There is plenty of oil in the ground. The statement, “No super giant oil fields have been discovered since 1968”, is oil company propaganda.
The following list of super giant oil fields (those believed to have 5 billion or more barrels or recoverable oil), discovered since 1968, is by no means exclusive. One super-giant field discovery proves the statement that no super giant fields have been discovered since 1968 false.
- 2008 Santos Basin, Off the coast of Brazil, estimated 40 billion barrels.
- 2008 Carioca, Off the coast of Brazil, estimated 10-33 billion barrels.
- 2008 Tupi, Off the coast of Brazil, estimated 5-8 billion barrels.
- 2007 Bohai bay, Off the northeast coast of China, estimated 7.5 billion barrels.
- 2006 Gulf of Mexico, 175 miles off coast of Louisiana, estimated 3-15 billion barrels.
- 2006 Gulf of Mexico, Noxal Field, off of Veracruz Mexico, estimated 20 billion barrels.
- 2003 Ferdows, Iran, Estimated 8 billion barrels.
- 2001 Azadegan, Iran, Estimated 26 billion barrels.
- 2000 Kashagan, under the Caspian Sea, 13 billion barrels.
- 1999 Kra al-Marow,Kuwait, up to 70 billion barrels.
- 1996 White Tiger (basement rock oil), Viet Nam, 5 billion barrels.
Exploration actually began in the South Viet Nam region in the 1970’s. Oil was discovered in the White Tiger oil field sometime between 1981 and 1986 however, the initial discovery did not qualify the field as a super giant. Oil in the granite basement rock, which gave White Tiger super giant status, was not discovered until 1996. To this date there is argument with respect to whether that oil is biotic or abiotic in origin. Many sources refer to this as a giant rather than super giant field, however, the estimated recoverable reserves are 700 million tons, 1 ton = 7.3 barrels, so by that math 5.11 billion barrels which is super giant status.
Recently, a huge coal discovery in Norway amounts to 3.5 times the total amount of coal previously known to exist in the Earth’s crust. A friend from South Africa mentioned that he thought it odd that we get so excited about oil here in the United States in that where he is from, South Africa, most petrol is made from coal, and the United States has huge coal reserves.
First, assuming oil is only biological in origin, this is wrong and there are many reasons to believe this, but for now, I’ll play into the oil industry hype and pretend oil is only of biotic origin. The first photosynthetic bacteria appeared on Earth somewhere between 3.5 billion years and 2.7 billion years ago, and spent the next 2 billion years converting carbon dioxide and water into free oxygen and hydrocarbons and they’ve continued to do so as animal lifeforms and natural processes have converted some of those hydrocarbons back into carbon dioxide and water. So far the biological oil we have tapped has been that which was produced from 360-270 million years ago. Also, most of the oil we have tapped has been biological in as much as we’ve only looked for oil where we would find biological sources, in sedimentary deposits.
What happened to the hydrocarbons produced during the two plus billion years that proceeded that when most of the carbon dioxide was removed from the atmosphere? In terms of sheer bulk that has to be much greater than that produced from 360-270 million years ago based both on the amount of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere and in terms of the time frame cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) and other photosynthetic organisms have been reducing carbon dioxide and synthesizing hydrocarbons.
About 250 million years ago, the Permian mass extinction occurred where in something on the order of 92% of the species went extinct. We’re not really sure exactly what happened, but we know there were massive volcanic episodes with the release of huge amounts of magma, evidence for an impact of a Mt. Everest sized asteroid, world-wide fires, very low atmospheric oxygen levels and high carbon dioxide levels as well as hydrogen sulfide levels. We know that parts of the Earth’s mantle appears to have been spread across the crust. We know that most species went
By 140 million years ago, plant life had again returned the atmosphere to one heavy in oxygen, actually around 35% oxygen at that time. So where are the hydrocarbons those critters should have formed?
Here is the thing, carbon is not created by life; it preexisted in the Earth’s crust. Same is true for oxygen, and for hydrogen. We also know that if we take limestone, calcium carbonate, iron oxide, and water, and we heat them to the temperature of the mantle at a depth of approximately 100km, and at the pressures present there, we get a mix of hydrocarbons identical to natural petroleum.
If we look at planetary bodies farther from the sun, we see that hydrocarbons are abundant on them in spite of the lack of the conditions conducive to photosynthetic life.
The bottom line is all the chemical components necessary for hydrocarbons were present during the Earth’s formation, and the heat and pressure present in the Earth’s mantle alone are sufficient to turn them into a mix of hydrocarbons identical to natural petroleum. We know this because we’ve reproduced these conditions in the laboratory and made oil.
