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Inorganic Origin of Petroleum

The theory of Inorganic Origin of Petroleum (synonyms: abiogenic, abiotic, abyssal, endogenous, juvenile, mineral, primordial) holds that petroleum is formed by non- biological processes deep in the Earth crust and mantle. This contradicts the traditional view that the oil would be a "fossil fuel" produced by remnants of ancient organisms. Oil is a hydrocarbon mixture in which the primary constituent is mainly methane CH 4 (a molecule composed of one carbon atom bonded to four hydrogen atoms). The occurrence of methane is common in Earth's interior, with the possible formation of hydrocarbons at great depths. This hypothesis dates from the nineteenth century when the French chemist Marcellin Berthelot and the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev proposed to explain the origin of oil and their theories was revived in the decade after 1950.

oil and their theories was revived in the decade after 1950. Dmitri Mendeleev (1834-1907) “The capital

Dmitri Mendeleev (1834-1907)

“The capital fact to note is that petroleum was born in the depths of the earth, and is only there that we must seek its origin” Dmitri Mendeleev, 1877.

Marcellin Berthelot (1827-1907) “Do these fuels result always and necessarily in one way from the

Marcellin Berthelot (1827-1907)

“Do these fuels result always and necessarily in one way from the decomposition of a pre-existing organic substance? Is it thus with the hydrocarbons so frequently observed in volcanic eruptions and emanations, and to which M. Ch. Sainte-Claire Deville has called attention in recent years? Finally, must one assign a parallel origin to carbonaceous matter and to hydrocarbons contained in certain meteorites, and which appear to have an origin foreign to our planet? These are questions on which the opinion of many distinguished geologists does not as yet appear to be fixed.” Marcellin Berthelot, 1866

The inorganic theory contrasts with the ideas that posit the exhaustion of oil (Peak Oil), which assumes that the oil would be formed from biological processes and thus occur only in small quantities and sets, tending to exhaust. According to the Abiogenic Theory (Abiotic), hydrocarbons are very abundant on the planet, but the search for discovery of commercial accumulations is not simple because it must pass through the understanding of the geology of the favorable areas and especially to understand the real nature of oil and of natural gas.

Comparisons between the theories Oil Formation

There are two theories about the origin of natural hydrocarbons: the biogenic theory and the abiogenic theory. These theories have been intensely debated since 1860 and less frequently after the discovery of vast oil reserves. The postulation that the oil would be formed from organic waste buried was originally proposed by Russian scholar scientist Mikhail Lomonosov, in 1757.

Biogenic (Orthodox): remnants of buried plant and animal life (organic waste) hundreds of feet deep. The action of pressure and temperature with time in geologic converts the kerogen into hydrocarbons (catagenesis). It is noteworthy that at the time they were proposed for the biogenic theory of oil formation has not yet had reports of space research and technology of telescopes and probes, as is now known that the oil abundance on Earth, in the solar system and universe.

oil abundance on Earth, in the solar system and universe. Sir Fred Hoyle (1915-2001) “The suggestion

Sir Fred Hoyle (1915-2001)

“The suggestion that petroleum might have arisen from some

transformation of squashed fish or biological detritus is surely the silliest notion to have been entertained by substantial numbers of

persons over an extended period of time.”

Sir Fred Hoyle, 1982

Abiogenic: deep deposits of hydrocarbons trapped during the formation of the planet. Hundreds of kilometers deep hydrocarbon molecules (mostly methane) that migrate from the mantle to the crust forming complex molecules. In this migration, primordial gasses such as helium and nitrogen may be present. The presence of hydrocarbons associated with biological molecules is closely related to contamination by microorganisms (bacteria) that feed on hydrocarbons and die into the oil leave your fingerprints. Almost all of the hydrocarbons that are chemically form oil generated at great depths by abiogenic processes and, therefore, the oil deposits in shallower crustal levels represent simple displacement of oil from its original environment of formation, i.e. the Earth's mantle to shallower levels in the crust. A variation of the abiogenic theory suggests that part of the oil can be formed

through reactions like Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis from serpentinization of mantle peridotite, through hydrolysis reactions, producing hydrogen by reacting with other compounds of carbon (methane), carbon dioxide carbonates produces carbon or hydrocarbons which later migrate to shallower levels.

