Truman Green's science rumours

February 26, 2011

The Origin of Oil

Filed under: Uncategorized — trugreen1 @ 9:04 pm


                              The Origin of Oil by   Truman Green

     Although it will be known to only a very small percentage of those who get their

information about the world from Mainstream Media, there has been a debate raging

for many years–and especially recently on the internet–whether fuel hydrocarbons such as oil,

coal and natural gas originate from the dead remains of plants and animals or are “abiotic” and

unrelated to decomposed organic material. For at least thirty years I have been quite

doubtful about the traditional theory of the origin of oil but don’t recall ever having read about

the controversy in any article in the two major Western Canada newspapers, the Vancouver Sun and

the Vancouver Province, athough, even as a teenager and, until quite recently, I was known to be an

avid reader of these papers. In fact, when I introduced the notion of abiotically-derived hydrocarbons to

a forum debate on the Canadian website, The in 2006, none of my fellow debaters seemed

to have been aware of the substantial body of evidence that there might be huge deposits—even oceans

of the stuff beyond the depths at which conventional oil-seeking companies now drill. And when I

mentioned to a cafe crony this morning that I had a deadline to meet for this article on abiotic oil

I discovered that, although he is generally well-informed, he had never (in his seventy-eight years)

heard of the idea, and had always assumed that petroleum was a “fossil fuel.” Such is the power of the

monopolized world media that a major scientific controversy is included on a “do not mention”


     This essay is not an attempt to prove the validity of the abiotic theory of the origin of fuel

hydrocarbons, but rather to aid in filling a gap in the origin controversy left by the refusal of

Mainstream Western Media to mention the abiotic or abiogenic theory, and to recommend that readers

do their own investigation of the numerous online articles now available regarding the liklihood that

the “fossil fuel” paradigm  is incorrect.

     Proponents of the the conventional “fossil fuel” theory claim that fuel hydrocarbons are derived

from decomposition of “buried dead organisms,” (Wikipedia), “living matter that existed during a

previous geologic time,” (Climate Literacy Handbook), or “were formed in the earth from plant or

animal remains.” (Mirriam Webster Dictionary). The Canadian site, Nelson Education, provides a more

substantial definition: “The remains of prehistoric animals, forests, and sea-floor life that has been

buried in layers of sediment and decomposed very slowly, eventually being converted into crude oil.”

     Such ideas regarding an organic origin of hydrocarbons were formally proposed by the Russian

scientist, Mikhal Lomonosov in l757. Lomonosov’s idea was that, during the carboniferous period (360

to 286 millionyears ago), huge deposits of dead animals and plants formed on the bottoms of oceans or

in swamp sand were slowly converted, by pressure and heat, into molecularly-altered fuel

hydrocarbons. The theory has remained basically unaltered since 1757 with the only substantial

confirmation being that researchers have found provable traces of organic matter, known as

biomarkers, in most of the crude oil samples after they have been brought to the surface.

     From Lomonosov’s writing: “…rock oil (crude oil), or petroleum orginated as the minute bodies of

dead marine and other animals which were buried in the sediments and which, over the passage of a

great duration of time under the influence of heat and pressure, transformed into ‘rock oil.’”

                                                   The Abiotic Theory

     In opposition to the theory of the biotic or organic, “fossil fuel” origin of hydrocarbons is the abiotic

or abiogenic theory. Ironically, Russian scientists not persuaded by Lomonosov’s theories, provided the

earliest and most substantial body of research and evidence that fuel hydrocarabons are chemically and

not biologically derived, and that they were placed in their current deposits by upward seepage from

massive resevoirs which formed above the mantle around the time of the formation the earth, eons

before any plant or animal life existed. It is rarely, if ever, mentioned in the western Mainstream Media,

but the entire Russian petroleum industry is based on the abiotic theory, and most of the Russian and

Ukrainian production of crude oil is pumped from deep wells which go far beyond the depths of

conventional oil exploration.

