New Eastern Outlook
by F. William Engdahl
Since about the 1880’s, Western geologists have promoted the unproven idea that oil and gas–hydrocarbons–are scarce on this planet. That idea of scarcity of new finds, combined with the idea of depletion of old fields, appears to make empirical sense amid reports of old oil fields going dry. After all, Western geologists argue, oil is a fossil fuel, derived from organic material–dead dinosaur detritus, tree leaves, algae. And the volume of that biological detritus from some two hundred thirty million years ago is clearly finite. The only problem is that reality has now been proved to be quite the opposite of petroleum scarcity. That’s very good news, or should be, because it means that the cause for more than a century of wars, fight for scarce oil, is unnecessary.
An elite, cross-disciplinary team of Russian and Ukrainian scientists (in those days it was one Soviet Union) were given the mandate by Stalin in the early 1950’s to make the USSR during the Cold War totally independent of Western oil imports for her economy. What the brilliant Russians scientists discovered was that oil, far from being biological in genesis, was abiotic. Moreover, they posited, and later proved that it was being continuously newly generated deep in the Earth’s mantle and pushed to the surface or as close to it as the subsurface geology allowed. The Earth’s dynamic core was one huge radioactive oven that constantly created new hydrocarbons–oil, gas, coal, even diamonds, another rare hydrocarbon.
Now, some six decades later, the Russian scientists have been vindicated by of all people, USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
NASA Confirms Oil in other planets
Near-infrared pictures of the Saturn moon, Titan, from the NASA Cassini spacecraft currently orbiting Saturn, confirm that vast methane lakes exist on the surface. The largest such methane concentration is about 925 square miles (2,400 square kilometers) large and at least three feet (1 meter) deep. Cassini, a joint endeavor of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian space agency, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI), is a sophisticated robotic spacecraft orbiting the ringed planet and studying the Saturnian system in detail.
Ralph Lorenz, Cassini radar team member from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, reported in the Geophysical Research Letters that Saturn’s orange moon Titan has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, according to Cassini data. The hydrocarbons rain from the sky, collecting in vast deposits that form lakes and dunes.
There has been further confirmation that methane gas, the most simple of the family of hydrocarbons that includes petroleum, tar, coal and even diamonds, is abundant in our universe in places dinosaurs feared to tread. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany have discovered that the Horse Head Nebula galaxy in the Orion constellation contains a vast field of hydrocarbons.
Oil no fossil fuel
In short, oil is no “fossil fuel” as Western geologists have claimed, but never scientifically proved, for more than a hundred years. The significance of this scientific reality has been largely blocked out of the mainstream Western media. The heart of the Anglo-American global geopolitics, their ability to control nations, has been their ability to convince nations of the world that oil is a very limited, organic compound, formed more than one hundred million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and that it is only to be found where Halliburton or Schlumberger, the two giant American oil services companies, say it is. Most of the wars of the past century, up to and including the wars in Libya and in Iraq and in Syria, have been about control of oil—or strategic denial of oil to nations such as China which might become economically independent of US control thereby.
Russian scientists vindicated
The NASA and Max Planck findings vindicate the much-maligned findings of an elite group of Russian scientists which more than six decades ago realized that the Western oil-as-fossil-fuel theory was buncombe. In the early 1950’s an elite team of Russian and Ukrainian geophysicists, geochemists, geologists were mandated, on a high-priority classified (as everything during the Cold War in the USSR) mission from Stalin, to make the Soviet Union oil independent from reliance on the Western oil companies. As they proceeded to examine all scientific literature from the West on oil’s fossil origins they were astonished to discover that there was not one single solid scientific experiment proving oil’s biological origins.
In the immediate post-Cold War period in 1994, at a select scientific conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico Russian and Ukrainian geophysicists and geochemists came to the United States. According to one who was with them, they were eager to share their discovery about the true origin of petroleum with their American scientific colleagues.
