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In 1970 the Russians started drilling Kola SG-3, an exploration well which finally reached a staggering world record depth of 40,230 feet. Since then, Russian oil majors including Yukos have quietly drilled more than 310 successful super-deep oil wells, and put them into production. Last Year Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest single oil producer, and is now set to completely dominate global oil production and sales for the next century.
The hypothesis of abiogenic petroleum origin (synonyms: abiotic, inorganic, mineral, primordial, juvenile) holds that petroleum is formed by non-biological processes deep in the earth's crust and mantle. It contradicts the more widely-held view that petroleum is a fossil fuel produced from the remains of ancient living organisms. The constituent precursors of petroleum (mainly methane) are commonplace and it is possible that appropriate conditions exist for hydrocarbons to be formed deep within the earth. This hypothesis dates to the 19th century, when the French chemist Marcellin Berthelot and the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev proposed it, and was revived in the 1950s.
Originally posted by ArchAngel
A lot can be found on the subject with a search for 'Abiotic Oil', but most sources are Russian.
Western oil experts scoff at such things.
Originally posted by makeitso
Here is the PNAS information. Dated 2002.
PNAS The genesis of hydrocarbons and the origin of petroleum
Conclusions from the PNAS: The pressure of 30 kbar, at which the theoretical analyses of section 4 predicts that the H?C system must evolve ethane and heavier hydrocarbon compounds, corresponds to a depth of more than 100 km. The results of the theoretical analysis shown in Fig. 2 clearly establish that the evolution of the molecular components of natural petroleum occur at depth at least as great as those of the mantle of the Earth, as shown graphically in Fig. 4, in which are represented the thermal and pressure lapse rates in the depths of the Earth.
Here is the followup testing (Again) Dated 9-2004
Physicsweb - Petroleum under pressure
Scientists in the US have witnessed the production of methane under the conditions that exist in the Earth's upper mantle for the first time. The experiments demonstrate that hydrocarbons could be formed inside the Earth via simple inorganic reactions -- and not just from the decomposition of living organisms as conventionally assumed -- and might therefore be more plentiful than previously thought.
And the PNAS for it:
Generation of methane in the Earth's mantle: In situ high pressure?temperature measurements of carbonate reduction
Conclusions: The study demonstrates the existence of abiogenic pathways for the formation of hydrocarbons in the Earth's interior and suggests that the hydrocarbon budget of the bulk Earth may be larger than conventionally assumed. The wide pressure?temperature?composition stability field of methane documented here has broad implications for the hydrocarbon budget of the planet and indicates that methane may be a more prevalent carbon-bearing phase in the mantle than previously thought, with implications for the deep hot biosphere (25). In particular, isotopic evidence indicating the prevalence of biogenic hydrocarbons pertains to economically exploited hydrocarbon gas reservoirs, largely in sedimentary basins (2); these observations and analyses do not rule out the potential for large abiogenic reservoirs in the mantle. Moreover, the assumption that CO2 is the sole carrier of mantle-derived noble gasses (26, 27) should be reevaluated. Finally, the potential may exist for the high-pressure formation of heavier hydrocarbons by using mantle-generated methane as a precursor.
A document from Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Nagoya University, Japan. Dated 1994.
Mantle hydrocarbons: abiotic or biotic?
It appears that hydrocarbons may survive high pressures and temperatures in the mantle, but they are decomposed into lighter hydrocarbon gases such as CH4 at lower pressures when magmas intrude into the crust; consequently, peridotite cumulates do not contain heavier hydrocarbons but possess hydrocarbon gases up to C4H10.
From the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dated 1999
Abiogenic methane formation and isotopic fractionation under hydrothermal conditions
These results, combined with the increasing recognition of nickel-iron alloy occurrence in oceanic crusts, suggest that abiogenic methane may be more widespread than previously thought.
[edit on 29-10-2004 by makeitso]