posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 04:27 PM
Somebody mentioned abiotic oil and I wasn't that versed in the theory so I looked it up. It is a viable theory, and one that is not in contrast with
"biotic" oil or oil from decomposing biomass.
Now, I am not trying to enter that debate, both scenarios seem possible and not mutually exclusive, so I don't really care who is correct, but the
quote below got my attention:
More to the point, Gold also claimed the existence of liquid hydrocarbons—oil—at great depths. But there is a problem with this: the temperatures
at depths below about 15,000 feet are high enough (above 275 degrees F) to break hydrocarbon bonds. What remains after these molecular bonds are
severed is methane, whose molecule contains only a single carbon atom. For petroleum geologists this is not just a matter of theory, but of repeated
and sometimes costly experience: they speak of an oil “window” that exists from roughly 7,500 feet to 15,000 feet, within which temperatures are
appropriate for oil formation; look far outside the window, and you will most likely come up with a dry hole or, at best, natural gas only. The rare
exceptions serve to prove the rule: they are invariably associated with strata that are rapidly (in geological terms) migrating upward or downward.
Below 15,000 feet the chemical bonds of hydrocarbons are broken down from heat and pressure to the point that only Methane still exists? The Deep
Horizon well is at approximately 30,000 feet! So, it stands to reason that the reservoir would be MOSTLY Methane!
Now, another part of that article stated that modern drilling techniques cannot penetrate igneous and seditary rock beyond 16,000 feet because the
drill bits and tubing get too hot and melt/break or whatever.
So, why would we be drilling into this extremely hostile environment looking for crude oil that is theorized to not even exist at such depths? The
two links that I posted seem to be neutral, but the existence of oil at 30,000 feet seems to support the abiotic theory, and if the abiotic theory is
not correct then it means BP knew it was going to encounter MOSTLY METHANE at that depth.
What am I missing here? Were they drilling intentionally for Methane, or do they believe the abiotic theory?