The attending scientists, including some of the United States’ most renowned geologists, heard a presentation by Professor V.A. Krayushkin, head of the Department of Petroleum Exploration in the Institute of Geological Sciences of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in Kiev. Krayushkin also headed up the exploration project in the Dnieper-Donets region of Ukraine. His message to the American scientists at Santa Fe upended everything that most of them had learned in their petroleum geology training.
Professor Krayushkin explained a project his team had successfully undertaken to search for oil and gas in the Dnieper-Donets Basin in eastern Ukraine, close to the Russian border, today a war zone, thanks to Washington. Krayushkin related the fact that in over 45 years of geological study of the basin, the area had been condemned as possessing no potential for petroleum production because of the complete absence of any “source rock” — the special geological formations which, according to Western geological theory, were the unique rocks from which hydrocarbons were generated or were capable of being generated – presumably, the only places where oil could be found, hence the term “source.”
The oil and gas discoveries in the Ukraine basin came from what geologists called ‘crystalline basement,’ deep rocks where Western geological theory claimed oil and gas (‘fossil fuels,’) could not be found. The Russians had found oil and gas there, something tantamount to Galileo Galilei telling the Holy Inquisition that the Sun — and not the Earth — was the center of our universe. According to one participant, the audience was not at all amused by the implications of the Russian geophysics. Potentially their careers, their incomes were at stake if it was true.
Krayushkin went on to tell the scientists at Santa Fe that the Ukrainian team’s efforts to look for oil where conventional theory insisted no oil could be found had, in fact, yielded a bonanza in commercial oil and gas fields. He said this discovery confirmed, after years of intensive study, that oil and gas were not generated by decayed biological remains—fossil origin—but had a non-biological origin, abiotic or ‘abiogenic’ as they termed it, using the Latin prefix “a” to denote “not.”
Krayushkin carefully explained that their exploration techniques had been specially designed according to their hypothesis that abiogenic hydrocarbons are present in crystalline environments. He described in detail the scientific tests they had conducted on the discovered petroleum to evaluate their theory that oil and gas originated not near the surface – as conventional fossil fuel theory assumes – but rather at great depth in the Earth, some two hundred kilometers deep. The tests confirmed that the oil and gas had indeed originated from great depth.
The speaker clearly explained that the Russian and Ukrainian scientists’ understanding of the origin of oil and gas was as different from what the Western geologists had been taught as was day from night.
More shocking to the audience was Krayushkin’s report that during the first five years of exploration of the northern part of the Dneiper-Donets Basin in the early 1990’s, a total of 61 wells had been drilled, of which 37 were commercially productive, a success rate of more than 60%. For an oil industry where a 30% success rate was typical, 60% was an impressive result. He described, well-by-well, the depths, oil flows and other details.
Several of the wells were at a depth of more than four kilometers, a depth of roughly 13,000 feet into the Earth and some produced as much as 2600 barrels of crude oil a day, worth almost $3 million per day at 2011 oil prices.
According to Prof. Vladimir Kutcherov, a leading Russian abiotic geophysicist and geochemist, in the oil fields at Romashkino in Tatarstan in the Urals-Volga region, one of the biggest oil fields in Russia outside West Siberia, the oil reservoir exists at a depth of as much as 49,000 feet, or almost five miles under the surface, not exactly the expected depth to find dinosaur detritus.
More interesting, Kutcherov and other Russian oil scientists have confirmed that in every giant oil field, and likely smaller reservoirs as well, the oil pools self-replentish, as the reservoirs refill over time from deep in the Earth. The core of our Earth is a gigantic nuclear oven, constantly producing hydrocarbons at conditions of great pressure and temperature, forcing the hydrocarbons through cracks, called migration channels, in the Earth’s mantle, until it passes through specific minerals such as ferrite where is can turn into more complex hydrocarbon chains such as petroleum.
In short, King Hubbert’s famous 1956 thesis known today as “Peak Oil” is a myth, among other things a myth disproved in recent years by the US shale oil production boom. The world is not running out of oil, as Dr Peter Odell said some years back. It is running into oil, everywhere. How silly for nations like Saudi Arabia or Qatar or Turkey or the USA or Britain or France to wage wars to control that oil.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.