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There is plenty of oil on Earth

Guest Maxim

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Guest Maxim

Eugene Island is a submerged mountain 70-85 miles off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico. It was discovered in 1973 and began producing 15,000 barrels of oil a day, which then slowed to about 4,000 barrels in 1989. But then for no apparent reason, production spiked back up to 13,000 barrels a day.


By performing 3D seismic imaging analysis, researchers found an unexplained deep fault in the bottom corner of the scan which showed oil flowing in from an unknown source deep within the Earth, migrating up through the rock, and replenishing the existing supply of oil. Analysis of the oil showed that it was only a few thousand years old.


Eugene Island is considered a significant example of Abiogenic petroleum origin theory, which holds that oil is an inorganic resource that is replenished from sources deep within the Earth.


The hypothesis of abiogenic petroleum origin holds that petroleum is formed by non-biological processes deep in the earth's crust and mantle.


It contradicts the more widely-held view that petroleum is a fossil fuel produced from the remains of ancient living organisms.


This hypothesis dates to the 19th century, when the French chemist Marcellin Berthelot and the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev proposed it, and was revived in the 1950s.


The modern scientific consensus on abiogenic petroleum is that there is evidence for it being possible to produce petrochemicals according to the mechanisms proposed in the hypothesis. Some direct evidence from certain locations can only be explained as abiogenic production of petroleum compounds. However, most modern geologists do not support the hypothesis that abiogenic sources of oil can account for the vast majority of petroleum deposits within the Earth.


A variation of the abiogenic theory includes alteration by microbes similar to those which form the basis of the ecology around deep hydrothermal vents. The deep biogenic petroleum theory proposes, mostly after the work of Thomas Gold, that the ‘’deep hot biosphere’’ may be the source of some petroleum products and biomarkers.


One prediction of most abiogenic theories is that other planets of the solar system or their moons have large petroleum oceans, either from hydrocarbons present at the formation of the solar system, or from subsequent chemical reactions.

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