Skip to comments.Oil Fields' Free Refill - More oil than we thought (maybe)
Posted on 04/23/2002 4:48:26 PM PDT by visagothEdited on 09/03/2002 4:50:21 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
DEEP UNDERWATER, and deeper underground, scientists see surprising hints that gas and oil deposits can be replenished, filling up again, sometimes rapidly.
Although it sounds too good to be true, increasing evidence from the Gulf of Mexico suggests that some old oil fields are being refilled by petroleum surging up from deep below, scientists report. That may mean that current estimates of oil and gas abundance are far too low.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsday.com ...
A lot of us have been saying that there is no shortage of oil. If there was a genuine shortage of oil, OPEC would not be a necessity of the Opecker Princes.
The day that we become independent of Opecker Oil is the day that Islamic Terrorism will start to shrivle up and die without the financing the terrorists get from the Opecker Princes thanks to our petro $'s.
Maybe there will be enough extra oil for the Axis of Whining Weasels , the Euro Trash countries. Then, they can lick our boots instead of the Opecker Princes's slippers.
Abort the Opecker Princes by aborting Opec!
What's that? Oh. Never mind.
See http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/tg21/ and then decide how many SUVs you should buy.
This is a key, and very false statement, but it's critical for those making this argument.
In almost every case, geologists and petrophysicists believe that oil is formed in shales or other source rock, and has migrated upward until it reaches a trap or seal which it cannot penetrate. That is almost NEVER where the oil itself was formed.
It leaks upward, just like an air bubble trying surface from underwater. Subtle things, like deep earthquakes, far too mild to be felt at the surface, can fracture rock and permit oil or gas to migrate upward from where it is currently trapped.
I wish I had a dollar for every well I've been involved with that tested rock where it's obvious oil used to be.
Some fields will refill, simply because a new migration path for oil has been opened. It does not imply in any way that the supply of oil is limitless.
In a related story the EPA demanded that Mother Nature rip up and repave the ocean floor citing the oil as a threat to local water supplies.
In some of the heaviest naval battles in the history of man during WWII in the Pacific, massive ship loss and of course the loss of fuel oil did not harm the ocean critters at those battle sites. The critters have done quite well. People who dive like to dive around these old relics on the ocean floor. Many of whom are still leaking oil.
Mother Nature had better watchout for the Opecker Princes. They will try to mug and rape her if she is replenishing those oil pools of ours in the Gulf of Mexico. They have to have Opec to fund terrorism in the middle east and around the world.
We know that there is quite a bit of complex organic material in outer space. That may be another clue that oil doesn't just come from the decay of ancient plants on earth, but could have been among the available components when the planet originally coalesced at the origin of the solar system.
As you say, probably everything runs out sooner or later. But in the case of oil, it may be later. The jury is still out.
Could somebody kindly explain to me why natural oil spills that make the Exxon Valdez seem like chump change are apparently no big deal to the environment when done in the fish-rich, heavily populated Gulf of Mexico; yet, our nations' huge energy reserves in places like a few thousand acres in remotest-corner-of-the-earth ANWR can't be expoited because of "pollution" and environmental concerns?
Am I missing something here?
You don't mean the dreaded report: GOOD SHOWS, BUT NO COMMERCIAL HYDROCARBONS?
The Origin of Methane (and Oil) in the Crust of the Earth
U.S.G.S. Professional Paper 1570, The Future of Energy Gases, 1993
Remember when, two years after the dreaded Exxon Valdez, SPILL of the CENTURY occurred, the greatest salmon harvest in twenty years was reaped in those same waters?
Yeah, you're right, it takes a whole helluva lot to make a real difference ecologically. Sheesh, Al Gore begone.
. . . which seems to indicate that oil/gas might be seeping up geologically--i.e. sloooly--all over the place. And we just don't notice that upmigration anywhere except where it gets stopped and a little of it gets trapped?. . . does not imply in any way that the supply of oil is limitless.
