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Oil Fields' Free Refill - More oil than we thought (maybe)
Newsday ^ | April 16, 2002 | Robert Cooke

Posted on 04/23/2002 4:48:26 PM PDT by visagoth

Edited 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 ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Front Page News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: abiogenic; catastrophism; deeplife; energylist; hydrocarbons; oil; opec; refill; thomasgold
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WooHoo! I can get 3 or 4 more SUV's to drive!
1 posted on 04/23/2002 4:48:26 PM PDT by visagoth
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To: visagoth; shermy; seamole
Thanks this will be real upsetting to the Opecker Princes, their hand puppets in our senate like Da$$hole, Boxer, Kerry and other rat and Rino senators and of course to the Enviral Nazis who are the Opecker Princes best buddies in the world.

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!

2 posted on 04/23/2002 4:56:43 PM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: visagoth
We're almost out of oil! The population bomb is ticking! The sky is falling! THE SKY IS FALLING!!!

What's that? Oh. Never mind.

3 posted on 04/23/2002 4:58:15 PM PDT by inkling
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To: visagoth
Makes sense to imagine that natural oil and gas formation did not stop when the Drake well was drilled in Pennsylvania, that it is a continuing process.
4 posted on 04/23/2002 5:03:55 PM PDT by RightWhale
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To: visagoth
It's even better than the article states, if Thomas Gold is correct.

See http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/tg21/ and then decide how many SUVs you should buy.

5 posted on 04/23/2002 5:06:19 PM PDT by logician2u
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To: Grampa Dave
Somebody better sue Mother Nature for all the oil spilled on the ocean floor.
6 posted on 04/23/2002 5:11:09 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER
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To: visagoth
In the past, it was not suspected that oil fields can refill because it was assumed the oil formed in place, or nearby, rather than far below.

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.

7 posted on 04/23/2002 5:13:41 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: BOBTHENAILER
Somebody better sue Mother Nature for all the oil spilled on the ocean floor.

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.

8 posted on 04/23/2002 5:16:53 PM PDT by Centurion2000
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To: BOBTHENAILER
Sounds like Mother Nature knew what she was doing and the ocean life is doing great. This happens all the time in the ocean where oil pools are below in deeper water.

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.

9 posted on 04/23/2002 5:22:05 PM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: *energy_list
Index bump
10 posted on 04/23/2002 5:23:06 PM PDT by Fish out of Water
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To: Centurion2000
Oil as a threat to local water supplies.

Excellent. LOL

11 posted on 04/23/2002 5:30:42 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER
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To: Dog Gone
I have seen the theory that oil is NOT a fossil fuel resulting from organic decay. This is very much a minority theory, which is considered whacko by the scientific community. But it is at least possible. There's a lot more oil, a lot deeper in the ground, than conventional theory would expect.

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.

12 posted on 04/23/2002 5:33:20 PM PDT by Cicero
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To: visagoth
Roberts added that natural seepage in places like the Gulf of Mexico "far exceeds anything that gets spilled” by oil tankers and other sources.

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?

13 posted on 04/23/2002 5:34:51 PM PDT by Gritty
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To: Dog Gone
DG what's the average percentage of oil recovered from a well? I know it's small maybe less than 30%?
14 posted on 04/23/2002 5:35:04 PM PDT by deport
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To: Dog Gone
I wish I had a dollar for every well I've been involved with where its obvious oil used to be

You don't mean the dreaded report: GOOD SHOWS, BUT NO COMMERCIAL HYDROCARBONS?

15 posted on 04/23/2002 5:35:22 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER
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To: visagoth;all
FYI--

The world has more oil not less

The Origin of Methane (and Oil) in the Crust of the Earth
Thomas Gold
U.S.G.S. Professional Paper 1570, The Future of Energy Gases, 1993

PETROLEUM RESERVES EVALUATED WITH MODERN PETROLEUM SCIENCE

Another Washington Post article here

16 posted on 04/23/2002 5:36:37 PM PDT by backhoe
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To: Grampa Dave
Ocean life is doing great

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.

