Thursday, October 29, 2009


From Power and Control:
Mystery in the Gulf

In 1973 oil was discovered in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 80 miles south of Louisiana known as Eugene Island 330. Producing 15,000 barrels per day, it was thought the well had seen better days when in 1989 its output dropped to 4,000 barrels per day. In 1990 the production of the well increased to about 13,000 barrels daily and has held steady. Although its output has slightly dropped it still refuses to run dry.

Want a Refill - Is That Possible?

Scientist working at the site discovered two important changes in the oil properties. Its age was was more recent than in previous years and its temperature was hotter. Using 3-D seismic technology scientist found a deep fault at the bottom of the well. What they saw startled, intrigued, and forced them to rethink the origins of oil. What they clearly saw was a deep fault gushing oil and refilling the well. There was no debate about it.

Mystery in the Mideast and Elsewhere

It's been said that the Mideast oil was a finite resource and could last 40 or 50 years at best. Yet over the past 25 years, reserves have more than doubled. With no new wells geologist have been hard pressed to explain why and it appears there is no end in sight. These fields have been methodically exploited since the first gusher was discovered. Today, OPEC is pumping over 30 million barrels of oil per day.

Cook Island in the Gulf of Mexico and oil fields in Uzbekistan are other examples of wells that refuse to dry out. Many wells around the world are refilling.
Of course, we reported, here at Astute Bloggers, that scientists in Sweden had discovered that oil is a naturally occurring substance in nature.

Perhals oil is a renewable resource - a by-product of natural geothermal activity in and around the Earth's core??:
Deep underwater, and deeper underground, scientists see surprising hints that gas and oil deposits can be replenished, filling up again, sometimes rapidly.

Although it sounds too good to be true, increasing evidence from the Gulf of Mexico suggests that some old oil fields are being refilled by petroleum surging up from deep below, scientists report. That may mean that current estimates of oil and gas abundance are far too low.

Recent measurements in a major oil field show "that the fluids were changing over time; that very light oil and gas were being injected from below, even as the producing [oil pumping] was going on," said chemical oceanographer Mahlon "Chuck" Kennicutt. "They are refilling as we speak. But whether this is a worldwide phenomenon, we don´t know."

Also not known, Kennicutt said, is whether the injection of new oil from deeper strata is of any economic significance, whether there will be enough to be exploitable. The discovery was unexpected, and it is still "somewhat controversial" within the oil industry.

Kennicutt, a faculty member at Texas A&M University, said it is now clear that gas and oil are coming into the known reservoirs very rapidly in terms of geologic time. The inflow of new gas, and some oil, has been detectable in as little as three to 10 years. In the past, it was not suspected that oil fields can refill because it was assumed the oil formed in place, or nearby, rather than far below.

According to marine geologist Harry Roberts, at Louisiana State University, "petroleum geologists don´t accept it as a general phenomenon because it doesn´t happen in most reservoirs. But in this case, it does seem to be happening. You have a very leaky fault system that does allow it to migrate in. It´s directly connected to an oil and gas generating system at great depth."

What the scientists suspect is that very old petroleum -- formed tens of millions of years ago -- has continued migrating up into reservoirs that oil companies have been exploiting for years. But no one had expected that depleted oil fields might refill themselves.

Now, if it is found that gas and oil are coming up in significant amounts, and if the same is occurring in oil fields around the globe, then a lot more fuel than anyone expected could become available eventually. It hints that the world may not, in fact, be running out of petroleum.

"No one has been more astonished by the potential implications of our work than myself," said analytic chemist Jean Whelan, at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, in Massachusetts. "There already appears to be a large body of evidence consistent with ... oil and gas generation and migration on very short time scales in many areas globally," she wrote in the journal Sea Technology.

"Almost equally surprising," she added, is that "there seem to be no compelling arguments refuting the existence of these rapid, dynamic migration processes."

The first sketchy evidence of this emerged in 1984, when Kennicutt and colleagues from Texas A&M University were in the Gulf of Mexico trying to understand a phenomenon called "seeps," areas on the seafloor where sometimes large amounts of oil and gas escape through natural fissures.

"Our first discovery was with trawls. We knew it was an area of massive seepage, and we expected that the oil seeps would poison everything around" the site. But they found just the opposite.

"On the first trawl, we brought up over two tons of stuff. We had a tough time getting the nets back on board because they were so full" of very odd-looking sea floor creatures, Kennicutt said. "They were long strawlike things that turned out to be tube worms.

"The clams were the first thing I noticed," he added. "They were pretty big, like the size of your hand, and it was obvious they had red blood inside, which is unusual. And these long tubes -- 3, 4 and 5 feet long -- we didn´t know what they were, but they started bleeding red fluid, too. We didn´t know what to make of it."

The biologists they consulted did know what to make of it. "The experts immediately recognized them as chemo-synthetic communities," creatures that get their energy from hydrocarbons -- oil and gas -- rather than from ordinary foods. So these animals are very much like, but still different from, recently discovered creatures living near very hot seafloor vent sites in the Pacific, Atlantic and other oceans.

The difference, Kennicutt said, is that the animals living around cold seeps live on methane and oil, while the creatures growing near hot water vents exploit sulfur compounds in the hot water.

The discovery of abundant life where scientists expected a deserted seafloor also suggested that the seeps are a long-duration phenomenon. Indeed, the clams are thought to be about 100 years old, and the tube worms may live as long as 600 years, or more, Kennicutt said.
I am skeptical of the above article. It is written by Robert Cooke, who is purported to be a Staff Writer for Newsday, but it's most recent major publication was Rense.com. I am unable to source the article to Newsday.

Here, however, is Robert Cooke's Random House Biography page, which does back up the claim that he, indeed, writes on science and medicine for major newspapers, including The Boston Globe, The Atlantic journal and Constitution, and Newsday.

I'm sure more shall reveal itself.

For now, however, suffice it to say, the evidence is leaning towards the theory that oil is a natually occurring substance which emits from some forces within the Earth.



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