Letter of the Month - July 1999
The Origins of Oil and Petroleum
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Date: Mon, 29 Jul 1996 17:54:57 PDT
From: "Daniel E. Reynolds"
Subject: Oil - A REWEWABLE and ABIOTIC FUEL?
On June 20th, 1996 Col. Prouty stated...
"Oil is often called a 'fossil' fuel; the idea being that it comes from formerly living organisms. This may have been plausible back when oil wells were drilled into the fossil layers of the earth's crust; but today, great quantities of oil are found in deeper wells that are found below the level of any fossils. How could then oil have come from fossils, or decomposed former living matter, if it exists in rock formations far below layers of fossils - the evidence of formerly living organisms? It must not come from living matter at all!"
Two days after I read his statement I encountered the following statement in a newspaper I deeply respect:
"Any geologist will tell you, well, most geologists will tell you that OIL IS CREATED BY THE MAGMA OF THE EARTH. The oil wells in Pennsylvania that were pumped out dry at the turn of the century and capped are now filled with oil again."
I would be honored if Col Prouty could provide me with just a few additional leads to MORE DOCUMENTATION BACKING UP HIS ASSERTION. A search of the US libraries (via computer) has turned up the name of Professor Thomas Gold who wrote a book entitled:
"Power from the Earth".
I tried to contact Marc J. Defant, a Volcanologist who teaches at the University of Southern Florida, but he is in Russia -- probably drilling for OIL PRODUCED BY MAGMA!!!
Professor Gold's book has been requested via interlibrary loan.
I certainly believe Col Prouty is telling the truth -- as he knows it -- personally! Well, I seek the TRUTH -- and when I find it -- I teach it to all who desire to hear it -- as best I can.
Thank you for taking time to read my request. If, Col Prouty can find the time to read it too -- and he chooses to share additional information with me -- I shall be most grateful.
Daniel E. Reynolds July 29, 1996
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Here is Col. Prouty's response.
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Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 21:16:04 -0400 From: Col. L. Fletcher Prouty To: email@example.com Subject: RE: Reynolds letter
This response is for Daniel E. Reynolds, 29 July 1996 on the subject of "Oil - A renewable and abiotic Fuel?"
Dan, your use of the word "abiotic" is good. As a non-fossil fuel, petroleum has no living antecedent. It contains chemical elements found in living matter; but it is not "formerly living matter." There has not been enough true "formerly living matter"through all of creation to account for the volume of petroleumthat has been consumed to date.
My background in this subject goes back to 1943. I was the pilot who flew a U.S. Geological Survey Team from Casablanca to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. We met the Cal. Standard Oil team holding down that lease. Then we went back to Cairo to meet President Roosevelt during the Nov. 1943 "Cairo Conference" with Churchill and Chiang Kai Shek. FDR ordered the immediate construction of an oil refinery there for WW II use. This led to ARAMCO.
During the "Energy Crisis" of the 1970's I was detailed to represent the U.S. Railroad industry as a member of the "Federal Staff Energy Seminar" program started by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, sponsored by Georgetown University. That began in Jan 1974 and continued for four years. It was designed to discuss "the working of the United States national energy system, and new horizons of energy research." Among the regular attendees were such men as Henry Kissinger and James Schlesinger...most valuable meetings.
During one meeting we took a "Buffet Break" and I was seated with Arthur Kantrowitz of the AVCO Company..."Kantrowitz Labs" nearBoston. At the table with us were four young geologists busily talking about Petroleum. At one point one of them made reference to "Petroleum as organic matter, and a fossil fuel." Right out of the Rockefeller bible.
Kantrowitz turned to the geologist beside him and asked, "Do you really believe that petroleum is a fossil fuel?" The man said,"Certainly" and all four of them joined in. Kantrowitz listened quietly and then said, "The deepest fossil ever found has been at about 16,000 feet below sea level; yet we are getting oil from wells drilled to 30,000 and more. How could fossil fuel get down there? If it was once living matter, it had to be on the surface. If it did turn into petroleum, at or near the surface,how could it ever get to such depths? What is heavier Oil or Water?" Water: so it would go down, not oil. Oil would be on top, if it were "organic" and "lighter."
"Oil is neither."
They all agreed water was heavier, and therefore if there was some crack or other open area for this "Organic matter" to go deep into the magma of Earth, water would have to go first and oil would be left nearer the surface. This is reasonable. Even if we do agree that "magma" is a "crude mixture of minerals or organic matters, in a thin pasty state" this does not make it petroleum, and if it were petroleum it would have stayed near the surface as heavier items, i.e. water seeped below.
