Is Oil a Fossil Fuel?

The December 8, 2006 issue of the scientific journal Nature will contain an article asserting that abundant quantities of methane have been conclusively shown to exist on Titan, one of the moons of Saturn. “We have determined that Titan's methane is not of biologic origin," reports Hasso Niemann of the Goddard Space Flight Center, a principal NASA investigator. Methane, a key hydrocarbon and the principal component of natural gas, actually has been found throughout the solar system. If methane can be produced by an abiotic (or abiogenic) process, so can more complex hydrocarbons. Once you have methane, “the rest is easy,” says Stanford Penner, Ph.D.

Dr. Penner, who is an authority on the Second Law of Thermodynamics, notes that Russian and Ukrainian scientists have produced an elegant proof that abiotic oil production (from intense pressure and high temperatures at least 100 kilometers below the earth's surface) is entirely consistent with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, but that no such proof has ever been put forth for the fossil fuel theory. In fact, he states that there is no “fossil fuel theory,” merely a hypothesis for which no proof has ever been set forth.

Furthermore, oil has been discovered in the earth's Archeozoic rock formations. These are the most ancient of rocks, which were formed before any plants or animals existed on earth. So petroleum here must have had an inorganic origin, rather than being produced from dead dinosaurs and ancient forests, as is commonly believed.

Finally, some older oil wells previously regarded as depleted have been known to be replenished from below. This is certainly evidence that oil is being produced at depths in the earth (where there are no fossil remains) and being pushed upward by intense pressure from below. The best example of this is Green Island in the Gulf of Mexico. When all the oil that could profitably be extracted had been pumped out, the wells there were closed and forgotten about. Then, twenty years later, those wells were found to contain more oil than before any had been removed! If petroleum is constantly produced by an inorganic process, we are never going to run out of oil.

All of which shows that political policies based on the idea that the world is running out of oil are based on a false theory. Just like claims about man-made global warming ruining the earth (see our chart on global warming). Both ideas depend on “consensus,” a popular belief that prevails because of constant repetition rather than scientific proof.

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