Not sure just why that
It just seems to indicate that a "limitless" supply of (very hot, very high-pressure) hydrocarbons is very deep in the earth, probably mostly if not entirely inaccessible.
Generally, the deeper you go, the more likely the hydrocarbons are to be natural gas, not oil. As it gets hotter and deeper, even that is cooked off and what is found is mostly carbon dioxide or hydrogen sulfide.
That's my main objection to the theory that oil or gas is oozing up from deep inside the earth. It's too hot for it to exist there in the first place.
I could accept a theory that at least some of the natural gas is methane which is being spun off of the hotter earth material, but I think oil is a much harder sell.
There are a lot of variables, depending on the quality of the rock, pressure, etc., but that's probably about right. There are enhanced recovery methods that can be used if the reservoir is big enough, like flushing it with water, and even setting it on fire, to drive out more oil. Even then, we're leaving at least 40% of it still down there.
Spoken like a man who's been there, done that.
When I was in college, a friend told me that some scientists figured out that the Brazilian rain forests were actually twice as large as had been previously calculated. Since the amount of known lumber cut is a fixed number, the rate of deforestation is actually one-half of what was being reported.
A collective sigh of relief, you say? Not hardly. When the news broke in more popular science journals, the facts had been twisted to report that while the forests were twice as large as originally thought, it "followed" that deforestation rates continued unchanged and that twice as much acreage was being cut down than was previously thought!
The envirowackos always have a doomsday scenario or will make one up. Look for the spin to be that fuel consumption is actually higher than previously thought.
Doug from Upland will be interviewing David Schippers tonight on Radio FreeRepublic! This is a DON'T MISS SHOW!
I've been in that bottle for over 100 years, wee lad. I'll grant ye two wishes for releasing me!"
The Irishman thinks...Well, I surely would like a large bottle of Guiness that never gets empty.
Done, says the Genie. And sure enuff, the Irishman drinks on that bottle for nearly two hours and it just keeps refilling itself!!!
Finally, the Genie says..."Now wee lad, I've been in that damn bott'l for more than a century and I've got people to see and places to go. What would you like for your second wish, a gigantic house, money so deep it comes up to your knees, a bevy of beautiful women..what will it be?"
The Irishman ponders this while he sips his Guiness and replies...well, I think I'll have another bott'l of Guiness!
"Drilling deep into the crystalline granite of Sweden between 1986 and 1993 revealed substantial amounts of natural gas and oil. 80 barrels of oil were pumped up from a depth between 5.2 km and 6.7 km. "
Gold conned the Swedes into testing out his pet theory concerning astroblemes (meteor impact sites) and the occurrence of petroleum hydrocarbons. Ask the Swedes what they think about Gold's "theory". Abiogenic methane, degassing from the mantle, is a well-recognized phenomenon. Gold believed that it was the major source and building block for more complex hydrocarbons - as compared to the well-developed process of petroleum catagenesis. Gold's claim of obtaining "substantial" oil and gas from crystalline rocks is a misnomer. The scant amount of petroleum hydrocarbons found in the Siljan Ring astrobleme complex were most likely generated from organic, sedimentary rocks adjacent to the impact site, which were subjected to instantaneous great heat and pressure (as compared to long-term maturation of petroleum source rocks). One would expect the pitifully small amount of petroleum Gold found - especially in light of the surface oil seeps found in the area. No one else has taken him up on his theories since then. He should stick to astronomy.
There was an interesting study I read a few years ago. The were many smallish oil fields discovered on Texas railroad lands in the decades prior to the 1930's. When the big discovery made in East Texas drove the prices down, many of these older, small fields were shut in. Some of them sat for decades. Others had sporatic re-development. In a few wells, there were recorded reservoir pressure measurements prior to long shut in intervals. When prices spiked in the late 1970's, a few of these wells were re-entered and re-logged (primarily looking for bypassed, or behind pipe reserves). But lo! and behold!, reservoir pressures were found to be much higher than when shut in, and some almost back to original (estimated) pressures. There were only a couple of possibilities, of which natural recharge was one.
