Notices
Results 1 to 28 of 28

Thread: How oil was created...

  1. #1 How oil was created... 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    13
    Oil has always mystified me. I always wondered, how could there be such huge amounts of oil created simply from organic material? My first theory was peat bogs, but then I realized that they are the origins of many of the large reserves of coal, but not necessarily oil. Then I had the idea that oil was a creation, not of biological processes, but something that occurs naturally in the geology of planets. But that is clearly not the case.

    But then not too long ago documentaries, and references to the "dead zones" in the world's bodies of water started appearing, and not too long ago, it occurred to me that this was probably the answer. The "dead zones" occur when you get massive algae blooms, which then die, and fall to the bottom of the body of water where they are consumed and broken down my massive numbers of bacteria, which use up all the oxygen in the water, creating a dead zone in which no life can exist.

    Then a few days ago I connected the dots, and realized that this was the only way that I could think of that you would get the necessary massive amounts of stable biological material, that would then be covered by sediments, which would, over the millennia be subjected to the extreme pressures necessary to create oil.

    While these "dead zones" have caused a great deal of alarm among scientists, there is no reason, in my opinion, to believe that they are a new phenomena. My guess is that throughout the history of the earth, and most especially during very warm periods, the creation of these "dead zones" has occurred. I don't know if you could call them a common occurrence, but they have happened often enough to create the massive reserves of oil we have been burning through at such an alarming rate.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Brighton UK
    Posts
    114
    To understand how oil was formed you first need to understand how limestone came about, however’ to cut a beautiful long story short’ when limestone was formed the organic gooey bit from inside the shell drained into hot underground reservoirs.


    Last edited by Christopher Ball; September 22nd, 2011 at 03:25 AM.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Washington State, USA
    Posts
    5,268
    say what???? The organic-gooey bit drained how?
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman Xelloss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    39
    Quote Originally Posted by Llewen View Post
    While these "dead zones" have caused a great deal of alarm among scientists, there is no reason, in my opinion, to believe that they are a new phenomena. My guess is that throughout the history of the earth, and most especially during very warm periods, the creation of these "dead zones" has occurred. I don't know if you could call them a common occurrence, but they have happened often enough to create the massive reserves of oil we have been burning through at such an alarming rate.
    They may not be new phenomena, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't trouble. Many food chains, and many human communities, depend on healthy marine ecosystems for their survival. Worse, we humans are the ones responsible for them this time around, so it certainly does bring up the issue of ethics and policy.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Brighton UK
    Posts
    114
    [QUOTE=Paleoichneum;284314]say what???? The organic-gooey bit drained how?[ my second choice would be gravity and rain /QUOTE]
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Washington State, USA
    Posts
    5,268
    Limestone forms over millions of years of ocean deposition of plankton sized organisms. gravity and rain would both be irrelevant at that point.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    While limestones provide some of the world's major reservoirs, especially in the Middle East, they are not source rocks. Source rocks are primarily shales and other fine grained sediments, with a high concentration of organic matter. The organic matter, derived primarily from zooplankton, is preserved in anoxic conditions. Through subsequent diagenesis and catagensis it is converted to kerogen, a complex mixture of varied hydrocarbons.

    Petroleum products are derived from this kerogen and driven by primary migration mechanisms into reservoir rocks where, if suitable traps and cap rocks exist, they will be trapped and can then be exploited. While Llewen is right that the dead zones (anoxic conditions) contributed to the formation of our petroleum reserves, we should bear in mind that such conditions on a global scale may have been responsible for the end Permian extinction - the one that makes the KT boundary event look like a minor blip. (That's reinforcement for Xelloss's point.)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Brighton UK
    Posts
    114
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Limestone forms over millions of years of ocean deposition of plankton sized organisms. gravity and rain would both be irrelevant at that point.

    Limestone forming over millions of year was classified because the planet was thought to be millions of years old before hand.

    It was thought millions of years old because of the time it took solid rock to become sand, or’ how long it took that pebbled beach to look like that sandy beach
    Sand derived from our missing landscapes, from such places as the Grand Canyon whilst soft and mud-like, there is a bit more to it but first things first, pebbles get bigger. Obviously they bash and grind together but the input is greater than the output, especially in the summer.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    739
    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Ball View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Limestone forms over millions of years of ocean deposition of plankton sized organisms. gravity and rain would both be irrelevant at that point.

    Limestone forming over millions of year was classified because the planet was thought to be millions of years old before hand.