My D. Van Nostrand "Scientific Encyclopedia" says "Magma is the term for molten material. A natural, complex, liquid, high temperature, silicate solution ancestral to all igneous rocks,both intrusive and effusive. The origin of Magma is not known." My "Oxford English Dictionary" does not even have the word "Magma."
Some years ago I wrote two or three pages that appeared in theMcGraw Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology, i.e. "Railroad Engineering." Even that source is a bit uncertain about the"origin of petroleum" to wit:
"Less than 1% of the organic matter that originates in or is transported to the marine environment is eventually incorporated into ocean sediment," and
"Most petroleum is formed during catagenesis (undefined anywhere). If sufficient organic matter is present oceanic sediments that undergo this process are potential petroleum sources. Deeply buried marine organic matter yields mainly oil, whereas land plant material yields mainly gas." (Their idea of "deeply buried" is the "out.")
All this leaves us no where. I still go with Kantrowitz. Since oil is lighter than water, everywhere on Earth, there is no way that petroleum could be an organic, fossil fuel that is created on or near the surface, and penetrate Earth ahead of water. Oil must originate far below and gradually work its way up into well-depth areas accessable to surface drilling. It comes from far below. Therefore, petroleum is not a "Fossil" fuel with a surface or near surface origin.
It was made to be thought a "Fossil" fuel by the Nineteenth oil producers to create the concept that it was of limited supply and therefore extremely valuable. This fits with the "Depletion"allowance philosophical scam.
During one of our C.S.I.S. "International Nights" (1978) the Common Market Energy boss, M. Montibrial of France, told us that while petroleum was being marketed then for $20.00 per barrel or more, it cost no more than 25 cents per barrel at the well-head. There is our petroleum problem! We were paying more than $1.50-$1.60 per gallon, one 42nd of a barrel, at that time. Interested folks need to learn more about the Chartered Institute of Transport, and not waste their time with OPEC, the "Cover" story.
Those who pumped the Pennsylvania wells "dry" during the late eighteen hundreds saved what they had for those better days.
L. Fletcher Prouty
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- FOLLOW-UP-LETTER-- -- -- --
Subject: FACTS, FACTS, and MORE FACTS! To: Col Prouty
Dear Len (and Col Prouty)
Stimulated by Col Prouty's assertion that OIL IS A NON-FOSSIL FUEL -- I put my roadster in high gear -- and went prospecting for some SOLID support! Well, I'm hear to tell you both, I DO BELIEVE I've FOUND IT - in spades!
Item #1: A MAGNIFICENT BOOK!!!!
TITLE: Power from the Earth Deep Earth Gas -- Energy for the Future by Thomas Gold [J.M. Dent & Sons, Ltd, London, 1987] ISBN 0-460-04462-1
May I quote a few lines from from the front cover of the book ... a few words ... on
JUST WHO THIS GUY THOMAS GOLD AND WHAT HE HAS TO SAY ON THIS SUBJECT!
"Professor Thomas Gold is one of the great scientific thinkers of our time and in Power from the Earth he puts forward a highly revolutionary and controversial theory.
According to Gold, there are within the Earth virtually limitless stores of energy in the form of gas and oil as yet untapped. This energy is of non-biological origin and there is far more of it in the Earth than geologists have ever imagined -- and IT IS ACCESSIBLE!
--- Score 1 for Col Prouty!
At a time when the future supply of traditional fossil fuels is said to be seriously limited and nuclear energy is becoming ever more suspect, Gold's theory has vast implications for the future of the Earth's energy supplies and is crucial to our understanding of the deep processes that cause earthquakes and volcanoes. His view also clearly has far reaching consequences for the economic and political shape of the world.
--- Score 2 for Col Prouty!
In the past Professor Gold has explained the nature of pulsars and solar flares, proved that the Earth's poles change position over time, made new discoveries about the workings of the human inner ear, and was the only scientist to predict that Moon's surface consists of dust. His new theory has already been grabbing the attention of the international press and a drilling operation has been started in Sweden on the basis of his idea.
In Power from the Earth Professor Gold puts forward one of the most important scientific ideas of our age."
--- Well, having read the book, I can say I certainly concur with THAT OPINION. And guess what -- Dr. Gold is a friend of Arthur K. of AVCO LABS, etc....! BULLSEYE!