     The Russian petroleum geologist, Nikolai Kudryavtsev (1893-1971) is considered to be the father of

the abiotic theory. Fellow geologist Vladimir Porfir’yev sums up Kudryavtsev’s theory in this

statement: “The overwhelming preponderance of geological evidence compels the conclusion that

crude oil and natural petroleum have no intrinsic connection with biological matter originating near the

surface of the earth. They are primordial materials which have been erupted from great depths.”

                               Evidence in support of the organic theory.

     The words “fossil fuels” are so commonly used to describe fuel hydrocarbons that it would be

intuitive to imagine that there are virtual mountains of reproducible scientific studies available in

scientific journals both in print and online. However, as I have discovered during several years of

reviewing the literature on the “fossil fuel” or organic theory the primary evidence is derived, not

from a body of peer-reviewed, published, scientifically-controlled experimentation and observation,

but, rather from the fact that it has been the theory assumed to be correct.

     A reproducible scientific confirmation of the organic theory would necessarily include the

re-creation of the conditions said to result in the formation of keregen, the supposed sludge which is

formed from decomposing plant and animal detritus. From the formation of the keregen the

experiment would need to proceed to the resultant formation of petroleum, after the required conditions

of heat and pressure have been introduced. Such experimentation has never been successfully


     The major supporting claim made by proponents of the “fossil fuel” theory is that molecules found

in petroleum are very similar to molecules found in organic matter. The reliability of “biomarkers” and

molecular similarities as confirmation of the biogenic theory can only be competently argued by

qualified chemists and molecular biologists, but it is wise for the layman to remain cognizant of the fact

that neither physical concurrence nor similarity in molecular structure are necessarily indicative of

causation or origin.

     Geologist J.F. Kenney explains in detail his refutation of the significance of “biomarkers” in his

essay, entitled: “Dismissal Of The Claims Of A Biological Connection For Natural Petroleum.” This

essay was written with the aid and endorsement of six highly-placed members of the Russian geology

community, including Ac. Y. F. Shyyukov, of the National Academyof Ukraine, I.K. Karpov, of the

Institute of Geochemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences, andV.G. Kutcherov, of the Russian

State University of Oil and Gas. From the essay:

Material of truly biogenic origin, such as fossil spores or pollen is often observed in petroleum, and

too often mislabelled as “biomarakers” supposedly indicating a connection between the natural

petroleum and biological material. Careful investigation has established that such material

has often leached into solution by the crude oil from buried organic matter in the (typically

sedimentary) resevoir rock from which the oil has been taken. 3.

     While it is well-known that oils can be extracted from plants and animals, largely by mechanical

means (as from whales or olives), the construction of petroleum, coal or natural gas and derived

from decaying organic matter in laboratory settings has never been accomplished. Similarly, the

association of methane, the major constituent of natural gas, with decaying organic matter is limited to

the enteric fermentation which occurs in the guts of cattle and sheep, as an aid in digestion, and the

production of “swamp gas” from rotting vegetation. Both of these processes depend upon the action of

bacteria which produce methane as a by-product of rapidly-increasing microbial replication and

colonization. It is interesting to note that Australia has implemented a program of immunizing cattle

against certain bacteria in order to limit the flattulent production of methane, which is believed

to be twenty times as potent as carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

        Abiotic Theory And The Second Law of Thermodynamics

     Every formally-trained student of applied science will eventually find it necessary to confront the

exigencies of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The First Law of Thermodynamics, also known

The Law of the Conservation of Energy, requires that, while the form of energy and matter may

change, as liquids, gases or solids, the total amount in the universe will always remain the same.The

Second Law decrees that as energy and matter are being used, the amount of energy and matter will

remain constant in totality, but that there will continue to be a lesser amount of usuable energy and

matter, as compared to unusable, which will eventually result in the second singularity (the first was the

“big bang”), which will be the end of the universe as the total amount of usuable energy is replaced by

unusable energy.

