Nonrenewable Resource?

This article on underwater oil fields is full of surprises. Here are some quotes:

Deep underwater, and deeper underground, scientists see surprising hints that gas and oil deposits can be replenished, filling up again, sometimes rapidly.

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.

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.

Roberts added that natural seepage in places like the Gulf of Mexico “far exceeds anything that gets spilled” by oil tankers and other sources.

Analysis of the ancient oil that seems to be coming up from deep below in the Gulf of Mexico suggests that the flow of new oil “is coming from deeper, hotter formations” and is not simply a lateral inflow from the old deposits that surround existing oil fields, she said. The chemical composition of the migrating oil also indicates it is being driven upward and is being altered by highly pressurized gases squeezing up from below.

Quick! Sell your windmill stock!

1 Comment

  1. Chris
    Apr 29, 2002

    I read an article a while ago (I think it was in Wired) about a scientist who believed that fossil fuels were the by-product of a natural biological process, something about bacteria reacting with some type of inert matter, maybe it was dead animal and insect matter. I don’t remember the details. The article tended to present him as a kook…but the newsday article seems to be suggesting the same possibility.