In the 19th century various abiogenic hypotheses were first proposed after advances in science in the nineteenth century by Alexander von Humboldt, Dmitri Mendeleev and Marcellin Berthalot.
2. Definition and Evidence
3. An Article called Dismissal of the Claims of a Biological Connection to Biogenic Oil by J F Kenney(within the Scientific Publications Section). This is a detailed and scientifically rigourous paper which sets sets out to disprove all the various "fuzzy" assumptions for the Western Theory of Biogenic Oil Formation. This was the article that completely convinced me of the truth of The Russian-Ukrainian Abiotic Theory of Oil Formation.
4. Nikolai Kudrayvtsev's Theory(1951)
5. Abiogenic(Abiotic) Petroleum Origin - Wikipedia
6. "An Introduction to the Modern Petroleum Science, and to the Russian-Ukrainian Theory of Deep, Abiotic Petroleum Origins"(within the Introduction section) by J.F. Kenney, Russian Academy of Sciences.
7. In the 'Introduction' and 'Scientific Publications' section of there are many bona fide Russian research articles.
8. A Dissertation by J.F. Kenney(Joint Institute of the Physics of the Earth Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow). Here is an extract:
"ABSTRACT: For almost a century, various predictions have been made that the human race is imminently going to run out of available petroleum. The passing of time has proven all those predictions to have been utterly wrong. It is pointed out here how all predictions have depended fundamentally upon anarchaic hypothesis from the 18th century that petroleum somehow (miraculously) evolve from biological detritus, and is accordingly limited in abundance. That hypothesis has been replaced during the past forty years by the modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins which has established that petroleum is a primordial material erupted from great depth. Therefore, petroleum abundances are limited by little more than the quantities of its constituents as were incorporated into the Earth at the time of its formation; and its availability depends upon technological development and exploration competence."
9. Considerations about Recent Predictions of Impending Shortages of Petroleum(within the Economics publication section)) by J.F. Kenney
9. A Russian Book - 'Advanced Drilling Solutions' detailing deep and ultra-deep oil drilling technology beyond the Earth's crust and sedimentary layers to depths of over 40,000 ft'.
10. Confirmation that oil fields in the Dnieper-Donetsk Basin in the Ukraine are Aboitic(within the )
11. Peak Oil Theory vs Russian-Ukraine Modern Theory
Apparent Disinformation and Prejudicial Judgement of the Russian Abiotic Oil Theory
It is peculiar that there has been so little Western scientific peer reviews or acknowledgement or research verification concerning the utra-deep Russian Abiotic Oil Formation Theory. Surely this is suspicious and bears investigating -- even if you don't believe the theory -- because this would certainly remove the geopolitical effects and problems of the current thinking on oil -- that it is running out. Concerning this theory, I have also found some evidence of plagiarism, disinformation and misrepresentation of research data regarding the Russian Abiotic Theory by fairly eminent western scientists and western news resources :
1. Accusations of Plagiarism and Misrepresentation of Abiotic Russian Research on Thomas Gold a well known US scientist.
2. Rebuttal of article "Fossil fuel without Fossils" (Nature magazine, T. Clark, 12 August 2002) by J. F. Kenney, V. G. Kutcherov, N. A. Bendeliani, V. A. Alekseev, (2002).
In the end, I have to agree that the Russian Abiotic Theory of Oil Formation - backed up by all its evidence, is far more likely to be the true explanation. And there appears to be little or no conclusive evidence to prove the Western Biotic Theory of Oil. But that leaves much unanswered doesn't it? For what reasons then - in light of these facts and conclusions - is the Peak Oil Theory being so heavily touted - a theory that is wholly dependent on the Western Biotic Theory of Oil Formation which - as I see it - is a completely unproven theory? Are Western geologists and scientists really that stupid or unfair or is there an underlying, hidden agenda and media steerage here - by the Big Oil Majors or OPEC - to perhaps discreetly encourage higher oil prices through promotion of a false "scarcity" of this resource by conveniently supporting the Western Biotic Theory of Oil Formation(now disproven and defunct) to so heavily promote Hubbert's Peak Oil Theory?
See my other continuation article "DeepOil, Deep Power and Deep Pockets". for further reading.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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