     Many disbelievers in the fossil fuel theory have employed the requirements of the Second Law

to discount the idea that energy which has been lost in the decomposing of organic matter could be

rejuvenated by pressure and heat into high grade fuel hydrocarbons, but there are many other less

complex and more empirical confirmations of the abiotic theory.

     Although Russian scientists have long distanced themselves from the “fossil fuel” idea,

and the entire Russian hydrocarbon industry is now based on the abiotic theory, the theory remained

virtually unpublicized in West until Thomas Gold wrote and published his famous paper in the

Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences, entitled “The Deep Hot Biosphere; The Myth of

Fossil Fuels.”

     It has been claimed that Gold borrowed greatly from the vast body of work on the abiotic theory

provided by Russian researchers, and it was perhaps general unfamiliarity with the concept in North

America and Europe that allowed him to present the theory as predominantly arising from his own

research. Professor Krayuskin, of the Ukraine and widely reputed to one of the world’s most successful

petroleum geologists, had this to say about Gold’s work in a letter to John Brigg, an American


“…Gold’s theory is the cicycle reinvented repeatedly by T. Gold, and that (can be said) only

if we were to take the kindest position and if only we should not choose to evaluate “Gold’s

theory” as undoubted plagiarism in all its aspects and in all its component parts….”


“One should understand that these papers (such as Gold’s in the Proceedings of the National

Academy of Sciences cannot give justice to the immense work of modern Russian petroleum

science. During the half centuary between l951 -2001 there have been thousands of articles

published in the Mainstream Russian scientific journals on the modern Russian-Ukrainian

theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins and many books and monographs.”

                         Evidence in support of the Abiotic Theory

     If fuel hydrocarbons have been produced abiotically and are present in vast amounts in the earth’s

upper mantle, as the abiotic theory suggests, it should be possible for researchers to create

hydrocarbons in experimental conditions. Several peer-reviewd, successful experiments have been

completed, the most notable of which was completed by a consortium of scientists

entitled, “Methane- derived hydrocarbons produced under Upper Mantle Conditions.”

This study details the work of scientists from the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institute, The

Lomonosov Moscow State Academy of Chemical Technology and the Royal Institute of Technology

in Stockholm. From the study:

It has been proposed that hydrocarbons generated in the upper mantle could be transported

through deep faults to shallower regions in the Earth’s crust, and contribute to petroleum

reserves. We show that when methane is exposed to pressures higher than 2FPa, and to temperatures

in the range of 1,000-1,500 K, it partially reacts to form saturated hydrocarbons containing

2-4 carbons (ethane,propane and butane) and molecular hydrogen and graphite. Conversely,

exposure of ethane to similar conditions results in the production of methane, suggesting that the

synthesis of saturated hydrocarbons is reversihle. Our results support the suggestion that

hydrocarbons heavier than methane can be produced by abiogenic precesses in the uppper mantle.

     While the wording in the abstract of this study is conservative, and gives some respect to the organic

theory, Vladimir Kutcherov, one of the researchers writes:

“There is no doubt that our research proves that crude oil and nataural gas are generated without

involvement of fossils. All types of bedrock can serve as resevoirs of oil.”


     In February, 2008, Science Magazine published a study concerning the composition of fluids rising

from hypothermal ocean vents. Lead researcher, Giora Proskurowsky of the School of Oceanography at

the University of Washington in Seattle concluded that the hydrogen-rich fluids rising from the vents

very likely originated in the earth’s mantle, below bedrock and were the result of chemical processes

which were devoid of organic material.

     During the second world war, Nazi scientists created synthetic fuel

from coal in a process known as the Fischer-Tropsch process and Proskurowsky believes that the

process developed by German scientists is, in fact, a duplication of natural processes which occur in the

mantle of the earth.

