Abiogenic Oil?

Since Elon Musk took over Twitter, there has been much better availability of accurate information about energy and climate. But there has also been an increase in certain types of misinformation.

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15 Responses to Abiogenic Oil?

  1. Rosco says:

    Freeman Dyson was a friend and admirer of Tommy Gold who was, as Dyson stated, a “heretic” whose theories usually turned out to be correct and probably the first to propose the idea.

    His hypothesis for Methane was experimentally confirmed.

    I try to not talk in absolutes.

    No one really knows how the Earth works especially climatologists who believe in fanciful things like

    “Most of the gas in the atmosphere is nitrogen and oxygen, which cannot absorb heat and contribute to the greenhouse effect.”


    The amount of heat radiated from the atmosphere to the surface (sometimes called “back radiation”) is equivalent to 100 percent of the incoming solar energy.

    • conrad ziefle says:

      I suppose that a good chemist could make methane in the lab. However, not everything that one can do in a lab happens in nature, and even if it does, it might happen in only very isolated and special circumstances. I think the point is that everywhere we are now getting CH4 is associated with a geological formation known to contain fossil materials. As far as I know, there are no known abiogenic CH4 deposits that we are producing.

    • arn says:

      I didn’t knew that Mr Gold was also in (non)fossil fuels .
      He seems to have been a professional ‘heretic’ in way more disciplines
      than I thought.
      But considering how many times he was right with his bold predictions I would say the chances are 50:50 in terms of abiogenic oil.
      (or maybe I’m just biased towards him because he called the peer review already herd mentality BS half a century ago )

      • conrad ziefle says:

        Gold sounds like one of the great physicists from the era of Fermi, et al. The Making of the Atomic Bomb introduces many of them and give synopses of their lives.

    • tonyheller says:

      The video made it quite clear that abiogenic methane is real. What is the point you are arguing?

      • GWS says:

        I love this subject since I first read Gold’s book in 2001. I am not a scientist, but I was surprised when I heard you say, “If oil was abiogenic we would tend to fid it ‘evenly distributed’ around the state.” Gold says it is not evenly distributed around the state or the world, but that it comes up from the ‘Deep Hot Biosphere’ in different places like fingers, and becomes ‘contaminated’ with fossils on the way up; though there are places where it comes up uncontaminated and pure, as discovered in Russia. Since then I have also come to accept that biogenic matter also degrades into hydrocarbons — coal, oil, methane. Both theories can be correct; after all methane is produced naturally on Titan which suggests hydrocarbons are a natural product of the universe. Add to that the fact that many presumed exhausted oil wells in America are once again producing oil. Where is it coming from? But, why you said it would be ‘evenly distributed’ really surprised me, Tony, nothing on Earth is evenly distributed. What did you mean?

        • conrad ziefle says:

          Sorry, to say that that new oil production comes from new technology that makes it possible to get oil out where before they could not do it economically before. Why do you think the Marxists are against fracking? They don’t want us to keep avoiding their solutions by being wealthy.

          • GWS says:

            That is the standard theory, yet abiogenic oil deposits are found throughout the World and some have been shown to feed into fossil deposits. The abiogenic theory is alive and picking up steam. The problem is it’s theorized to form in the mantle, deep below the crust and fossil deposits, and is very hard to access.

    • Gold is of a generation of scientists who sought truth, rather than the modern imposters who are merely seeking funding. It is the essential difference between astronomy and astrology.

  2. Peter Lloyd says:

    Hi, have you seen this video by Sabine Hossenfelder?
    ‘I misunderstood the greenhouse effect. Here’s how it works’.

    I wondered if it would be a good video for you to do an analysis of?

  3. conrad ziefle says:

    Really nice little informative article. The question of bad information on the Internet, Twitter included, is an important issue, and probably an inadvertent outcome of the public square. Our society used to protect against misinformation by educating our children. I thought everyone was required to take basic science and math in high school. This fundamental knowledge enables one to think through a claim and usually come to a correct conclusion about it, at least you would be able to find major holes and put a red flag by them for future reference. But again, not everyone is educable. Clearly, you have shown that fossil fuels are the only important source of CH4. I can accept that as true until someone can point to a major reserve of non-fossil CH4.
    The diminishing supply of fossil fuels is also an important takeaway from this presentation. It is a reality that we need to address. Right now the only alternative of high output on demand fuel is nuclear fission. We’ve been held back from developing it. Currently, we are wasting capital, land, and resources on colossus machines that reap low density energy, when we could be perfecting high density fission processes. The most important asset that we are wasting may be time. We need to transition to fission, again, and hope to perfect fusion.
    Lastly, I did not know that the Permian Basin was so huge. I think it has been producing fossil fuels since about the 1930s(?). I have memories of driving past El Capitan to and from college back in the 1960s, before it became part of Guadalupe Park. I assume that Carlsbad Caverns is part of that reef, as well.

  4. arn says:

    I’m in the middle of the road
    as I am not a real fan of the abiogenic oil idea but i tend to think that subsurface biomass may have its fair share in terms of oil ‘production’.

    The interesting thing for an amateur like me in this case is since when is the existence of abiogenic methane known?
    From the beginning
    or was there some controversy until methane was discovered on other planets,which ended the debate?
    Or was there never any real interest in such a debate as noone cared in the good old times?

    But if we consider abiogenic oil to be a thing
    I do not think that we can tell if it is or is not a relevant resource
    as we already miserable failed to predict way easier things like peak oil several times.
    How should we be able to quantify the share of a super slow process deep down which can not be observed.
    It may be 0.01% or 10* less or 100* more.

  5. JimK says:

    If we truly have freedom of speech, even nutters (think climate alarmists) must be allowed to speak, because some of them are correct sometimes and that is part of how progress is made – doing things thought impossible by the majority. (After all that is part why no one tried it before.)

    • arn says:

      This is part of free speech.

      There should be only a certain limit in terms of quantity
      to avoid overwhelming one sided trend/momentum.
      Without such a momentum the MiC would have never been able to start a single war as the truth would have prevailed,
      as those wars have been started the same way groups,ethnicities,people are being stigmatized.

  6. Jeff Jones says:

    I worked in the oil business for 50 years, totally in the production area, designing and operating steam enhanced recovery processes in the massive Kern County Calif heavy oil fields. Little known fact; for much of the last century Kern County Calif was the largest oil producing county in the nation with the Midway Sunset field on the west side of the valley, the largest producing field in the nation. I am not a geologist but worked closely with petroleum geologists my entire career, finding and exploiting oil reserves.

    With that background I have some thoughts on the source of hydrocarbons. Much natural gas and liquid petroleum is found deeper that generally accepted bioactive horizons. However hydrocarbons are easily proved to be of organic origin. Observing that much production comes from marine and near tectonic plate subduction zones (California mountains, Rockies, the New Mexico/Texas basins Tony discusses, middle east), etc., I believe a lot of oil and gas may be continually generated by the organic beds of the oceans moving under the continental plates, being refined under pressure and temperature at depth and migrating to the surface over time. If this is happening on a reasonably short time scale, hydrocarbon regeneration might sustain our energy supplies far past the current several hundred year time frame.

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