Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Largest US Oil Field Found

Geologist Larry Cathles of Cornell University says that huge amounts of hydrocarbons are rising in the rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico. GeoTimes carried his report in 2003:
Cathles and his team estimate that in a study area of about 9,600 square miles off the coast of Louisiana, source rocks a dozen kilometers down have generated as much as 184 billion tons of oil and gas — about 1,000 billion barrels of oil and gas equivalent. "That's 30 percent more than we humans have consumed over the entire petroleum era," Cathles says. "And that's just this one little postage stamp area; if this is going on worldwide, then there's a lot of hydrocarbons venting out."
The science:
Below the Gulf of Mexico, hydrocarbons flow upward through an intricate network of conduits and reservoirs. They start in thin layers of source rock and, from there, buoyantly rise to the surface. On their way up, the hydrocarbons collect in little rivulets, and create temporary pockets like rain filling a pond. Eventually most escape to the ocean. And, this is all happening now, not millions and millions of years ago, says Larry Cathles, a chemical geologist at Cornell University. "We're dealing with this giant flow-through system where the hydrocarbons are generating now, moving through the overlying strata now, building the reservoirs now and spilling out into the ocean now," Cathles says.
And New Tech Spy also reports:
Scientists from the University of Cornell (sic) have discovered a massive amount of Oil off the coast of Louisiana.The find is some 60 billion barrels or 3 Times more than current US recoverable Oil of 20 Billion barrels, and would bring US total reserves to 80 billion barrels which is on par with Venezuela. In comparison to other finds around the world, this is twice the size of all Oil ever found in the North Sea and 6 times larger than the estimates of the Alaskan ANWR oil deposits.
My understanding is that the earth is bombarded with energy every day from the Sun. It's just a matter of figuring out how to convert it to a form we can use. When oil was first found seeping out of the earth in Pennsylvania it was only a pollutant. It didn't become a resource until creative people discovered how to refine it for burning for lighting and other uses. Here we have found energy in a little different form in a place where we can use it. I admit that I am unfamiliar with these sources.

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