Coal formation

Biogenic (Orthodox): Coal is a material derived from organic waste (vegetable) that was buried and compressed.

organic waste (vegetable) that was buried and compressed. Coal mining in Indonesia Abiogenic : Coal (black

Coal mining in Indonesia

Abiogenic: Coal (black only) is a material that can contain the presence of organic compounds, but that was filled by inorganic hydrocarbons that migrated by continuous upwelling and reached these deposits come from great depth and preserving fine debris and cellular tissues of plants. Such a situation may occur in the surface migration of methane and oil on areas of marshes or peat. Several metals such as Nickel, Vanadium, Chromium, Cadmium, Mercury, Arsenic, Lead, Selenium, among others, are also present in coal. Many bituminous coals are sometimes and also have high sulfur content. As with oil, these metals come from deep inside the Earth (mantle) and represent stages in high loss of hydrogen. Nor is it a rare association of uranium deposits of coal. The association of mercury with coal is a common fact. In many coal deposits in the world is common to have called tonsteins layers consisting of kaolin material, sometimes interpreted as volcanic ash. Only the brown coal (lignite) could be considered biogenic.

ash. Only the brown coal (lignite) could be considered biogenic. Coal layer over 100 ft -

Coal layer over 100 ft - Powder River, Wyoming, USA

Modern Abiotic Theories about Oil Formation

Russian geologist Nikolai Alexandrovitch Kudryavtsev was first proposed the modern theory of abiotic oil, in 1951. He analyzed the geology of the Athabasca bituminous sands in Alberta, Canada (Athabasca Tar Sands) and concluded that no "source rocks" could form the enormous volume of oil in those tar sands (currently estimated at about 1.7 trillion barrels) and therefore the most plausible explanation is that oil is abiotic, abiogenic, inorganic and that comes from deep inside the Earth through deep faults.

Kudryavtsev worked with such brilliant scientists as Petr N. Kropotkin, Vladimir B. Porfir'ev, Emmanuil B. Chekaliuk, Vladilen A. Krayushkin, Georgi E. Boyko, Georgi I. Voitov, Grygori N. Dolenko, Iona V. Greenberg, Nikolai S. Beskrovny, Victor F. Linetsky and many others.

Nikolai S. Beskrovny, Victor F. Linetsky and many others. Nikolai A. Kudryavtsev (1893-1971) Vladimir B.

Nikolai A. Kudryavtsev (1893-1971)

and many others. Nikolai A. Kudryavtsev (1893-1971) Vladimir B. Porfir'yev (1899-1982) “The overwhelming

Vladimir B. Porfir'yev (1899-1982)

“The overwhelming preponderance of geological evidence compels the conclusion that crude oil and natural petroleum gas have no intrinsic connection with biological matter originating near the surface of the Earth. They are primordial materials which have been erupted from great depths.” -- Vladimir B. Porfir'yev, 1956

The Russian-Ukrainian theory of petroleum, based on thermodynamic calculations, in Ukraine was initiated by the scientist Professor Emmanuil B. Chekaliuk (1967), whose studies indicated that the oil comes from and originates at high pressures and temperatures in the Earth's mantle, without the participation of carbon of organic origin (plants or animals). This theory is supported by several studies conducted experimental laboratory in the United States by Dr. J.F. Kenney and other Russian scientists.

States by Dr. J.F. Kenney and other Russian scientists. Emmanuil B. Chekaliuk (1909-1990) “Statistical

Emmanuil B. Chekaliuk (1909-1990)

“Statistical thermodynamic analysis has established clearly that hydrocarbon molecules which comprise petroleum require very high pressures for their spontaneous formation, comparable to the pressures required for the same of diamond. In that sense, hydrocarbon molecules are the high-pressure polymorphs of the reduced carbon system as is diamond of elemental carbon. Any notion which might suggest that hydrocarbon molecules spontaneously evolve in the regimes of temperature and pressure characterized by the near-surface of the Earth, which are the regimes of methane creation and hydrocarbon destruction, does not even deserve consideration.” Emmanuil B. Chekaliuk, 1968

The American scientist astronomer and astrophysicist Thomas Gold was one of the most prominent proponents of abiogenic theory in the Western. He claims that oil is a primordial substance, formed deep inside the Earth and other planets also (especially in the form of methane). The rise of methane, sometimes along with helium and nitrogen, reached shallower in the crust, where the hydrocarbons interact with microbial life which contaminates the primordial oil.

with microbial life which contaminates the primordial oil. “Hydrocarbons are Thomas Gold (1920-2004) not biology

“Hydrocarbons

are

Thomas Gold (1920-2004)

not

biology

reworked by geology (as the

traditional view would hold), but rather geology reworked by biology.” (Thomas Gold, 1920 - 2004)

One of the predictions of abiogenic theories is that other solar system planets and their satellites have oceans of hydrocarbons (methane, ethane). These hydrocarbons would be present or in the formation of the solar system or were products of subsequent chemical reactions. The hydrocarbons are present in the nebulae, commonly as complex Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs).

commonly as complex Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Hydrocarbons are very common in the solar system and

Hydrocarbons are very common in the solar system and universe

Image of Orion Nebula images from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and Spitzer Space Telescope

Image of Orion Nebula images from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and Spitzer Space Telescope (SST). The colors in yellow due to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH's) that are common in nebulae, comets. These aromatic compounds are also part of the oil.