    It was thought millions of years old because of the time it took solid rock to become sand, or’ how long it took that pebbled beach to look like that sandy beach
    Sand derived from our missing landscapes, from such places as the Grand Canyon whilst soft and mud-like, there is a bit more to it but first things first, pebbles get bigger. Obviously they bash and grind together but the input is greater than the output, especially in the summer.

    Your post sounds strangely similar to this:

    There shall in that time be rumors of things going astray, erm, and there shall be a great confusion as to where things really are, and nobody will really know where lieth those little things with the sort of raffia-work base, that has an attachment. At that time, a friend shall lose his friend's hammer, and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers that their fathers put there only just the night before, about eight o'clock.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Brighton UK
    Posts
    114
    I'm afaid you've lost me there PumaMan
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Washington State, USA
    Posts
    5,268
    The earth is known to be billions of years old based on multiple lines of evidence, such as various radioisotope dating techniques. It has noting what so ever to do with sand formation, which is known to be quite rapid or slow depending on the source rock.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Ball View Post
    I'm afaid you've lost me there PumaMan
    I think Puma man is saying your post was disjointed, poorly informed and largely irrelevant. He was trying to say it in the nicest possible way by quoting - I think - or paraphrasing a portion of the script of The Life of Brian, a Monty Python opus.

    Clearly you have an interest in and an enthusiasm for geology. However, you may benefit from further reading of some basic textbooks on the subject. Some of your ideas do seem a little weird.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Geo
    Geo is offline
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    273
    Quote Originally Posted by Llewen View Post
    Oil has always mystified me. I always wondered, how could there be such huge amounts of oil created simply from organic material?
    The energy in oil comes from the sun.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    171
    Ophiolite, thanks for explaining so clearly the process. However, carbonates like limestones can be source rocks AND reservoir. The classic example is La Luna limestone in Venezuela.

    To answer to Llewen:
    If you want to remember how oil is generated, think of it as a system. A petroleum system must include:
    - A source rock: there are 2 types of source rocks which can give oil. The Type I comes from deep lake, algae are buried in sediments without oxygen. The Type II is coming from marine conditions, usually deep seas without oxygen at the bottom (often narrow ocean). The algae and plankton are buried and transform under pressure and temperature. The modelling of the maturation of the source rock is complex depending on the burial history and the heat flows.
    - Migration from this source rock to a reservoir rock. The migration process is pretty complex, it can occur mainly vertically down to up, laterally to some extent. There are very few cases where the oil has migrated more than 100 km.
    - Reservoir rock. Sometimes, as in La Luna limestones, the source rock IS the reservoir rock. The reservoir rock must have a certain porosity, basically the % of free space, of "holes" in the rock, to contain the oil. It must have also permeability i.e. allow the oil to flow in the well
    - Trap and Seal: if you have a reservoir but no geological structure like anticline, salt diapir etc... to keep the oil, this is useless. You also need to have a seal, it means a cover of usually shales to keep the oil in this trap.
    - Preservation: if the burial depth is not enough, if there are bacteria, if the heat flow is increasing (volcanism), the oil might be destroyed or modified.

    Finally, it is important to have these events correctly set in time. To have, for example, the seal and trap already in place when migration occurs. All this can be model in 1D, 2D and 3D by software and give an idea of the possible oil accumulations in a given region, their size and the nature of the oil.
    "Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
    Luxe, calme et volupté."
    (Baudelaire, L'Invitation au Voyage)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Behind the enlightening rod.
    Posts
    936
    There is much here for consideration, no?

    Abiogenic petroleum origin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.- Thucydides
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cardiff, Wales
    Posts
    5,810
    i wondered how long it would take before that old chestnut reared its head

    quoting from the start of the wikipedia article :