17 posted on 04/23/2002 5:39:45 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER
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To: Dog Gone
oil is formed in shales or other source rock, and has migrated upward until it reaches a trap or seal which it cannot penetrate
. . . 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?

Not sure just why that

. . . does not imply in any way that the supply of oil is limitless.
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.

18 posted on 04/23/2002 5:42:18 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion
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To: Cicero
Very little oil is found at deep depths (greater than 20,000 feet subsurface), and it all seems to be related to temperature and pressure. The cooler rocks and basins, like the Permian Basin of West Texas, have the deeper oil reservoirs.

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.

19 posted on 04/23/2002 5:45:27 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: deport
DG what's the average percentage of oil recovered from a well? I know it's small maybe less than 30%?

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.

20 posted on 04/23/2002 5:49:47 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: BOBTHENAILER
You don't mean the dreaded report: GOOD SHOWS, BUT NO COMMERCIAL HYDROCARBONS?

Spoken like a man who's been there, done that.

21 posted on 04/23/2002 5:50:35 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: visagoth
So, just like Al Gore's sweat glands, some of these fields just keep on spewing fluids?
22 posted on 04/23/2002 5:51:31 PM PDT by isthisnickcool
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
But if that theory were correct, we'd find oil and gas just about everywhere, wouldn't we?
23 posted on 04/23/2002 5:53:52 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: inkling
We're almost out of oil! The population bomb is ticking! The sky is falling! THE SKY IS FALLING!!!

What's that? Oh. Never mind.

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.

24 posted on 04/23/2002 6:19:55 PM PDT by BradyLS
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To: Dog Gone
Let me tell ya a little story 'bout a man named Jed, poor mountainere barely kept his family fed...
25 posted on 04/23/2002 6:22:04 PM PDT by gov_bean_ counter
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To: visagoth
So are more dinosaurs dying off to replenish the store of "fossil fuel"?
26 posted on 04/23/2002 6:24:06 PM PDT by ValerieUSA
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To: All

Doug from Upland will be interviewing David Schippers tonight on Radio FreeRepublic! This is a DON'T MISS SHOW!

Click here and listen while you FReep!

27 posted on 04/23/2002 6:24:30 PM PDT by Bob J
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To: BradyLS
Last night CSPAN ran back to back a group of the sky is falling enviro types, then an analyst with the American Enterprise institute. Guess which brought facts to the table and which brought hyperbole.
28 posted on 04/23/2002 6:26:13 PM PDT by gov_bean_ counter
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To: icepuppy
PING!
29 posted on 04/23/2002 6:26:40 PM PDT by ValerieUSA
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To: ValerieUSA
bttt
30 posted on 04/23/2002 6:31:16 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: visagoth
I still think that the Congress of the United States and Al Gore produce more gas than what exists from the Earth. If only there was a way to produce that political gas.
31 posted on 04/23/2002 6:42:42 PM PDT by Mel Gibson
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To: Mel Gibson
Nadlerhol.
32 posted on 04/23/2002 6:44:36 PM PDT by gov_bean_ counter
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To: Cicero
Yes, I read the same thing. Check google for the McDonald Field in Louisiana. Very old basin, played out after every technique was used started to regenerate back to original levels of 30-40 years ago. I'm going by memory here but I had this very conversation with my wife today at lunch.
33 posted on 04/23/2002 8:03:56 PM PDT by Seeking the truth
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To: Seeking the truth
An analogy (a joke). The Irishman is walking by himself along the coastland of Eire. He finds the proverbial bottle with a cork in it, opens it and lo and behold, out pops a genie.

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!

34 posted on 04/23/2002 8:26:18 PM PDT by Chu Gary
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To: Gritty
The environment of the Gulf of Mexico is different from that of Alaska. It's warmer for one thing.
35 posted on 04/23/2002 8:43:54 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic
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To: logician2u
Hold on a minute! Thomas Gold is an astrophysicist and his petroleum geology theories have been widely discredited. Here's a quote from his own webpage (your link):

"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.

