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Does Deep Earth Host Untapped Fuel?
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of ABC News

ABC News, January 19, 2005
Posted: December 17th, 2007

Thomas Gold was not your typical radical. Far from being a mad scientist, he was a brilliant professor of astronomy at Cornell University, but he succeeded in driving many others mad with theories that flew in the face of conventional wisdom. His most controversial idea was among his last, and geologists and petroleum experts around the world still rage against Gold for suggesting they were dead wrong in their understanding of how oil and gas are formed in the Earth's crust. Now, a couple of decades after Gold first suggested that hydrocarbons are formed deep underground by geological processes and not just below the surface by biological decay, there is increasing evidence that he may have been on to something. Gold argued that all hydrocarbons are formed in the intense pressure and high heat near the Earth's mantle, around 100 miles under the ground. Oil and gas fields are continually replenished by hydrocarbons manufactured far below the Earth, he argued. Several prestigious organizations have found evidence that methane, the main component of natural gas, can indeed be formed under conditions like those found deep in the Earth. "All we've done is show experimentally that at the pressure at the Earth's mantle and pretty high temperatures you can indeed make methane," says Henry Scott, a physics and geology professor at Indiana University and lead author of a report on the research in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Gold said that when you squeeze things down at very high pressures, the basic chemistry can change," he says. "That's exactly what we are doing." Lawrence Livermore [National Laboratory] picked up at that point and found that methane production was most productive at 900 degrees Fahrenheit and 70,000 atmospheres of pressure. That's still hot, and it's still deep, but it suggests that methane may be abundant throughout the planet.

Note: Thomas Gold has written two books on the "abiotic" origins of oil, Power From the Earth and The Deep Hot Biosphere. His intriguing theories have been unsettling mainstream scientists for decades. He also proposed and advanced the now-accepted explanation of the strange stars called pulsars years ahead of anyone else. Read more about his work by clicking here. Could it be that oil is not as limited as some would have us believe?

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