Epiphanyblog

All about ideas…

Are Oil Prices Misleading? An Unknown Discussion on the Origins of Oil.

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Chinese symbolI’ve just finished rereading The Emperor’s Tomb, by Steve Berry. It’s a suspense filled, fictional tale between two factions within the Chinese hierarchy…and which both exist in reality today. The book, as in all of Berry’s books, incorporates a great deal of real, documented history. In this case, it’s the history of Chinese innovation and technology along with its historical political past.

But what is most interesting is a theory about oil which has been ignored or is unknown. First a little background.

The Chinese first drilled for oil 2,500 years ago. Those ancients not only used oil but also Ancient Chinese Philosophersnatural or methane gas – which is a product associated with oil deposits – to light their lamps and one can assume for cooking. But that technology was lost as succeeding governing powers wiped away the history, and technology, of preceding generations.

In 1757, Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov, to presented to the Imperial Academy of Sciences, wrote that oil was a product of fossil fuel degeneration under extreme pressure. “Rock oil originates as tiny bodies of animals buried in the sediments which, under the increased influence of increased temperature and pressure,acting during an unimaginably long periods of time, transform into rock oil.”

From Lomonosov’s theorem, modern society derives the notion that oil is a limited biotic source that will decline over time as usage increases. Obviously, OPEC and other oil producing states have made great amounts of money from this theorem and in promoting it.

But what if that theorem is only half the story?

In 1956, the senior petroleum exploration geologist for the USSR said, The overwhelming preponderance of geological evidence compels the conclusion that crude oil and natural petroleum gas have no intrinsic connection with biological matter originating near the surface of the Earth. They are primordial materials which have been erupting from great depths. What this geologist talked about was abiotic oil. In other words, oil that the earth, deep down beyond beyond the point at which most drilling reaches, creates a continual supply of oil and is infinite whereas biotic oil, from ancient fossils, is finite.

However, few people listened or paid attention. In 2005, Raymond Learsy’s book Over a Barrel noted ..scarity – or more accurately, the perception of scarcity – spells opportunity for manipulators. And so it has. Oil is not scarce. We only fear that it is.

Nevertheless, deep wells in Gulf of Mexico are depleting at an astoundingly slow rate which has confounded American experts. Many scientists have come to believe that oil originates solely from organic compounds, and not just from ancient fossils.

If it is true that abiotic oil exists in these deep wells which are constantly replenished by the earth itself, then the notion of scarcity is not only wrong but has placed a higher than necessary price tag on oil.

Of course, that’s not to say we, as a nation and as a world overall should not look for cleaner sources of energy, especially in light of the fact that technological advances require ever increasing amounts of energy sources. Anyone who has seen the amount of air pollution in Chinese cities easily understands the need to reduce oil consumption air pollution that promises to kill millions and increase health related expenses beyond the point any society can afford. It only makes economical sense that the world transitions from dirty, polluting energy to cleaner, non-polluting energy to lessen the many costs associated with burning higher polluting fuels.

But it is worth noting – and discussing – that the current ideology of oil scarcity, which keeps oil prices high, may be false.

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