--- Score 3 for Col Prouty!
WHO IS THIS MAN....well listen up...
"Professor Thomas Gold, FRS, was born in Austria and educated in Switzerland and England, where he became famous as an astronomer at Cambridge in the post-war years. In 1956 he moved to the United States to become a professor at Harvard. He later became Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University, where he founded and directed the world-famous Center for Radiophysics and Space Research. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the United States National Academy of Sciences, and in 1985 was awarded the Gold Medal by the Royal Astronomical Scoiety. He now lives in Cambridge, England and is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College."
Not bad. Not bad at all.
In fact, I'm honored to have made his acquaintance.
---- Score 4 for Col Prouty
& a Hearty THANK YOU TO DR. GOLD.
They say -- he coined the term magnetosphere in '59! I wonder what HE THINKS is causing those black outs out West??? Falling tree limbs? Now THAT's an interesting hypothesis! Maybe a bird took out the TWA? Hey, it's just a theory, just a theory...
Ok ... now ... I hear some one murmuring
... "Well, if his Ideas are so good, so right, so profound -- SURELY THEY'VE MADE THE SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE ...REFEREED JOURNAL ARTICLES ... you know ... and all that. I mean ... if it's REEEEEEAL SCIENCE surely it's been recognized around the world!"
As a matter of fact, it has!
My I introduce you both (if you have not been so introduced prior to this letter) to the work and writings of P.N. Kropotkin...
Ref: Kropotkin, P. N. (1985) Degassing of the Earth and the Origin of Hydrocarbons, published in the International Geology Review, 27, 1261-1275
P.N. Kroptkin -- who is with the Geological Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Moscow, it says in the header "has long been a leading proponent of the INORGANIC ORIGIN OF PETROLEUM, a THEORY which has had a continuous tradition of support in Russia and the Soviet Union and a recent revival in the United States and Western Europe."
Oh, well, better late than never!
THIS PAPER IS LOADED WITH FACTS! Anyone who thinks that Col Prouty or Dr. Gold are spinning some kind of yarn ... HAD BEST READ IT -- ASAP. WE ARE BEING OFFERED AN IMMORTAL SYMPHONY BY THESE MEN -- and I for one LOVE the Sound of THIS MUSIC!
May I share just one quote from the work of P.N. Kroptkin... from page 1265 ... just one of many many AWESOME FACTS IN THIS SCIENTIFIC DOCUMENT...
"Commerical oil pools in the basement rocks have been recorded in 267 oil and gas deposits on different continents. In some, oil is present at a depth of several hundred meters from its surface; in the USSR, such pools are known in a number of areas. A detailed analysis of the geological environment suggests that in some of these deposits, OIL COULD NOT HAVE ENTERED THE POOLS FROM THE OIL-BEARING STRATA OF THE SEDIMENTARY COVER AND, CONSEQUENTLY, PENETRATED FROM BELOW ALONG FAULTS.
---Score a HOME RUN for Col Prouty and Dr. Gold!!!!
Such is the Borolla deposit with pools in the Precambrian granites of the Shillong plateau (eastern India), the Peace River deposit in Western Canada associated with faults in the basin of the Athabasca River which border the zone of the pericratonic tough of the Canadian Shied, and the giganitc deposits of the Hugoton-Panhandle region of the USA and the Augila-Nafoora-Amal deposit in Libya. In the Hugoton-Panhandle deposit, the upper Paleozoic sediments and the basement rocks contain, in addition to oil, 2000 billion m^3 of fuel gases and 10 billion m^3 of helium and its concentration in such vast amounts over a small area may be explained, as earlier noted by V. I. Vernadskiy, solely by the migration of gas from a great depth, where faults drain huge volumes of rocks of the lithosphere."
May I make a simple REQUEST TO COL PROUTY...
Sir. Please continue to provide YOUR PROVOCATIVE MATERIAL...and OFFER US THE FACTS, as YOU KNOW THEM. Those of us out in this media-blitzed wilderness LOVE TO DO RESEARCH. WE WILL EFFORT to track down the details and WE WILL DO OUR PART but KNOW WE NEED GUIDANCE and we beg you to continue to shine YOUR VERY BRIGHT AND WISDOM FILLED LIGHT on the ROAD A AHEAD FOR US, OFFERING JUST A LITTLE DIRECTION, NOW AND THEN! We are OVER-UNITY 'MACHINES' ... and WE SHALL NOT FAIL YOU!
