Tuesday 14 March 2023

Oil - a fossil fuel or a mineral?

This is in the nature of a question.

Wandering around the interweb I have found quite a bit of debate as to whether crude oil is actually, or entirely, a fossil fuel.  There is some speculation that oil is - possibly in part - a mineral created abiotically at depths where heat from the mantle and pressure synthesizes carbon and other elements into crude oil.

One of the arguments is that crude has been recovered at depths below the lowest fossil depths.  The latter being about 2,600 meters down.  Whereas crude oil has been recovered from depths way below that.  maybe 8,000 to 10,000 meters down.  I do acknowledge that one cannot simply take the length of a bore as a guide to depth because of the horizontal drilling that oil exploration is capable of (Deepwater Horizon was doing that - apparently).

Anyway, has anyone else any thoughts or evidence or whatever?


Bayard said...

I don't think that crude oil has any plant origin at all. I think that the idea that it does arises from a misunderstanding of the meaning of the word "fossil".

pete said...

Hi, here's William Engdahl's take.. starts at 13 mins and he goes on to give his thoughts on fracking (his book 'Myths Lies and Oil Wars')


..this guy gives some more in depth - 'Oil is Not a Fossil Fuel! The Real Science of Abiotic Oil and Serpentinization'


I guess you've seen the Fletcher Prouty clip where he says that in the late 1800s it was decided to call it 'fossil' ie - finite - scarce - dependence - control ..it's all a bit late now a 100 years later

Doonhamer said...

There used to be thriving jungles on the surfaces of the gas giant planets and their moons.

Bayard said...

"it was decided to call it 'fossil' ie - finite - scarce - dependence - control ..it's all a bit late now a 100 years later"

"fossil" means "dug up", from the Latin fossilis "dug up," from fossus, past participle of fodere "to dig," Fossil fuel was so called to distinguish it from fuel like charcoal, which didn't come from the ground. The meaning of "preserved plant" came later.

Bayard said...

Mr Gold's your man: https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1701266114