    "Abiogenic petroleum origin is a largely abandoned hypothesis that was proposed as an alternative to theory of biological petroleum origin. It was relatively popular in the past, but it went largely forgotten at the end of the 20th century after it failed to predict the location of new wells.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by Makandal View Post
    Ophiolite, thanks for explaining so clearly the process. However, carbonates like limestones can be source rocks AND reservoir. The classic example is La Luna limestone in Venezuela.
    You are quite correct. For those wishing more information on limestone as a source rock this is a good summary. There is specific information on La Luna formation here. I visited Venezuela in 1979 and I am annoyed I did not know this about its petroleum reserves.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    16
    The discovery of lime stone was the milestone in the discovery of the mineral oils.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Geo
    Geo is offline
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    273
    Sandstones make up three quarters of the reserviors. Limestone the other quarter.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by Geo View Post
    Sandstones make up three quarters of the reserviors. Limestone the other quarter.
    I interpret your post as an implicit correction of mentor's contribution. However you may have overlooked the point that mentor was going for humour rather than accuracy: limestone is an anagram of milestone. Loam inliers clearly have no part to play in the process.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    984
    Sand derived from our missing landscapes, from such places as the Grand Canyon whilst soft and mud-like, there is a bit more to it but first things first, pebbles get bigger. Obviously they bash and grind together but the input is greater than the output, especially in the summer.
    Pebbles get bigger? What is the supposed mechanism of this? Do they grow? Where did you get this idea? What input?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Forum Freshman John L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Cary, NC
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    i wondered how long it would take before that old chestnut reared its head

    quoting from the start of the wikipedia article :

    "Abiogenic petroleum origin is a largely abandoned hypothesis that was proposed as an alternative to theory of biological petroleum origin. It was relatively popular in the past, but it went largely forgotten at the end of the 20th century after it failed to predict the location of new wells.
    Isn't Wikipedia that same place that said pretty much the same thing about AGW Skepticism, and went out of its way to make it virtually impossible to have the other side of the issue posted there for more than perhaps 24 hours?
    We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang seperately. -Benjamin Franklin

    http://ai-jane.org/bb/index.php
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Washington State, USA
    Posts
    5,268
    Point being? What does the AGW Skepticism talk page say about the editions who promoted that viewpoint.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cardiff, Wales
    Posts
    5,810
    Quote Originally Posted by John L View Post
    Isn't Wikipedia that same place that said pretty much the same thing about AGW Skepticism, and went out of its way to make it virtually impossible to have the other side of the issue posted there for more than perhaps 24 hours?
    echoing Paleoichneum's post, this thread is about abiogenic oil not AGW
    the content and quality of Wikipedia, as everyone should know, is variable but in general tends to reflect the scientific consensus

    the only reason i quoted from wikipedia is because The Finger Prince mentioned it
    i could have found other sources to show that abiogenic oil is an outdated theory that had its day but has not been proven useful to find new wells

    say anything about geology, but when it comes to the petrochemical industry what matters is not wasting 40 million dollars for a well that turns out to be dry
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    Forum Freshman John L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Cary, NC
    Posts
    23
    Certainly you both are joking, correct?

    If a web site has a well deserved reputation of playing fast and loose with one concept, what make you think they are not capable of doing same with another?

    And how do you know that all those hydrocarbons are the product of fossils? Using that criteria, perhaps we are already driving on good intent? Come on! I may have been born at night, but certainly not last night.

    And if you are using 'dry holes' as any indication of validity, if you consider the tremendous number of 'dry holes' produced in the search for 'so called' fossil fuel, how does the presence of 'dry holes' detract from the theory of abiotic oil?

    And a 'scientific consensus'? Holy Cow, there is no such thing as a REAL scientific consensus in science. All it takes is one scientist making a correct statement, to blow away one thousand making an incorrect pronouncement. If fifty-plus-one percent of scientists claim that the moon is made of green cheese, then we have a consensus, right? I believe the late Michael Crichton was 'spot on' about this. Do I need to quote him here?

    Let me throw out something here. If the oceans sequester vast amounts of carbon, where does all this carbon go? Does it just float around forever, or does it settle out on the ocean floor? Or perhaps both? And if it does collect on the ocean floor, what happens to it when plates move downward as the result of subduction? Do you think all those rich chemicals reaching the inner furnace just sit there and do nothing? Because if so, due to the age of the planet, we would be sterile due to all the material under the crust that was never vented back due to inner pressure.

    It is totally absurd to think that hydrocarbons are the sole result of dead plants. If so, we would have already run out of petroleum.

    And here's something else. Instead of an 'all-or-nothing' outlook, isn't it perhaps logical to think that hydrocarbons may have been produced through both avenues? Food for thought.
    We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang seperately. -Benjamin Franklin

    http://ai-jane.org/bb/index.php
    Reply With Quote  
     

  27. #26  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    From a fellow John, hello John and welcome to the forum. There are two strands to your post and the first is off topic, so I shall deal with it only briefly.

    To say wikipedia 'played fast and loose with AGW deniers' is application of the logical fallacy begging the question. (Logical fallacies are not my forte, so if it's a different one don't get upset.)


    Now as to your on-topic arguments.