My very BEST to you both of you & Len!
Daniel Reynolds Joyously Walking the grounds on which the Wright Brothers grew to fame, and VERY HAPPLY to be able to say so -- this day!
Petroleum Disscussion Update for March 1997
FOSSIL-FUEL THEORY DEBUNKED: OIL, GAS DEPOSITS CALLED PRIMORDIAL by Toldedo Blade
SEATTLE - The public's most widely known piece of geological knowledge--how petroleum and natual-gas deposts formed on Earth---is false, a noted scientist says. Surprisingly, his campaign to rewrite school textbooks and encyclopedias is getting grudging support from some geologists, who acknowledge that petroleum's origins may be dramatically different than what people believe.
Millions of Americans learned in grade school that oil deposits originated in the age of dinosaurs, when vegetation in lush forests was buried and subjected to high heat and pressure. Those extreme conditions supposedly transformed the hydrocarbons in vegetation into the hydrocarbons of petroleum.
"That's nonsense," snapped Thomas Gold, a scientist at Cornell University. "There's not a shred of evidence from chemistry, geology, or any other science to support it. It has no place in textbooks and school classrooms."
In appearances at the annual meeting of The American Association for the Advancement of Science in Seattle here that ended Thursday, Gold repeatedly challenged geologists to reconsider and reject the conventional theory.
Gold also presented evidence that oil and gas deposits on Earth are primordial. That means they came with the planet. They were part of the original raw material that formed the sun and planets, and deposited deep below Earth's surface when the planet formed 4.5 billion years ago.
Some of the oil gradually oozes upward from these original deposits 100 to 200 miles below the surface and collects where oil drillers can reach it.
In one presentation, Gold described shafts that he and associates drilled in an ancient meteorite impact crater in Sweden. They drilled into a kind of rock that was not sedimentary, not associated with the sediments believed to produce oil deposits.
At a depth of about 4 miles, they encluntered a hydrocarbon oil similar to light petroleum that Gold believes was primordial oil. He noted a variety of evidence to support the belief. Gold estimated that this single site contained "more petroleum than all of Saudi Arabia." With current technology, however, pumping it out would be impossible, he added. Gold contended that many other planets and planetary bodies in the solar system have similar deep deposits of hydrocarbons, which are the stuff of oil and natural gas. Gold argues that a primordial origin for petroleum is the only way to explain its chemical composition.
Petroleum originating from plant matter decayed by bacteria, similar to bacteria that decay backyard garden-compost piles, would resemble a microbial product. Instead, petroleum is chemically similar to a pure hydrocarbon that has been contaminated with microbial material. That contamination, he argues, occurred as petroleum seeped upward through rock now known to contain enormous amounts of bacterial life. In moving upward, petroleum also collected helium, explaining why oil wells are such a rich source of helium.
"This is the only possible explanation," Gold said. "The association of helium with petroleum has not been accounted for in any other way."
How do geologists respond?
They're beginning to listen, according to Michael Carr, who appeared on a panel where Gold presented his theory. Carr is a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Va. "Dr. Gold has some very, very good evidence, especially that involving helium," Carr said. "He certainly is challenging the geological community. There is a debate within the gological community." Carr said geologists plan to reconsider the conventional theory about petroleum formation at a major meting later in the year.
Once again, Prouty's assertions are backed by solid, credible people, and the next time Warren Commission apologists pooh-pooh Prouty, citing Prouty's "obviously ridiculous" views on petrol, just refer them to the above article.
May 25, 2004
By Chris Bennett
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
About 80 miles off of the coast of Louisiana lies a mostly submerged mountain, the top of which is known as Eugene Island. The portion underwater is an eerie-looking, sloping tower jutting up from the depths of the Gulf of Mexico, with deep fissures and perpendicular faults which spontaneously spew natural gas. A significant reservoir of crude oil was discovered nearby in the late '60s, and by 1970, a platform named Eugene 330 was busily producing about 15,000 barrels a day of high-quality crude oil.
By the late '80s, the platform's production had slipped to less than 4,000 barrels per day, and was considered pumped out. Done. Suddenly, in 1990, production soared back to 15,000 barrels a day, and the reserves which had been estimated at 60 million barrels in the '70s, were recalculated at 400 million barrels. Interestingly, the measured geological age of the new oil was quantifiably different than the oil pumped in the '70s.
Analysis of seismic recordings revealed the presence of a "deep fault" at the base of the Eugene Island reservoir which was gushing up a river of oil from some deeper and previously unknown source.