36 posted on 04/23/2002 10:01:24 PM PDT by capitan_refugio
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To: visagoth
The process which the article describes is referred to a "natural reservoir recharge" by petroleum geologists. Generally, the rate of recharge is much, much lower than the rate of withdrawal by production.

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.

37 posted on 04/23/2002 10:14:27 PM PDT by capitan_refugio
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To: aruanan
(Black) Gold bump.
38 posted on 04/23/2002 10:23:44 PM PDT by a history buff
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To: visagoth
From the article:
It has long been known by geologists and oil industry workers that seeps exist. In Southern California, for example, there are seeps near Santa Barbara, at a geologic feature called Coal Oil Point."

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.

39 posted on 04/23/2002 10:27:09 PM PDT by capitan_refugio
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To: capitan_refugio
I am aware of the sorry story about Gold's conning the Swedes. In fact, I think we've had a similar discussion on another thread.

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?

40 posted on 04/23/2002 10:38:27 PM PDT by logician2u
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To: logician2u
You are correct concerning previous Thomas Gold threads! There must have been abundant abiogenic methane during the creation of the solar system. But the article deals with petroleum hydrocarbons. The simplest hydrocarbon is methane. Most methane produced today is biogenic methane - the product of organic decay (or digestion - just hang around a cow sometime!!!) I have textbooks on organic chemistry and geochemistry (much of which is waaaaay beyond what I even want to know) which show pretty convincingly the relationship between complex organic hydrocarbons and the rocks from which they were sourced. Gold's primordial, abiogenic methane theory's just don't cut the ... mustard.
41 posted on 04/23/2002 10:48:19 PM PDT by capitan_refugio
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To: Dog Gone
fyi
42 posted on 04/24/2002 2:38:24 AM PDT by snopercod
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To: a history buff
Cool!
43 posted on 04/24/2002 5:50:56 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: Cicero
"I have seen the theory that oil is NOT (only) a fossil fuel resulting from organic decay. This is very much a minority theory, which is considered whacko by the scientific community. But it is at least possible. There's a lot more oil, a lot deeper in the ground, than conventional theory would expect.

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.

44 posted on 04/24/2002 6:03:07 AM PDT by blam
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To: Dog Gone
I'm glad someone here knows what he's talking about. I find it amazing that the jury is still out on where oil came from in the first place.
45 posted on 04/24/2002 6:33:38 AM PDT by biblewonk
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To: snopercod; cardinal4
It seems to me that "Big Oil" has been drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, off Louisiana, for some time, and I can't remember hearing of any disasters or spills into the Gulf. I'm sure the media would've brought such an event to our attention immediately, had it happened. Ditto the Alaskan oil fields: Haven't heard of any recent disasters. I'm sure Puff Daschle would have held an immediate press conference.
46 posted on 04/24/2002 6:36:07 AM PDT by Ax
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To: BradyLS
The envirowackos always have a doomsday scenario or will make one up

What's the difference between an enviro doomsday scenario and an NRA doomsday scenario? They all start to sound the same don't they.

47 posted on 04/24/2002 6:37:48 AM PDT by biblewonk
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To: capitan_refugio
"seepage in places like the Gulf of Mexico "far exceeds anything that gets spilled” by oil tankers and other sources."

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!

48 posted on 04/24/2002 7:11:01 AM PDT by dalereed
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To: dalereed
You are right on the money with your recollections. My mother used to tell me how her family would take a can of gasoline with them when they went to Carpinteria Beach during the summer. They would use the gasoline to clean off any tar they might have stepped on.

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.

49 posted on 04/24/2002 8:51:53 AM PDT by capitan_refugio
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To: capitan_refugio
RE: the seeps... I was stationed at Vandenberg AFB for a while and witnessed the effects of the seeping oil from natural sources for years along the 51 miles of base coastline.
50 posted on 04/24/2002 11:57:08 AM PDT by visagoth
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