I'm not a petroleum engineer, but the geolgical concepts behind recharge are sound. It is however, a dynamic equation. Time is the crucial factor. Also, proximity to an active petroleum system (in oil field lingo - how close you are to the "kitchen") is essential.
This is in my "back yard." The offshore seeps at Coal Oil Point (so named because the early settlers thought the tars seeps were coming from underground coal beds) generally leak tarry oil at the rate of 100-150 barrels per day, depending on weather and temperature (1 barrel = 42 gallons). This area has been leaking at this rate for thousands of years. The seeps also emit a huge amount of natural gas. Back in the early 1980's, ARCO place two steel pyramids on the ocean floor over 20,000 sq feet of prolific gas seepage. The amount of gas collected was enough to supply the domestic gas consumption of a small city (25,000 people) - each and every day! This was the equivalent of several tons of reactive hydrocarbon pollutants. It kept the City of Santa Barbara in compliance with EPA requirements!
The environmentalists in the area still mislead the public by claiming that much of the natural seepage is coming from those "bad old offshore rigs." I have spent over 20 years of my career fighting such non-sense, but to little effect.
Note that I qualified my reply, as I'm not entirely sold on Gold's non-fossil fuel theories.
The fact that he's an astrophysicist, though, doesn't necessarily negate his earth science observations. I think some cross-pollination across disciplines, challenging the conventional wisdom and posing questions that aren't usually asked, is a healthy thing for science. In the specific area of hydrocarbons, for example, ascribing all gas and oil to ancient swamps and forests and dinosaurs may be satisfactory for petroleum engineers who are concerned only with finding it.
But when you take that to its ultimate, what does it say about the origins of methane in space? Did it get shaken off the Earth and sent flying in the same way meteorites are presumed to have gotten here from Mars?
Barring the infinitesimal chances of finding life elsewhere in the solar system, wouldn't the existence of hydrocarbons on other planets, should they be discovered in some future space probe, tend to make geologists want to rethink the conventional theories on gas and oil formation?
I agree. I read an article ( I believe on FR ) about a month ago describing this process. I didn't understand it but it seemed reasonable.
What's the difference between an enviro doomsday scenario and an NRA doomsday scenario? They all start to sound the same don't they.
Before any oil drilling or shipping (when I was a kid) the beaches from Los Angeles to Mexico were covered with tar that was comming from a hugh oil seepage on the horseshoe kelp about 7 miles off Los Angeles and when they drilled Long beach harbor and off Seal Beach it relieved the high gas pressure and greatly reduced the amount of seepage. There would still be a lot of tar on the beaches today if it wasn't for the fact that for the last 30 years they have machine cleaned the beaches every day.
As for Santa Barbara and especially Golita, I can remember when you couldn't hardly walk on the beaches because of the massive ammounts of tar. The envirowhackos seem to not remember that the Spanish named Golita and that is where they beached their ships to tar the bottoms with the tar on the beach!
Carpinteria is a little town on the Santa Barbara - Ventura County line. There are numerous seeps there, all along the coastline and offshore. The Chumash Indians collected the tar they found there to caulk and waterproof their ocean-going canoes (called tomols). The early Spanish explorers called the Chumash settlement La Carpinteria, meaning "the carpenter shop" because of the boat building activity.
It is less-widely known that there are also active seepages of oil of the coast of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Besides the ones you mention off of Long Beach, San Pedro, and Huntington Beach, there is a very active line of oil seepages following the Palos Verdes Fault zone into Santa Monica Bay. Back in the early 1970's, the State of California estimated that the Santa Monica Bay seeps leaked about 10 barrels of oil per day. Anybody who surfed or swam along Hermosa, Redondo, or Venice beach would know that. Some people might even remember the oil derrick on Venice Beach in the 1960's, not too far away from the old Pacific Ocean Park.