Scientists Claim Fossils Unnecessary for “Fossil Fuels”
By Jerry A. Kane
Peak Oil cult membership may wane now that scientists have proved fossil fuels can be created synthetically by replicating the high pressure, high temperature conditions found in the upper mantle of the earth’s crust. In other words, the fossils of animals and plants aren’t needed to produce oil and gas, which means oil and natural gas will be easier to find and may abound all over the world.
The three-member team (Vladimir Kutcherov, Anton Kolesnikov, Alexander Goncharov) of research scientists at the Lomonosov Moscow State Academy of Fine Chemical Technology and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm have simulated the process of generating hydrocarbons, the primary elements of oil and natural gas. Gaseous hydrocarbons are produced naturally in the inner strata of the earth’s crust by pressure and heat.
Kutcherov says the research clearly indicates that oil supplies are not drying up, a persistent fear of experts and researchers in the field.
“There is no doubt that our research has shown that raw oil and natural gas occur without the inclusion of fossils. All types of rock formations can act as hosts for oil deposits,” Kutcherov claims.
The energy required to produce synthetic fuels is prohibitive, so the researchers have promoted their discovery as an aid to conventional drilling rather than for surface level production of synthetic fossil fuels. Drilling for oil and natural gas is an expensive process, and the scientists estimate their discovery will increase drilling accuracy from 20 – 70 percent, which will create a cost savings for both petroleum companies and consumers.
According to Kutcherov, 61 percent of the world’s total energy consumption comes from raw oil and natural gas, a fact that makes his team’s findings extremely important.
Currently, the researchers are looking to refine the method that makes it easier to locate drilling points for oil and natural gas. Their findings were published online July 26 and appear in the scientific journal Nature Geoscience 2 566 – 570 (2009).