Talk:Abiogenic petroleum origin

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New research(er)[edit]

Vladimir Kutcherov from the Swedish Research Council, and this group has some credentials " Government agency in Sweden established in 2001, with the responsibility to support and develop basic scientific research. Its objective is for Sweden to be a leading nation in scientific research. " Their research published in Nature Geoscience.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090910084259.htm — Preceding unsigned comment added by 73.20.110.57 (talk) 07:22, 26 March 2018 (UTC)


Abiotic methane different than abiotic petroleum[edit]

These two sentences from the lede do not seem right to me:

Scientific opinion on the origin of oil and gas is that all natural oil and gas deposits on Earth are fossil fuels, and are therefore not abiogenic in origin. There are a few abiogenic petroleum theories which are still subject to ongoing research and which typically seek to explain the existence of smaller quantities of oil and gas.

The second sentence directly contradicts the first. Is it all deposits, or just the majority? But in any event, it's not necessarily even the majority (or at least much less of one) for methane. It's accepted mainstream science that methane can be produced abiogenically and that's actually the prevailing explanation for the methane found on some of the other bodies in the solar system, with the biogenic theory being the minority in those cases (for obvious reasons.) This is even mentioned in other articles, and I think should be incorporated into a brief summary of the distinction between abiogenic theories for methane versus petroleum, since only the latter can really be said to be discredited, with the former being absorbed into a more complex standard theory involving different mechanisms all interacting, rather than actually being rejected.

From Serpentinite:

Abiotic methane production on Mars by serpentinization[edit]

The presence of traces of methane in the atmosphere of Mars has been hypothesized to be a possible evidence for life on Mars if methane was produced by bacterial activity. Serpentinization has been proposed as an alternative non-biological source for the observed methane traces.[1][2]

Serpentinization on Enceladus[edit]

Using data from the Cassini probe flybys obtained in 2010–12, scientists were able to confirm that Saturn's moon Enceladus likely has a liquid water ocean beneath its frozen surface. A model suggests that Enceladus' ocean has an alkaline pH of 11–12.[3] The high pH is interpreted to be a key consequence of serpentinization of chondritic rock, that leads to the generation of H2, a geochemical source of energy that can support both abiotic and biological synthesis of organic molecules.[3][4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Life on Mars?". American Scientist. March–April 2006. Retrieved 1 June 2009. 
  2. ^ "Methane: Evidence of life on Mars?". redorbit.com. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2009. 
  3. ^ a b R. Glein, Christopher; Baross, John A.; Waite, Hunter (16 April 2015). "The pH of Enceladus' ocean". Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2015.04.017. Retrieved 2015-05-08. 
  4. ^ Wall, Mike (7 May 2015). "Ocean on Saturn Moon Enceladus May Have Potential Energy Source to Support Life". Space.com. Retrieved 2015-05-08. 

Methane?[edit]

This article has been growing increasingly out of touch with reality with regards to abiotic origins for methane. Not only is an abiotic origin for methane something that hasn't been "discredited" by the scientific community, it is currently accepted mainstream science. Vast quantities of methane have been found on numerous other bodies in the solar system, all presumed to have been created by abiotic processes (unless you subscribe to the "ancient dinosaur astronaut" theory.) While abiotic theories for oil are certainly fringe, I think the article should probably distinguish between oil and methane. Since the title mentions petroleum perhaps it would be better to simply remove all reference to methane entirely? That would maintain the current tone and keep the fringe/non-fringe theories as separate as possible, so as not to be confusing to readers. What do you think? --Outdowands (talk) 16:48, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

