No matter how much mankind strives for alternative energy sources, we have not yet been able to find a full-fledged replacement for hydrocarbons. They have no competitors in terms of availability and efficiency. Their share of the energy market exceeds 50%. But, as we know, the situation cannot be maintained for a long time, because natural resources are not eternal. According to the main version of the emergence of оil, it took our planet millions of years to create it. That’s why it might come to an end at some point. But is it really so? Recently, many respected scientists have started talking about oil being a renewable resource. What is the evidence for this and what is the basis for such an opinion? We will tell you about it in detail below.
Two versions of the appearance of oil
The main version of the appearance of hydrocarbons, which is called the biogenic or organic, has long been considered the main. According to it, the оil appeared from the remains of organisms and plants that were at the bottom of the swamps and seas for millions of years. Chemical reactions and the influence of microorganisms resulted in the substance kerogen.
Then the substance plunged into the depths of the subsoil, where under the influence of pressure and temperature particles of scattered micro-oil were extracted from it, i.e. oil mother rocks were formed. In other words, the obligatory condition, without which оil can not arise – is the depth of occurrence equal to 1,5-6 km, where the temperature of the subsoil reaches 70 to 190°C. The higher the temperature, the higher the quality of the oil.
From the оil mother reservoir under the influence of pressure hydrocarbons migrate to the reservoirs below or above, where they accumulate. This is why such reservoirs are commonly referred to as reservoirs or traps.
According to this concept, it takes from 10 to 60 million years for oil to form. However, some scientists deny it in favor of the abiogenous deep theory of hydrocarbons origin. Its essence is that hydrocarbons are generated in the deep layers of the Earth as a result of inorganic synthesis. Then they go through deep faults to the upper layers of the Earth’s crust, where oil and natural gas are accumulated. Oil and gas, according to this version, is one of the manifestations of degassing of the Earth. This process gave rise to the Earth’s hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.
But while some scientists argue about whether oil is renewable or not, others prefer not to take risks and actively work on creating alternative fuels. Therefore, it is possible that in the near future airplanes will be fueled by biofuels.
Evidence for Renewable Oil
There are a few facts that support the version of the biogenic origin of oil. So the reserves of the Romashkinskoye oil field, according to preliminary estimates, amounted to 710 million tons of oil. At the moment 3 billion tons have already been pumped out of it, which is four times more than it was estimated. And in the process of development and depletion of the field oil quality here is improving, which is a paradox.
The deposits in the Tersk-Sunzhensky region began to be developed in 1895. By the beginning of the WWII the wells were suspended due to severe watering. A few years later they were reactivated as they began producing quality oil again. The situation repeated in the 90s – the wells were watered out. But 10 years later some of the wells again produce oil without water.
In 2009, a large field was discovered in the Gulf of Mexico. The well was drilled from an offshore platform to a depth of 10,685 m, and the water depth in this area was 1,260 m. Under such conditions, the oil could not retain its composition for a long time due to too high thermobaric conditions. There are no oil-bearing rocks at this depth either. But then where did the oil come from?