InTuneToDoom has written two excellent posts which mirror my views -- and that of most scientists.
Although I'm an engineer and not a geologist, I have taken a couple of geology courses recently, and all the information I have seen leads me to
believe that oil is the result of fossilized and changed life-forms, probably foraminifera.
OP's original citation of an article by Joe Vialls contains no evidence at all
as to the abiotic oil assertion. Instead, Vialls says, with
no references whatsoever, that the Russians have drilled these 300 deep wells (which they may or may not have) and that they have a lot of oil (which
is undoubtedly true) and that they could become ths single most important oil producer and/or exporter over the next several years (which is quite
However, here is what Vialls has to say about the concept of abiotic oil:
" The theory underlying how oil is formed at such enormous depths in the mantle of the earth is not central to this report, because the Russians
have already proved its point of origin in absolute drilling terms more than 300 times."
Whether or not the Russians have "already proved its point of origin" may or may not be true, but that has no bearing whatsoever on how
the oil was formed.
"Those interested in the exact process should research the archives, where there are more than two hundred Russian papers on the subject."
Vialls very conveniently fails to point us to these "archives"; and, in any event, I doubt if anyone here can read Russian -- I certainly can't!
"Probably a good place to start would be "The Role of Methane in the Formation of Mineral Fuels", written by by A.D. Bondar in 1967."
Actually, Krayushkin ( www.gasresources.net...
), cites seventeen works, but they're all in Russian. And these include
articles by polemicists such as Kudryavstev who weren't even peer-reviewed.
Finally, Bondar seems to be basing his comments on earlier writers like E. B. Chekaliuk and I.I Potapov; neither of these folks wrote peer-reviewed
A lot of the earlier works came out of the Soviet era, in which politics drove the scientific inquiry, giving rise to such horrid 'science" as
Lysenko-ism. In the past fifty years, scientists from all over the world have looked at the concept of abiotic oil; while most petroleum geologists
admit that small amounts of oil can be formed under certain conditions from methane, everyone except some
Russian researchers don't buy into
abiotic oil as being anything but a scientific curiosity.
But even more important than the argument over the validity (or even the feasibility) of abiotic oil is summed up brilliantly by my colleague Subz
where he says:
"Abiotic theory would be nice but there is no proof that it even exists. I don't know about you but I try and work in the realm of the proven
rather on that of the cross my fingers...."
We are running out of oil, regardless of where it comes from. Admittedly, there is more oil underground that has been taken out, but the economics of
its extraction and refining are such that it will result in $250/bbl for the equivalent of light sweet crude, or $15/gallon of gasoline.
We need to demolish the hydrocarbon economy now
, and replace it with something that we know
will fill the bill. Squabbling over the
belief in a technological will-'o-the-wisp is betting our civilization's future on something as silly as a perpetual-motion machine.