Skip to comments.Potential oil supply refill?
Posted on 05/28/2002 11:32:25 PM PDT by kattracksEdited on 07/12/2004 3:54:08 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
On April 16, Newsday, the Long Island newspaper, published a startling report that old oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico were somehow being refilled. That is, new oil was being discovered in fields where it previously had not existed.
(Excerpt) Read more at washtimes.com ...
It's about time a major columnist writes about the Gold Theory of Hydrocarbon Formation.
The jury's still out on this, of course, but there is more evidence for oil replenishment than for several other late-20th Century scientific theories, such as species extinctions and global warming.
A nit, which does not in any way discredit the author's otherwise excellent article: All the oil discovered to date has been within the earth's crust. The core, last I checked, is too far down and too hot to reach with a conventional drill bit. Consequently, it's unlikely to be explored except in the realm of SciFi in the near future.
But then where does all the excess hydrogen go? Why aren't we seeing a lot of free hydrogen in gas wells? (It would be interesting, perhaps, to feed some of this bacteria to cows. Instead of methane, they produce gasoline for the farm tractors. Cool. Don't smoke in the barn!)
You are way ahead of those that say it can only be one or the other. They are close-minded.
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
|Oil Fields' Free Refill - More oil than we thought (maybe)|
Note especially that last link... and ponder if this were, say only partially true- even 50%- what a difference it would make.
In 1914, the US Bureau of Mines estimated that there were only 10 years worth of oil left in the world at their then rate of consumption. In 1939 the Dep't of the Interior projected that oil would only last another 13 years and in 1951 it was again projected that oil would only last another 13 years.
In 1955 we had 35 years of oil reserves left based on that year's level of consumption but by 2000 we had around 40 years left even though our consumption has increased dramatically in that same time period. So we use more, yet we have more. Furthermore, every time the price of oil goes up, our known reserves increase- not because people suddenly don't use as much but because, like this article says, it becomes more profitable to find more oil.
This phenomenom has been observed not just with oil, but with almost ALL resources- natural gas, coal, metals and even precious metals. It seems common sense at first glance to say "we will soon run out of things at this rate"- it seems intuitive. But this has never been the case and simple economic principles say that this will not be the case.
The Earth and its peopled crust is not about to run out of energy- not anytime soon. In Lomborg's "Skeptical Environmentalist" he discusses the fact that there is only about 100 years of uranium 235 left to fuel nuclear reactors. But we also know how to use fast breeder reactors to convert uranium 238 (of which we have an abundance) into plutonium 239 which in turn can be used to fuel new reactors. It's an odd process because the fast breeder reactor actually produces more fuel than it uses. If we were forced to use such reactors- we would only have enough uranium 238 to supply us with energy for the next 14,000 years.
And as far as oil goes- with our oil thirst and technology driving the search for more we are looking at more sources- for example "oil from shale" (which would increase our supply to another 250 years), he extropolates that we actually have enough oil for another 5,000 years. Yep, 5,000 years! This is why Lomborg's book is a recommended aquisition and addition to your required reading list and also why the lefties hate it so much. Imagine the fun you can have with the doomsayers and just the look on their faces when they say "we'll run out of oil soon" and you counter with "yeah if 5,000 years is soon, I suppose we will".
One thing not normally taken into account is the vertical movement of the Earth's crust over geologic time.
The fact that we are now possibly looking at the remains of a city in 2000 feet of water off the west coast of Cuba and the cave full of stalagtites Jaques Cousteau found 200 feet under water in the Gulf tend to reinforce it. Stalagtites do not form under water.
LOL! LOL! LOL!
Gee, what a shock, the ecco-wacko chicken littles are probably dead wrong again.
It's a good thing, too. Successfully drilling to those depths would result in the world's first man-made volcano.
I love this story.
Thanks. I saw that article too but, don't have it.
This contained references also.
Excellent Graphics still work with this last article and has many good imbedded links.
If this theory was true, you could find oil just about everywhere, and there wouldn't be many exploratory dry holes. However, the actual success rate, even with the improved technology for finding oil, is only about 12%.
In any event, we're clearly using oil faster than it's being created and we're forced to look in places where we've never been able to look before.
I know I should know, ....but ... could you remind me!
BWAAAAAAA! I suppose all my geologist buddies have heard that one before, but that's new to me. LOL.