The American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) has conducted conferences on issues regarding the origin of oil (biogenic/Abiogenic) and involvement in exploration and oil production.

Evidences supporting Abiotic Theory

Supergiant oil fields

Russian geologist Nikolai Alexandrovitch Kudryavtsev was a prominent advocate of the abiogenic theory. He argued that any oil produced in the laboratory from plants is similar in chemical composition to natural hydrocarbons such as crude oil. He presented many examples of that, substantial and sometimes commercial quantities of hydrocarbons were found in the basement crystalline rocks or in sediments directly to them overlapping.

He cited cases in Kansas and California (United States), in western Venezuela and Morocco. He also indicated that the oil reservoirs in sedimentary strata are often related to significant fractures in the basement immediately below these accumulations. This is also evidenced in the field of supergiant Ghawar in Saudi Arabia, in the Panhandle-Hugoton field in Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma that also produces helium in commercial quantities,

Tengiz, Kazakhstan, White Tiger, Vietnam and countless others. In the Last Soldier oil field (Wyoming, USA).

Kudryavtsev established that in all horizons of the geological section, sandstones of the Cambrian to Cretaceous cover the basement and have reservoirs of oil. A flow of oil was also obtained in the very base. Gaseous hydrocarbons, he noted, are not rare in igneous and metamorphic rocks of the Canadian Shield. Petroleum in Pre-Cambrian gneiss is found on the western shore of Lake Baikal in Russia. He noted that oil is present in large or small quantities, but in all horizons below any petroleum accumulation, apparently totally independent of the variability of the conditions of formation of these horizons. This nomination has become known as "Kudryavtsev's Rule" and many examples of it have been recorded in various parts of the world. He concluded that commercial accumulations of oil are simply found where permeable zones are covered with impervious areas.

Kudryavtsev introduced a number of other relevant considerations as arguments. Columns of flames have been seen during the eruptions of some volcanoes, sometimes reaching 500 meters high, as during the eruption of Mount Merapi in Sumatra in 1932. The eruptions of mud volcanoes have released huge amounts of methane so that even the most prolific gas field overlying has been exhausted long ago. The water from the mud volcanoes of some chemicals such as door Iodine (I), bromine (Br) and boron (B) that could not be derived from the sediments and next that exceed the concentrations present in seawater at hundreds of times. Mud volcanoes are often associated with volcanic lava (magma) and when near the latter, the mud volcanoes emit non-combustible gasses, whereas when further away emit methane.

gasses, whereas when further away emit methane. Mud volcanoes, Salse di Nirano, north Italy He knew

Mud volcanoes, Salse di Nirano, north Italy

He knew of the occurrence of oil in basement rocks of the Kola Peninsula (Russia) and oil

leaks on the Siljan impact structure, Sweden. He noted, as mentioned above, that the immense quantities of hydrocarbons in the Athabasca Oil Sands (Tar Sands), Canada would have to contain a vast amount of "source rocks" according to the conventional model, when indeed, none was found.

to the conventional model, when indeed, none was found. Map of the Athabasca Tar Sands oil

Map of the Athabasca Tar Sands oil sands, Alberta, Canada. The estimated reserves are 1.7 trillion barrels of oil

Alberta, Canada. The estimated reserves are 1.7 trillion barrels of oil Athabasca Tar (oil) Sands mining,

Athabasca Tar (oil) Sands mining, Alberta, Canadá

Map of supergiant Ghawar Field in Saudi Arabia. This field is 230 km long. The

Map of supergiant Ghawar Field in Saudi Arabia. This field is 230 km long. The estimated reserves are 250 billion barrels

230 km long. The estimated reserves are 250 billion barrels Horst basement below the Ghawar Field

Horst basement below the Ghawar Field

250 billion barrels Horst basement below the Ghawar Field Seismic section in the southern part of

Seismic section in the southern part of Ghawar field. Note the deep fault in the basement, through which hydrocarbons migrate and accumulate in the overlying sedimentary reservoirs (from AAPG Explorer)