     Knowing the exact chemcial composition of such flowing hydrocarbons is essential to the abiotic

versus biotic debate because the complement of carbon atoms varies between organic and inorganic

materials, with carbon 13 isotopes being indicative of synthetic origin and carbon 12 being indicative

of organic. The hydrocarbons flowing from the hypothermal vents contain carbon 13


                                               Hydrocarbons in Space

     Contemporary proponents of the abiotic theory believe that if fuel hydrocarbons came into existence

at the time of the formation of the earth it would necessarily follow that they should exist in the interior

or upon the surface of other terrestrial bodies within our solar system. And such has recently been

proven beyond any semblance of doubt by the 2005 exploration of Saturn’s huge moon,


     It has been suspected for many decades that the atmosphere of Titan is composed of a high

percentage of methane. Photos taken by the Cassini-Huygens landing craft cameras show indisputable

evidence that Titan’s surface is substantially covered by huge lakes of liquid methane which are

chemically analagous to fluid deposits of crude oil found below the surface on earth.

Such photos are readily available on internets sites such as NASA, and this information is of

such startling affirmation of the abiotic theory that it would seem that this knowledge would

be as commonly known as the term “fossil fuels.”

Unfortunately this is not the case, and I recall viewing an account of Cassini-Huygens expedition on

CNN which did not, amazingly, mention the fact hat huge bodies of apparently liquid methane lakes–

possibly analagous to underground petroleum resevoirs on earth–had been found and photographed on

Titan’s surface.

     Proponents of the abiotic theory suggest that the cycle of gaseous methane in the atmosphere of Titan,

together with the liquid methane in surface resevoirs or lakes is a direct analogy to the water-vapour-

rainfall cycle on earth.

                                                               Peak Oil

     The “fossil fuel” paradigm suggests that fuel hydrocarbons are not a renewable resource. If

these hydrocarbons are indeed the remnants of once-alive animals and plants, then it must logically

follow that a time will come when we have used up the entire supply. However if the abiotic theory

is correct—that these fuels result from natural and ongoing chemical reactions of minerals from the

core and mantle of the earth—there might, in fact, be a long-time respite from the eventual grinding

to a halt of a great percentage of the machines created by human ingenuity.

During the nineties the “Peak Oil” idea was ubiquitous in the contemporary environmental

literature. However, most thoughtful people will have noticed that the “peak oil” alarmists seem to have

gone into hiatus during the last ten years or so. The concept of “Peak Oil” is that the reserves of oil and

other fuel hydrocarbons have been so depleted that the period of greatest reserve volumes in resevoirs

has now been reached, and the ability of the petroleum and natural gas industries to provide fuels for

industry, heating and transportation has reached and surpassed its greatest or “peak” efficiency.

     Marion Hubbert, the father of “peak oil,” plotted his findings on a graph represented by the standard

bell curve. Accordingly, on the left side of the bell curve, beginning at the bottom, production would

slowly increase then quickly rise with advances in exploration technology; then peak at the top where a

quick decline to the bottom would ensue, continuing to a gradual advance to total depletion mirroring

the slow, then rapid increase on the opposite side of the bell.

Hubbert prophesized that the ramifications of his bell curve would be manifested in the United

States by l970, when the US petroleum production would peak, and the global production and

availability would peak in 2000. To exacerbate the destructive force as supplies disminished, a rapidly

global population would add an exponential ingredient which would end in the collapse of those

national economies which were dependent upon so-called “fossil-fuels” as their life blood.

        Peak Oil and Global Warming—A Clash of Alarmist Theories?

     It seems compelling to suspect that the current scarcity of “peak oil” alarmism originates from the

fact that the theory of global warmism (now in vogue) is not compatible with the idea that carbon

dioxide produced by the burning of fuel hydrocarbons will inevitably increase the temperature of

earth’s atmosphere so extremely and quickly that it will jeopardize the future, not only of industrial

societies, but also of the biological viability of life on earth.

If the hydrocarbons (derived from dead plants and animals) are soon to be depleted,

then certainly the CO2 derived from their usage will be diminished with them and the problem will

take care of itself.

