Walking through Time
A Pedestrian in TimeChasing the origins of Oil
James L BradleyAugust 14
Chasing the origins of Oil
It runs modern society along with fueling most serious political tensions than any other substance on our world today, the question still remains on where does in really originate, andexactly what is left for our rapidly increasing consumption. It is believed that nature has beenconverting ancient dead life into the much sought after “black gold” for millions of years creatingit with a little more than heat, pressure and time – at least that is what our learned scholars tell us.Albeit fuel prices across the world are spiking, and there are the experts who tell us in too manyreports to cite is that we running out – our scientists still can’t tell us with any level of certaintywhere and how it came into being, how long it took and how much there really is left for our monsters that cruise the highways and byways of our planet, heat our home or are additives to our daily dose of medicine.There seems to be numerous theories related to the ignitable fuel, whereas we normally label itas a “fossil fuel” along with coal and natural gas, which most in the field believed it wastransformed from long dead organisms – you know, where a majority of it came from the“fossils” of plants and tiny “marine” organisms – albeit some think we can throw a large animalinto the mix here and there, a dinosaur or two may have wandered into the formula is not a far fetched idea but most think they would have made a “small” and “insignificant” contribution.The other theory running about is that there is more oil in the Earth, created in the early days of the Planets beginning, that has yet to be tapped.The number one theory, “dead stuff”, accumulated on the bottom of oceans, riverbeds or swamps, mixing with mud and sand. Over time, additional sediments piled on top of the deadstuff and as it was buried, the pressure created heat transforming the “dead stuff” into kerogen – whereas left to their own devices kerogen will eventually crack, breaking into shorter and lighter molecules composed “almost” solely of “carbon” and “hydrogen” – and depending on how liquidor gaseous the mixture is will cause the chemical mixture to either form petroleum or natural gas.What kind of times span is involved – our boys in the know aren’t really sure but the guess inthe order of hundreds of thousands of years – in other words don’t run down to the sea shore andthrow a dead plant or animal in the surf and expect to collect your gallon of oil the next day.