Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Oil Doesn’t Come from Squashed Ferns and Fish??

Understanding the origin of petroleum is not an arcane subject of interest only among academics. Rather, it has vast political and economic ramifications including refuting the idea that oil is a finite resource found only in relation to sedimentary rock in certain areas of the world such as the Middle East.

As this article goes on to say, it is likely that oil is not formed from fossil plant and animal remains but is a natural accumulation of hydrocarbons (Hydrogen and Carbon compounds) inside the Earth's crust that occurred when the planet formed. Hydrocarbons are common in the universe and it makes sense that, when the Earth formed billions of years ago, it would have included, among the heavier elements, vast amounts of these compounds.

The ramifications here mean that there should be a lot more oil inside our planet, at many levels, than we have been led to believe. We won't run out of this material at anytime soon so the price of oil should never be astronomical - it is only a matter of having enough refineries to keep up with the demand.

One problem remains. If we continue to dig up this stuff and burn it we will end up polluting our atmosphere. We will still require alternative energy sources, not because we will run out of oil in the near future, but because we will face global warming from pollution.

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