The oil industry and its complicit profession of English speaking geologists, many on oil industry staff, have been working for several generations to make us believe unquestioningly that oil and gas are of biological origin. It is a cornerstone of the Peak Oil Dogma that has indoctrinated us into the belief that oil is consummately and imminently finite permitting the oil industry and its allies to drive all over us, setting prices beyond the wildest dreams of Croesus. You see if oil supply is running out quickly -- as we are taught (as it has according to oil industry and geological gospel ever since that first well in Pennsylvania in the 1850s) -- a lesson that the oil industry wants us to learn each and every day is that we will have to pay, pay, pay.
Well just suppose we have been purposely misled. That the Peak Oil Pranksters and their geologist sidekicks have been the purveyors of one of the great con jobs in history. That oil and gas is not the biological phenomenon that has been drummed into us. Rather that oil and gas are a geological phenomenon, inherent to the geological construct of the earth and all that means to its expanse and availability.
Just recently the Wall Street Journal published an eye opening article informing us that a large sector of the Arctic seabed, sitting on a methane reservoir, has become unstable and is releasing methane into the atmosphere ('Arctic Site is Oozing Methane", 03.03.10). The article goes on, "Of the roughly 500 million tons of methane emitted annually world-wide an estimated 40% has a natural origin, such as wetlands and the digestive processes of termites." I kid you not, "the digestive process of termites"..."while the rest results from human activities including cattle farming..." Then quoting a researcher at the University of Alaska, "This particular source has never been taken into account in tallying methane emissions."
Well bravo! That gives us an important clue toward solving another newly evolving mystery. You see last year a team of NASA and University scientists achieved the first definitive detection of methane in the atmosphere of Mars. This discovery indicates, according to NASA, that the planet is either biologically or geologically active. Giving credence that the existence of methane might indeed be of geological origin rekindles the question whether the theory attributing the origins of oil and gas to biological (fossil) origins on earth is in large measure a myth.
Our friends in the oil patch and their geologist allies would in all likelihood have a very focused explanation, aligning themselves with biological phenomenon. Perhaps it would flow along the following lines -- that we have gotten it wrong for generations, that;
Hey diddle diddle,
The Cat and the Fiddle,
The Cow jump'd over the Moon,
was in fact altogether incorrect. It was not "over the Moon" but rather "The Cow jump'd over Mars." That it was in fact many cows, all leaving a trail of methane-rich flatulence while jumping over Mars, ergo 'hocus pocus' methane's presence in Mars' atmosphere. Far fetched? Not if you try to envisage the huge size of the dinosaur farms in Saudi Arabia and Texas needed to turn up as the hundreds of billions of barrels of oil all these eons later.
The methane oozing in Alaska and its presence in the atmosphere of Mars seems a dead giveaway that the theory of biological origins of oil and gas is deeply flawed.
Please understand that methane with its four atoms of hydrogen bound to a carbon atom, is the main component of natural gas on Earth. Given methane's existence in such non biological environs as Mars and conceivably the Arctic seabed brings into question once again the facile dismissal of Abiotic Oil theory by our oil industry and its OPEC allies.
As cited in the post here, "Why Does Abiotic Oil Theory Ignite Peak Oil Theorist Fulminations??", 08.14.08," which questions why so little has been published on this issue in English language scientific/geological journals. This in spite of the rigorous work done by the Russian/Ukrainian geological community which is highly supportive of the theory of the geological origins of oil and gas.
It is time to revisit this issue, especially at this moment when we find an oil market awash with oil but with oil prices at levels leaving all semblance of market reality. Natural gas prices are touching six month lows while oil prices are now a whisker from six month highs. Given the traditional relationship between these two fuels, wherein one would closely track the other, there is something clearly and profoundly amiss. It is long past due that our media and our government agencies begin to deal with the plethora of misinformation emanating from the oil industry and its allies that have reduced the consuming public to being passive and paralyzed bystanders in one of history's great swindles (please see: "The Billion Dollar Day Extortion; A Somnolent Administration and Dysfunctional Congress' Gift to the American People," 02.22.10).