Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oil Reserves

Another bugbear of mine.

New oil reserves in the U.S.: Sites in North Dakota, extending to Montana, Saskatchewan, Manitoba:

The Bakken:

Three Forks:

Meanwhile Titan, one of the moons of Jupiter, has lakes or seas of methane--the main ingredient of natural gas--on the surface. For the methane to have lasted since the formation of the moon, it must be replenished by sources below the surface--all of this presumably having nothing to do with fossils. Earth may have deep deposits of hydrocarbons going back to the Big Bang, in which case there may be no shortage in any meaningful sense.

Whether that is true or not: in recent decades it has been concluded that earth has far more meteorite craters than had previously been thought: hundreds or thousands, as opposed to dozens as was thought previously. Such sites are promising for oil and gas exploration, which has hardly begun. (The Gulf of Mexico reserves turn out to be part of a meteorite crater). Craters are normally hidden, and must be detected by satellite photos, combined with examining specific rocks and other features.

Because of the way craters deform rock, Isachsen explains, they can be reservoirs of oil or natural gas. If the neighboring geology is right for forming hydrocarbons, the resulting oil or natural gas will seep through the fractured rock and collect beneath the crater. Perhaps a commercial outfit could be persuaded to take core samples down several thousand feet, to the crater floor.


Onward to Sudbury, Ontario--this time, searching for oil and gas!

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