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Alexander A. Scarborough
Abiotic Oil Creation

Date: 2011-07-09 Time: 09:00 - 17:00 9.9 (8 years 10 months ago)

Where: College Park, MD, United States Venue: Stamp Student Union


The Gulf oil situation is a tragic example that might have been prevented if drillers had been aware of how Earth creates its tremendous volumes of hydrocarbon fuels (gas, oil, coal). In brief: Methane gas molecules (CH4) trapped in Earth's crust polymerize (link together) to form petroleum. The degree of polymerization is a function of temperature, high pressure and time; as it progresses, the ratio of gas to oil decreases along with decreasing pressure, if not connected to a higher-pressured source of gas. When drilled into, the higher pressure can exceed the capability of the blow-out preventer.