Further, even if you want to assume all oil is of biological origin, there was enough biological hydrocarbon production to remove essentially all of the carbon dioxide from the Earth’s atmosphere which was at one time primarily carbon dioxide, and we’ve returned a fraction of a percentage of that carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
It’s not running out of oil that is the issue; it’s running out of atmosphere. We are already nearing the point where those with medical problems are beginning to feel the health effects of higher carbon dioxide levels. Healthy adults at sea-level may well survive much higher carbon dioxide levels, but as people age, their lungs ability to get rid of carbon dioxide declines. The ability to get rid of carbon dioxide also declines with altitude. From the standpoint of direct health consequences alone, before we even consider the fatal fart mass extinction, or rising oceans, or global warming; before we consider any of these options, just our own health is being hurt by the burning of so called fossil fuels.
There is no need for this. If we, here in the US, had spent the money we spent during the first year on the Iraq war, we could have fully replaced all the energy Iraq produces with renewable energy, forever. One years Iraq war capital invested in renewable energy production instead of killing and maiming human beings, would have given us the Iraq energy production in clean renewable energy indefinitely. How terribly stupid we’ve been to squander this money.
If we’d spent all the money we’ve spent on Iraq War to date; we could have obtained complete energy independence by now. We went the route we did because of the financial interests of the oil companies and the international banking community that invests and finances them as well as the interests of the military industrial complex.
We could have had energy independence; far less pollution, been admired by the world for solving our energy problems and showing the world how to do the same, enjoyed prosperity that cheap abundant energy would bring; instead we killed and maimed a bunch of people and made ourselves the enemy of most of the civilized world. And still Bush, Cheney, and company try to drum up a war with Iran, and if you look at the above list of super-giant oil field discoveries, the reason for doing so is clear, more profits for the oil companies, banks, and military industrial complex.
I have to wonder what the likes of Rupert Murdock gets from this? Owning a large percentage of the worlds print media; and all they seem to print is pro-war, pro-greed, pro-stupidity. So how does a rich Australian benefit from all of this mayhem? How about Fox News? They seem pretty intent on trying to push a war with Iran as well. Why do these bastards want to kill and maim millions of humans and keep us dependent upon a dirty polluting source of energy when clean abundant alternatives not requiring the mutilation of human beings, are readily available?
What I find most disturbing is that the same group of people who own the republican party today have made a big investment in the democratic party; clearly they wish to portray this whole situation as a republican-democrat thing; but they wouldn’t be supporting the democrats now unless they had their claws just as deeply in them and are planning business as usual.
Ron Paul is one candidate that I don’t think they control; so instead, they’re trying to shut him out of the process entirely, never mind that he has raised the third largest campaign fund without major corporate contributions, he’s not going to play ball so he’s out of the game. I haven’t heard one other candidate commit to getting us out of Iraq, unless I do, Ron Paul’s going to get my write-in vote.
I don’t agree with a lot of things Ron Paul believes in, I do believe that not everything should be privatized. Prisons for example, the privatization of them gives the corporations running them every incentive to keep inmates in as long as possible, to encourage those that are released to recommit and come back, because that’s how they make their money. I’m of the opinion that locking someone up in a cage is reasonable only if they are violent and need to be isolated from the community; other crimes I believe should be handled through restitution, drug treatment, etc. But the majority of society seems to think that civil vengeance is a good thing and turning it over to a corporation a good practice.
I also think our nations highway system, power grid, and a number of other large infrastructure items are best kept public. The behavior of Enron, and the behavior of the oil companies have also lead me to believe that perhaps nations which have nationalized their energy companies didn’t have such a bad idea. I also believe everyone should be entitled to an education, health-care, and at least minimal housing.
So there are things I can’t agree with Ron Paul on, but we need to get out of Iraq, we need to quit pretending Israel is our friend because clearly they will gladly bring this country to ruins so they can continue bulldozing the homes of their neighbors, bombing them, shooting their kids, etc. And I’m not attacking Jews in general here, I am criticizing the government of Israel, and those Israeli’s that support those kind of human abuses. Israel keeps saying, “Never again”, and yet they treat their neighbors the same was Nazi Germany treated them. “Never again” should mean these things should never be done to ANY human being again anywhere ever. The sooner we stop supporting these actions, the sooner they will end.
I wish that Hillary would have the moral courage to say that we are wrong staying in Iraq and she will get us out of there, or Obama would say that, so I could then endorse a candidate I otherwise felt comfortable with but as long as neither of them will commit to that they won’t get my vote.
We really need a leader that will tackle this energy situation head on, not make modest improvements twenty years down the road. We put a man on the moon in seven years; and we had to develop much of the technology to do that from scratch. But we have all the resources and technology we need to conquer our energy issues and we could put Americans back to work and rebuild our manufacturing infrastructure while doing so.
As far as global warming goes, we’re already past the tipping point; we’re in for one hell of a ride now no matter what we do, but solving our energy problems rapidly would at least position us to better adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. If we have energy we can desalinate water if we don’t have enough water; with desalinated water, we can make arid land productive and solve any potential food shortages.
If we stay on the path we’re on we’re going to see a repeat of the Permian extinction. Doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to me.