The New York Times Slays the "Peak Oil" Dinosaur

Well there you have it in the opening sentence of an eye-opening article in this Sunday's New York Times, Tracing Oil Reserves to Their Tiny Origins: "If you believe petroleum came from dinosaurs, think again and look toward the seas."

Here, in the Science section, the Times tells us that the emphasis these many years on "fossil fuels turned out to be wrong." The article goes on to detail the evolution of vast reservoirs of oil that owe their origins to microscopic life that fell into the sea over the ages and was "cooked" into oil through the earth's inner heat. That over 95% of the world's oil traces its genesis to these origins. That the most productive regions are centered on shorelines and coastal regions (think the Gulf of Mexico). According to the article, the broad shelf areas are some of "the best "factories for biogenic proliferation," especially the shore of the Tethys Sea (a prehistoric, ancient ocean that bordered the equator some 100 million years ago and was to form along its southern shore the oil laden sectors of the Middle East).

Similar Cretaceous period events, we are now learning, may have yielded munificent reservoirs of oil. As an example: when the mass of Africa pulled away from South America, "Big rivers poured in nutrients. A biological frenzy on the western shores of the narrow ocean ended up forming the vast oil fields now being discovered." It is not for naught that Brazil alone has unveiled a five-year, $224 billion investment plan to tap and develop these vast oil deposits.

Combine this information with equally impressive work done by Russian and Ukrainian geologists on the theory of Abiotic Oil, (which states that oil is inherent to the geological make up of the earth) and the dimension of extant oil takes on a whole new meaning.

It has been the cornerstone of Peak Oil dogma, which has indoctrinated us into believing that oil is imminently running out. It has permitted the oil industry to get away with setting prices unrelated to the forces of supply and demand -- prices achieved by having successfully lulled the oil consuming public and their governments into a trance of blind acceptance of costly oil.

The peak oil geologists and their prediction of the imminent arrival of peak oil is science paid for in large measure by the best geology that oil money can buy. One after another, the Peak Oil Pranksters are falling all over themselves, fine tuning their prophecies of physical depletion to "well its not so much that there is a physical shortage, but it is more difficult and costly to access." That may be the case (especially with regards to offshore reservoirs, as we all now know). But that is a very different argument than the oil industry's self-serving cries of, "there just ain't no more, so please pay, pay, pay."