Jim Letourneau's Blog

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Going Deep

In the never ending search for cheap oil, numerous ideas will be tested. Thomas Gold touted the concept of abundant supplies of abiogenic (ie. from a critter free source) petroleum deep in the earth's crust. Petroleum geologists would miss these deposits because they believe that hydrocarbons are generated from organic matter found in sedimentary basins.

Most petroleum geologists ignored Gold's ideas and focused on finding hydrocarbons where they have always been found. However in the interests of science, the AAPG held a conference this June entitled:
"Origin of Petroleum -- Biogenic and/or Abiogenic and Its Significance in Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production."

A nice rebuttal to Gold's arguments was posted on FromTheWilderness.com:
No Free Lunch, Part 1:
A Critique of Thomas Gold's Claims for Abiotic Oil

Just because someone is optimistic and persistent doesn't mean that they are correct. The facts are that abiogenic hydrocarbons have yet to be produced in commercial quantities. As oil prices escalate all kinds of alternative energy sources will be championed. Many will be looking for investors. Keep your hand on your wallet when these schemes surface. It rarely pays to be first in.

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