This is undoubtedly the reason that it has been almost impossible, in the last five years to find a single

warning or claim that the reserves of petroleum and natural gas deposits will soon be depleted, or even a

reminder that production has entered an era of constant decline.

     Is it just a coincidence that the “fossil fuel” theory is compatible with the historical reality that the

value and cost of all products of use to human beings bears a direct-ratio relationship to their


Is it possible that geological science which supports the “fossil fuel” theory remains so

entrenched because it is heavily sponsored by all those sectors which have a vested interest in

maintining the scarcity marketing which supports the pricing of fuel hydrocarbons? Information such as

the Cassini-Huygens photos of massive lakes of liquid methane on Titan, thousands of scientific

articles in the Russian-Ukraine petroleum geology literature describing the deep well drilling and

consequent petroleum discoveries provide ample evidence that the lack of abiotic theory in the Western

Mainstsream Press results more from political and corporate intrusion into the dissemination of

scientific information than from the conventional claim that the abiotic theory  is less compelling than the

“fossil fuel” theory.



  1. […] For more on the abiotic nature of petroleum read * The Nuclear Renaissance : creating Demand Next-gen reactors: The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor […]

    Pingback by The Big Spill « Jennifer Lake's Blog — February 28, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

  2. For those who still have any doubt about the origin of oil is interesting to keep in mind:

    “The suggestion that petroleum might have arisen from some transformation of squashed fish or biological detritus is surely the silliest notion to have been entertained by substantial numbers of persons over an extended period of time.” – Sir Fred Hoyle, 1982

    Comment by Gibson — February 19, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

  3. Thanks for your comment, JoesCat. If you search Abiotic Oil you’ll now find hundreds of articles on how hydrocarbons can be developed deep under the earth’s surface with the combining of high pressure and
    various chemicals.

    I didn’t mention it but in truth the “fossil fuel” theory is nothing but a joke and a hoax. The Russians have known
    this for many years and their entire hydrocarbon industry is based upon the abiotic, deep well concept.

    We won’t be running out of oil any time soon unless it gets too difficult to retrieve hydrocarbons from deep wells,
    which is very unlikely.


    Comment by trugreen1 — April 7, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

  4. OMG! I have also read about this theory–it’s nice to know there are people out there who actually think this kind of information is important to know about. I’ve given up trying to engage people in these kind of discussions. I just come off as a “know-it-all”, and I don’t want to embarrass or bore my companions….

    Comment by Kay Berry — April 9, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

  5. Actually fossil fuel theory is a big mistake and major obstacle for further discoveries like origin of life on earth . although this theory has many strong evidences like expulsion of majority commercial hydrocarbons from sedimentary source rocks ,oil window and presence of biomarkers in almost all oils . I fully agreed wit these all scientific evidences and has done a minor amendment in this theory that these productive sedimentary source rocks essentially has been formed with the involvement of abiotic hydrocarbons ( once huge present on the surface of the earth . sedimentary rocks that has been formed without any involvement of these abiotic hydrocarbons are DRY only . more than 90% of mature sedimentary rocks we are not getting single drop of oil . I have no ignored any strong evidences of fossil fuel theory but small amendment in it so that we also may respect the strong evidences of abiotic theory also . at present widely accepted fossil fuel theory has zero respect for the strong evidences of abiotic theory and both are opposite of each other .

    Comment by Suresh — August 20, 2015 @ 12:05 pm

  6. Interesting. I’m not 100 % convinced, but my mind is now open to the possibility, and it seems more reasonable than the conventional explanation, especially considering the inability to reproduce the effect in a lab, and, you know, raining Oil on Titan made me think “Wait, What? I thought Oil came from organic matter?”

    Comment by Jason — April 9, 2018 @ 9:16 pm

    • Thanks Jason,

      But there is really no controversy. The origin of oil is
      fantastically obvious: It’s abiotically derived. The
      “fossil-fuel” nonsense is so stupid that I’m inspired
      to not spend another second of my life thinking about it.

      Comment by trugreen1 — April 10, 2018 @ 4:37 pm

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