When I was growing up, and in school, I remember first hearing this theory that Oil was a Fossil Fuel. In other words, oil came from deceased dinosaurs. So where did this concept of Oil being a fossil fuel originate? This theory comes from a German scientist by the name of Georgius Agricola back in the mid 1500’s. This theory was also proffered, and expanded, by a Russian Scientist by the name of Mikhail Lomonosov in the 1700’s.
Considering, back then, what oil we knew about was found close to the surface of the earth, either in pits, or just beneath the ground. For the time the theory probably made perfect sense. After all, there was no real evidence either way.
What is important to understand about the concept of Fossil fuels is this. If this theory is true, then oil is a non-renewable resource because it takes millions of years to form, and reserves are being depleted much faster than new ones are being made.
Back in 1932 the Sinclair Oil Corporation created one of the most recognizable advertising mascots in the country; a large green dinosaur named Dino. The concept was done in an effort to drive home the fact that Sinclair oil came from Pennsylvania crude oil, which was supposedly millions of years old, and had been around since the age of the dinosaurs. Sinclair Oil believed that the oldest crude oils make the best refined oils, and they felt that a dinosaur would get this point across to the public. Dino the dinosaur reinforced this concept of fossil fuels in the minds of many.
Several years ago, the Wall Street Journal ran an article that touched on this topic. In that story it noted that it "would take a pretty big pile of dead dinosaurs to account for the estimated 660 billion barrels of oil in the [Middle East]." Considering that a barrel of oil is 42 U.S Gallons, some people have wondered how many barrels of oil are formed by one deceased dinosaur. At 5 barrels of oil per dinosaur that would require more than 130 billion dinosaurs to have lived and died in just one small region of the world. Now, let’s put the number of 130 Billion into perspective. Currently the worlds human population is somewhere near 7-billion. It is estimated that number could rise to 9-billion by the year 2050.
We're bombarded all the time that the earth simply cannot sustain that size of a human population, and we must do something to curb that growth. After all, how do we feed that many people?
The total number of how many humans have lived on this earth varies widely. Some put the total at over 100-billion, others estimate far less. If the number was over 100-billion, where are all the artifacts of those people? However, for the sake of this discussion, let’s assume the number to be over 100-billion.
Now, think of this. A dinosaur is larger than a human being. It consumes more food than a human being. If there were at least 130-billion dinosaurs in the Middle East to produce their oil reserves, then how many hundreds of billions of other dinosaurs roamed the other parts of the world? Perhaps a trillion? Others who have pondered this question have asked what attracted these dinosaurs to the Middle East, the lush vegetation to eat and abundent water supply?
If there were really hundreds of billions of dinosaurs roaming the earth, then one has to wonder why there is all this talk now of overpopulation and scarce resources, when all we are currently dealing with is a few billion humans populating the same earth?
There is another, more recent remake of the 'fossil fuel' theory. This theory states that microscopic animals and other biological matter (maybe dinosaur droppings?) ended up on the world's ocean sea floors, and that organic matter was covered over with sediment over the course of millions of years. That idea is also problematic, as most biological matter would decompose long before being covered over by any sediment.
All these above mentioned theories are nothing more than an attempt to hold on to the original premise circulated back in the 1500’s and 1700’s, and there is a reason for that, as there is a political and financial consideration.
In 1951, a group of Soviet scientists led by Nikolai Kudryavtsev claimed that this theory of oil production, with oil being a “fossil fuel” was total nonsense, and simply not credible. Their exhaustive research concluded that hydrocarbons, the principal molecular constituents of oil, are generated deep within the earth from inorganic materials. Their theory promotes the “abiotic theory,” which means petroleum has no association with biological material.
Not many people outside of Russia (or the former Soviet Union) paid much attention to this body of work, but one who did was a man by the name of Dr. J. F. Kenney. Kenney is an American who worked for the Russian Academy of Sciences, and provides a compelling synopsis of that theory. You can read his paper by clicking here.