    Quote Originally Posted by John L View Post
    And how do you know that all those hydrocarbons are the product of fossils?
    Well none of them are the products of fossils as far as I know. I don't know of anyone responsible who says they are. They are the product of the organic portions of plankton, primarily zooplankton.


    Quote Originally Posted by John L View Post
    And if you are using 'dry holes' as any indication of validity, if you consider the tremendous number of 'dry holes' produced in the search for 'so called' fossil fuel, how does the presence of 'dry holes' detract from the theory of abiotic oil?
    I think the argument being used by marnix is that the oil and gas exploration industry would be using abiotic theory to search for oil if it had shown a capacity to direct them to strikes. (Dry holes in exploration drilling are now much less common.)

    Quote Originally Posted by John L View Post
    And a 'scientific consensus'? Holy Cow, there is no such thing as a REAL scientific consensus in science.
    So when almost every practising geologist on the face of the planet subscribes to the paradigm of plate tectonics that's not a consensus? That's not a REAL consensus? Explain please.

    Quote Originally Posted by John L View Post
    All it takes is one scientist making a correct statement, to blow away one thousand making an incorrect pronouncement.
    At which point the consensus will change. The consensus represents the best balanced explanation for current observations currently available. If new information becomes available that contradicts that consensus then that consensus will change. That is how science operates. So while stating the obvious you don't seem to have actually said anything new, startling or relevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by John L View Post
    I believe the late Michael Crichton was 'spot on' about this. .
    Please do quote the late paperback novelist and purveyor of poorly researched pulp fiction. I'm sure his thoughts will make a valuable contribution to the debate.



    Quote Originally Posted by John L View Post
    Let me throw out something here. If the oceans sequester vast amounts of carbon, where does all this carbon go? Does it just float around forever, or does it settle out on the ocean floor?
    It is sequestered in solution. Subject to temperature/pressure and other chemical content of the seawater it remains in solution. It does not settle out on the ocean floor, except for those parts that are taken up by photosynthetic organisms and subsequently eaten by zooplankton.


    Quote Originally Posted by John L View Post
    Do you think all those rich chemicals reaching the inner furnace just sit there and do nothing? Because if so, due to the age of the planet, we would be sterile due to all the material under the crust that was never vented back due to inner pressure.
    Do hydrocarbons survive all that well in furnaces? Some carbon dioxide from carbonates or organic rich sediments does eventually find its way back into the atmosphere via volcanic activity. A substantial proportion of the CO2 in eruptions is thought to be recycled. What makes you think that a significant proportion of hydrocarbons survives the temperatures and percolates through impermeable rock to reach reservoirs? i.e. What is the survival mechanism? What is the transport mechanism?


    Quote Originally Posted by John L View Post
    It is totally absurd to think that hydrocarbons are the sole result of dead plants. If so, we would have already run out of petroleum.
    I agreee. Since the bulk of petroleum hydrocrabons are formed from zooplankton it is absurd to think they are the sole result of dead plants.


    Quote Originally Posted by John L View Post
    And here's something else. Instead of an 'all-or-nothing' outlook, isn't it perhaps logical to think that hydrocarbons may have been produced through both avenues? Food for thought.
    It is not logical if you are unable to provide mechanisms for the survival and transport of the hydrocarbons.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  28. #27  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Washington State, USA
    Posts
    5,268
    So the question John L is how much personal experience have you had with wikipedia? Are you just attacking from what you have heard or can you provide links to the two page versions you are talking about.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  29. #28  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cardiff, Wales
    Posts
    5,810
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I think the argument being used by marnix is that the oil and gas exploration industry would be using abiotic theory to search for oil if it had shown a capacity to direct them to strikes.
    that was indeed my intention - petrochemical geologists may not give one hoot for wikipedia, but they do care about any theory that will help them strike oil or gas with greater reliability
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. can water be created from air?
    By wisdom in forum Chemistry
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: March 22nd, 2008, 08:14 AM
  2. Have we ever created life?
    By Kabooom in forum Biology
    Replies: 60
    Last Post: January 26th, 2007, 01:43 PM
  3. you will not believe this ... how iron was created ?!
    By elegant video in forum Scientific Study of Religion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: December 20th, 2006, 03:47 PM
  4. Why ask who created God?
    By jan ardena in forum Scientific Study of Religion
    Replies: 102
    Last Post: November 22nd, 2006, 08:15 PM
  5. how is water created
    By Pep in forum Chemistry
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: November 27th, 2005, 11:04 AM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •