Some readers of this blog may recall that Louis Hissink sometimes brings up the subject of at least some oil being ‘abiogenic’ or ‘abiotic’ rather than fossil in origin. Most of us remain sceptical of such claims, which seem to be backed by anecdotal evidence at best.
However, an article published in Science on 1st February 2008 entitled, ‘Abiogenic Hydrocarbon Production at Lost City Hydrothermal Field’ states in the Abstract that, ” Our findings illustrate that the abiotic synthesis of hydrocarbons in nature may occur in the presence of ultramafic rocks, water, and moderate amounts of heat.”
So, there is now evidence of a mechanism for the abiotic synthesis of hydrocarbons. This is not to say that significant amounts of oil are abiotic in origin, but it is interesting nevertheless.
Readers may also remember my recent blog post, ‘Natural Gas from Bacteria: A Renewable Resource Linked to Climate Change?’
Imagine that – oil and natural gas as renewable resources!