There is also one other issue you don’t hear that much about, and that being the (supposedly) exhausted and capped oil wells mysteriously refilling. There have been a number of published stories about these phenomena, for if it is true, it blasts a major hole in the “fossil fuel” theory. Even the New York Times posed this question in a headline back on September 26, 1995: “COULD it be that many of the world's oil fields are refilling themselves at nearly the same rate they are being drained by an energy-hungry world?”
It appears that, unbeknownst to most people, that there has been two competing theories concerning the origins of petroleum. The first theory, the one found in most textbooks in our public schools, claims that oil is an organic 'fossil fuel.' It further states that it was deposited in finite quantities near the planet's surface, and will someday run out. This theory is highly embraced by the radical environmentalist, as it gives some level of “credibility” to their goal to eliminate the gasoline powered engine, and oil based home heating. It is clear that for many years many have claimed that we are running out of oil. During the 1970s there were those that claimed, assuming no rise in consumption, all known oil reserves would be entirely consumed in just 31 years. Obviously that has not happened.
The other theory, backed by a massive body of critical research, shows that oil is continuously generated by natural processes in the Earth's magma. What is important to note is that this theory represents over fifty years of intense scientific inquiry. The other theory, the one propagated in our school system, is an unproven relic of the distant past.
One theory anticipates deep oil reserves, refillable oil fields, migratory oil systems, deep sources of generation, and the spontaneous venting of gas and oil. The other theory has a difficult time explaining any such documented occurrences.
Here are some other things to consider, as you ponder the price at the pump. There are reputable scientists that firmly believe that the United States has more un-tapped oil reserves inside our borders, which if used, could help us move to energy independence. As of now, those numbers vary widely, but even at the lowest estimates, are very significant.
So the question is why do we not tap into these reserves? Though somewhat complex, the answer is rather simple. Remember two words: “Supply & Demand.” Let’s look at this example. Back in the 1970’s gasoline prices were about 35-cents per gallon. At that time, much of our oil was being imported from the Middle East, as it was virtually cheaper to import than to drill at home.
At the time, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) desired to have a major say in the worldwide price of crude oil. Frankly, they wanted more money. On two occasions, oil prices rose steeply in a volatile market, triggered by the Arab oil embargo in 1973 and the outbreak of the Iranian Revolution in 1979. In 1973, members of OPEC reduced, or even ceased production, causing a worldwide oil shortage. There were many lines at gas stations across America, and there were strict limits on how much gas you could buy. Within a matter of months the price of gasoline doubled. By the late 1970’s, they topped $1.00 a gallon, which became the “new normal.”
At the same time, you had environmentalist that opposed the use of “fossil fuel.” It’s a strange marriage between the environmental movement, and the corporate interest. It seems that both groups are getting what they desire. For the environmentalist, a reduction in the use of oil, for the corporate interest, a high price for what they sell. The truth is that many believe that our “short supply” is artificial, and is what keeps the price of oil artificially high.
For the past several years there have been all types of reasons given for the ever increasing price for oil. For a while the “new normal” was $2.00 per gallon, then $2.50 per gallon. We are now being prepared for a “new normal” of upwards of $4.00, or even more, per gallon.
Sadly, what’s even worse is that the United States stands alone in the world as the only nation that has placed a substantial amount of its domestic oil and natural gas potential off-limits to production. The question is why? Whose interests are really being served? Obviously not the needs of the American people. Add to that the problem of being decades behind in refining capacity.
As cited in a New York Times article in 2005, there has been no new oil refineries built since 1976, though demand has risen over 25%. The bottom line is this: Americans have been tricked into a combination of “junk science” (fossil fuel theory) and artificially controlled supply and demand.
That reflects the awesome control that radical environmentalists, and corporate special interests, have over Congress and the Presidency. With high fuel prices, Americans might be ready to put an end to that control.