The article deals with commercial deposits of methane, which are regarded by almost all geologists as biogenic. Contrary to the inference of your note, the article already discusses both abiogenic methane on other planets, and noncommercial methane occurrences on this planet which are presumed abiogenic. Find references to specific commercial gas fields (on Earth, please!) which are regarded by mainstream scientists as abiogenic, and you will have proven your point. Otherwise, it's all old stuff already discussed in the article. Regards. Plazak (talk) 17:12, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
Here's one. It's pretty widely accepted nowadays that even on Earth, a significant portion of methane has abiogenic origin. That's totally different from theories for abiogenic petroleum which is supposed to be the focus of the article. Abiogenic petroleum origin has indeed been thoroughly debunked. Rather than contribute to the conflation of these two things, I think it would be better to simply remove most references to methane and maybe link to one of the various articles on the processes involved, and note that methane is not petroleum. --Outdowands (talk) 18:08, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
Here's another. Note that the abiogenic methane is not the major component at these sites, but does exist in significant, non-trace amounts. I am NOT arguing for abiogenic petroleum or anything of the sort. I'm simply pointing out that with respect to methane, the abiogenic origin theory is far from "discredited" as the article currently claims. --Outdowands (talk) 18:13, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
In your enthusiasm for the topic, I'm afraid that you are not giving either my comment or even your own sources a careful read. I requested an example of a commercial abiogenic methane deposit,and you gave me none. Your first citation does not (at least in the part made available) mention any commercial abiogenic deposits, only noncommercial abiogenic occurrences. Your second citation, from Lollar and others, even argues against you thesis, as the end of the 1st paragraph reads: "...we can rule out the presence of a globally significant abiogenic source of hydrocarbons." Again, if your thesis is as widely accepted as you believe it is, you should have no trouble naming specific commercial natural gas fields where an abiogenic origin is widely accepted. Thanks. Plazak (talk) 19:58, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
Ugh, I don't have the time or inclination to fight with people like you. You clearly have an agenda, and insist on keeping Wikipedia frozen in time and a scientific backwater. Abiogenesis for methane is accepted scientific fact. It is not in any way, shape, or form "discredited" as the article currently claims. Is it the primary source for methane? Of course not. Methane comes from a variety of different sources on this planet. Even part of Gold's original theory has been vindicated in more recent years, with work at LBNL reproducing some of the high-pressure mechanisms he theorized for deep mantle production. (It still seems unlikely that those deep mantle deposits could migrate to the surface, so his overall theory is still not valid.. but the point is that science keeps advancing and theories change as our understanding does.) I wish you luck with overseeing the gradual death of this site. --Outdowands (talk) 05:49, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

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References not supporting the claims removed[edit]

Hi, I removed two references used as evidence from the "geological arguments" section, because they did not support the point they were cited for. Please see the edits of today.

The first point "the modeling of some researchers shows the Earth was accreted at relatively low temperature, thereby perhaps preserving primordial carbon deposits within the mantle, to drive abiogenic hydrocarbon production" was citing the geology paper by John Valley http://geoscience.wisc.edu/geoscience/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Valley2002Early.Earth_.pdf which does not support this point. Rather this paper discusses the presence of liquid water ~160 Ma after accretion, highlights the hot nature of planetary accretion in the very first paragraph, and has no bearing on primordial carbon in the mantle. Thus this paper was misquoted in this context.

The second point "the presence of methane within the gases and fluids of mid-ocean ridge spreading centre hydrothermal fields" was referring to the paper here https://www.nature.com/articles/415312a which discusses methanogenic bacteria (IE bacteria which produce methane) and thus has no implication for abiogenic methane, other than it somewhat undermines the point by suggesting that this methane is biogenic. I found some other references such as https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4442600/ but the conclusions are still quite ambiguous. Geochron (talk) 13:47, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

By the way, I am not a partisan to either side of this debate. I run a gas mass spectrometry lab and I experimentally observe the (abiogenic) production of methane on titanium films from chemisorbed C in the Ti film, and hydrogen. This is a known effect in Titanium sublimation pumps. But I think that claims should be properly substantiated. There is a huge difference between abiogenic CH4 and abiogenic petroleum occurrences in significant quantities. Geochron (talk) 10:31, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

External links modified (January 2018)[edit]

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