Talk:Petroleum

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"A fossil fuel, petroleum is formed when large quantities of dead organisms, usually zooplankton and algae, are buried underneath sedimentary rock and subjected to intense heat and pressure."[edit]

What a crap. There was never so much plankton and algae combined and biomass overall on Earth compared to how much oil has been produced.--Reciprocist (talk) 13:30, 12 September 2015 (UTC)

Maybe there wasn't on Mars or whatever planet you have been living on, but here on Earth the amount of organisms which have died and been buried over the last several billion years has been truly astronomical. A lot of the organic material deposited on sea bottoms has been converted to petroleum by heat and pressure over that time period. When I worked for an oil company, we tried it in the lab and it only took about a week to turn plankton into oil, but nature operates more slowly. Although over the eons 99% of the oil has leaked to the surface and been destroyed by bacteria and weathering, there's still an awful lot of it left down there. Where I grew up we had about 5 vertical miles of organic rock deposits under our feet, and from an oil company perspective, it was pure heaven and very lucrative for my career. Of course, if you believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old based on some dubious biblical interpretations, then this explanation will not convince you. If so, go away and move to some much younger planet. RockyMtnGuy (talk) 22:25, 13 September 2015 (UTC)


Shouldn't the article mention that at least some oil is abiogenic (formed by inorganic means)?[edit]

http://www.livescience.com/9404-mysterious-origin-supply-oil.html

Abiogenic sources of oil have been found, but never in commercially profitable amounts. The controversy isn't over whether naturally forming oil reserves exist, said Larry Nation of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. It's over how much they contribute to Earth's overall reserves and how much time and effort geologists should devote to seeking them out.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 194.1.145.253 (talkcontribs) 20:02, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

The article does briefly mention the theory of abiogenic petroleum origin. But generally, abiogenic sources are believed to be inconsequential. The livescience.com webpage you link exaggerates the issue. ChemNerd (talk) 20:02, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
The article leaves the impression that all oil is of organic origin. How is a claim that some oil is abiogenic, an exaggeration? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.64.70.120 (talk) 08:58, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
That's not what I said. I said the livescience.com article exaggerates the issue. To be more specific, it conveys the idea that there is more of controversy than there really is. ChemNerd (talk) 13:12, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
The livescience.com article is all BS (Bad Science) - discredited 19th century Russian theories and popular myths (oil comes from dead dinosaurs, prehistoric comets, volcanoes, exists in vast pools, takes hundreds of millions of years to form, etc). Virtually none of the oil on Earth is of non-biological origins (unless you classify methane as "oil"). Since the 1950's petroleum geologists have rather accurately determined how and where oil was formed. Vast amounts have been created from dead organisms since life originated on Earth billions of years ago, but 99% of it has escaped from the earth and been biodegraded into new life, so geologists are looking for the 1% that is left underground. You can become rich if you can only find it. The real trick is finding out where it is now, since oil is very mobile and can move several kilometres vertically and hundreds of kilometres horizontally from where it originated. The shale oil revolution is somewhat different in that the oil is still in the marine shale formations where it originated, and the real challenge is producing it economically using horizontal drilling and multistage hydraulic fracturing, but that's too complicated for the popular press. RockyMtnGuy (talk) 17:35, 16 January 2016 (UTC)
Also, people seem to be fond of citing "Larry Nation of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists", quoted out of context of a couple of decades ago, as being authoritative. Let me mention that Larry Nation is the former Communications Director of the AAPG, and has a degree in Journalism. Let me also mention that he said about the late Thomas Gold's abiogenic theory, "We're very familiar with Tommy Gold. Geologists in that field are more open-minded than you might think. They're a pretty independent bunch, or there wouldn't be so many dry holes." and also, "Most petroleum geologists don't agree with his theory, but it's fun to talk about." Gold, on the other hand, was not a petroleum geologist but an Austrian astrophysicist also known for proposing the Steady State theory of cosmic origins, now rejected by the vast majority of astrophysicists in favor of the Big Bang theory.RockyMtnGuy (talk) 18:14, 16 January 2016 (UTC)
The question is not about quantities or percentage. The article, as it is today, works very hard to leave an impression that absolutely all naturally occurring oil is of biogenic origin. Which is not true. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 194.1.145.253 (talk) 12:04, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
I would say that the percentage of abiogenic versus biogenic oil in the world today could be rounded to approximately 0%. If you want to quote a higher number, you need to come up with an authoritative source for it, and not somebody's fringe theory. I would say Gold's abiogenic theory would fall into the fringe theory category given the most recent data on the subject. Just about all petroleum geologists reject it. RockyMtnGuy (talk) 21:56, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
You continuously reference some fringe theories, and (successfully) explain why they should not be present in the article. Kudos for that. However, this is not what I am asking. There is no dispute in the scientific community that at least some naturally occurring oil is of abiogenic origin. And the article, as it is today, works very hard to leave an impression that absolutely all naturally occurring oil is of biogenic origin. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 194.1.145.253 (talk) 07:47, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

(edit conflict) The article on the topic says in its summary (lead section) "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". I would suggest discussing it there. Here we want only a summary of the summary, and the conclusion of our resident experts seems to be that it is a fringe theory, and so not worthy of undue general coverage. --Nigelj (talk) 07:51, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

There is no dispute in the scientific community that at least some naturally occurring oil is of abiogenic origin. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 194.1.145.253 (talk) 08:12, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

Choroplth map[edit]

The map uses the choropleth mapping technique incorrectly. Raw data values should not be depicted because of misinterpretation due to country areas. How can we change it? Hayttom (talk) 17:21, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

removed invention of kerosene distillation by Walter[edit]

I removed this unsourced line: "The process to distill kerosene from petroleum was invented by a Polish chemist, Filip Neriusz Walter." The kerosene article describes a long history of distillation. A web search reveals nothing about this in English except recycling of [edit: his biography article, which is also unsourced on this point]. His entry in the Polish Biographical Dictionary of 1982 does not mention it. "alyosha" (talk) 06:33, 25 July 2016 (UTC)