Similar results were seen at other Gulf of Mexico oil wells. Similar results were found in the Cook Inlet oil fields in Alaska. Similar results were found in oil fields in Uzbekistan. Similarly in the Middle East, where oil exploration and extraction have been underway for at least the last 20 years, known reserves have doubled. Currently there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 680 billion barrels of Middle East reserve oil.
Creating that much oil would take a big pile of dead dinosaurs and fermenting prehistoric plants. Could there be another source for crude oil?
An intriguing theory now permeating oil company research staffs suggests that crude oil may actually be a natural inorganic product, not a stepchild of unfathomable time and organic degradation. The theory suggests there may be huge, yet-to-be-discovered reserves of oil at depths that dwarf current world estimates.
The theory is simple: Crude oil forms as a natural inorganic process which occurs between the mantle and the crust, somewhere between 5 and 20 miles deep. The proposed mechanism is as follows:
There are a number of observations across the oil-producing regions of the globe that support this theory, and the list of proponents begins with Mendelev (who created the periodic table of elements) and includes Dr.Thomas Gold (founding director of Cornell University Center for Radiophysics and Space Research) and Dr. J.F. Kenney of Gas Resources Corporations, Houston, Texas.
In his 1999 book, "The Deep Hot Biosphere," Dr. Gold presents compelling evidence for inorganic oil formation. He notes that geologic structures where oil is found all correspond to "deep earth" formations, not the haphazard depositions we find with sedimentary rock, associated fossils or even current surface life.
He also notes that oil extracted from varying depths from the same oil field have the same chemistry oil chemistry does not vary as fossils vary with increasing depth. Also interesting is the fact that oil is found in huge quantities among geographic formations where assays of prehistoric life are not sufficient to produce the existing reservoirs of oil. Where then did it come from?
Another interesting fact is that every oil field throughout the world has outgassing helium. Helium is so often present in oil fields that helium detectors are used as oil-prospecting tools. Helium is an inert gas known to be a fundamental product of the radiological decay or uranium and thorium, identified in quantity at great depths below the surface of the earth, 200 and more miles below. It is not found in meaningful quantities in areas that are not producing methane, oil or natural gas. It is not a member of the dozen or so common elements associated with life. It is found throughout the solar system as a thoroughly inorganic product.
Even more intriguing is evidence that several oil reservoirs around the globe are refilling themselves, such as the Eugene Island reservoir not from the sides, as would be expected from cocurrent organic reservoirs, but from the bottom up.
Dr. Gold strongly believes that oil is a "renewable, primordial soup continually manufactured by the Earth under ultrahot conditions and tremendous pressures. As this substance migrates toward the surface, it is attached by bacteria, making it appear to have an organic origin dating back to the dinosaurs."
Smaller oil companies and innovative teams are using this theory to justify deep oil drilling in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, among other locations, with some success. Dr. Kenney is on record predicting that parts of Siberia contain a deep reservoir of oil equal to or exceeding that already discovered in the Middle East.
Could this be true?
In August 2002, in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (US)," Dr. Kenney published a paper, which had a partial title of "The genesis of hydrocarbons and the origin of petroleum." Dr. Kenney and three Russian coauthors conclude:
He was quoted as stating that "competent physicists, chemists, chemical engineers and men knowledgeable of thermodynamics have known that natural petroleum does not evolve from biological materials since the last quarter of the 19th century."
Deeply entrenched in our culture is the belief that at some point in the relatively near future we will see the last working pump on the last functioning oil well screech and rattle, and that will be that. The end of the Age of Oil. And unless we find another source of cheap energy, the world will rapidly become a much darker and dangerous place.
If Dr. Gold and Dr. Kenney are correct, this "the end of the world as we know it" scenario simply won't happen. Think about it ... while not inexhaustible, deep Earth reserves of inorganic crude oil and commercially feasible extraction would provide the world with generations of low-cost fuel. Dr. Gold has been quoted saying that current worldwide reserves of crude oil could be off by a factor of over 100.
A Hedberg Conference, sponsored by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, was scheduled to discuss and publicly debate this issue. Papers were solicited from interested academics and professionals. The conference was scheduled to begin June 9, 2003, but was canceled at the last minute. A new date has yet to be set.
Chris Bennett manages an environmental engineering division for a West Coast technology firm. He and his wife of 26 years make their home on the San Francisco Bay.