Methane and extraterrestrial hydrocarbons

Methane and many other hydrocarbons have been detected in several regions of the solar

system.

during its formation. Alternatively it could have been enriched through the Earth chondritic

meteorites. A special class of meteorites, chondrites designated carbon or carbon containing about 3% of its weight in carbon, and can show various complex carbon-based compounds such as porphyrins, amino acids, purine and pyrimidine bases, and carboxylic acids. This implies a strong evidence for the presence of hydrocarbons in the deep past tenses of planetary bodies that have disintegrated. In 2004, the Cassini-Huygens Mission (NASA and ESA) confirmed abundant hydrocarbons (methane and ethane) on Titan, a satellite (moon) from Saturn.

Methane is a common constituent of the cosmos and the building was built to Earth

of the cosmos and the building was built to Earth Titan, a moon of Saturn. Contains

Titan, a moon of Saturn. Contains lakes and seas of liquid hydrocarbons, mainly methane and ethane

Methane has been detected on:

Jupiter, Mars, Saturn (and its moons Iapetus, Titan, Enceladus), Neptune (Triton), Uranus (Ariel, Miranda, Oberon, Titania, Umbriel), Pluto, Comet Halley, Comet Hyakutake and cosmic dust, Nebulae and Interstellar gas.

Titania, Umbriel), Pluto, Comet Halley, Comet Hyakutake and cosmic dust, Nebulae and Interstellar gas. Methane in

Methane in Mars

Cosmic and Planetary abundance of carbon

The element carbon (C) is the fourth in order of abundance cosmological, preceded only by hydrogen (H), helium (He) and oxygen (O). The available carbon in the nebula that gave rise to the solar system was built to Earth in the process of planetesimal accretion. The primary geochemical differentiation made heavier elements stay concentrated in the nucleus. Partial melting processes in the continued evolution of the mantle, crust, hydrosphere and atmosphere. Most of the carbon remained in the primordial mantle.

Tectonic processes of high-magnitude enable rise of volatiles from the mantle to shallow crustal levels on Earth. The reactivation of the mega-structures in sedimentary basins over its geological history can also promote the upwelling and migration of hydrocarbons.

also promote the upwelling and migration of hydrocarbons. Cosmic abundance of the elements According to studies

Cosmic abundance of the elements

According to studies performed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to estimate the distribution of carbon on Earth is:

Biosphere, oceans, atmosphere Crust Organic carbon Carbonates Mantle

3.7 x 10e+18 moles

1100 x 10e+18 moles 5200 x 10e+18 moles 100000 x 10e+18 moles

Mantle 3.7 x 10e+18 moles 1100 x 10e+18 moles 5200 x 10e+18 moles 100000 x 10e+18

Earth's Carbon Budget (MIT)

Earth's mantle contains according that estimative about 20 times more carbon than in the superficial layers of the planet. This carbon within the mantle is in the oxidized form such as carbon dioxide, carbonates, not oxidized as diamonds, oil and possibly metal carbides.

There is a serious problem when we use the word "organic carbon" or organic chemistry. Dr. Thomas Gold reminds us that we can read a whole book of organic chemistry without mentioning any organism (biology). A rock that contains carbon does not mean that all or part of this carbon there is of biological origin, i.e. carbon of organic origin, fossil. This carbon may have migrated in the form of hydrocarbons and inorganic interacted with the rock at low pressure, including reworking by deep biosphere, by microorganisms that feed on hydrocarbons (archaea) which also leave their impressions as (biomarkers).

Many people related to geosciences claim that oil is formed, for example, in shales, which are thin and laminated argillaceous rocks. However, oil, gas or bitumen that can be associated with a shale can be allochthonous material and therefore not formed in situ. The hydrocarbons that migrate to the laminated rocks also promote conservation of fossil and the very abundance of the latter may relate to local emanation of hydrocarbons, in which the bodies approached. If not consider these arguments leads to confusion and misinterpretation that oil is produced from fossil fuels (sic).

Cold planetary formation

In the late nineteenth century it was believed that early Earth was extremely hot, completely melted during its formation. Many planetary scientists now believe that the formation of the Earth was relatively cold. Recent studies in older zircons (4.4 billion years) suggest that the rocks were formed at low temperatures, sufficient to maintain liquid water. The moon would have formed shortly after this time.

Existence of hydrocarbon deposits

The conventional oil reserves would disappear in no more than a million years, based on the rate of escape of hydrocarbons to the surface (seeps, seepage). If there are a limited number of sources of hydrocarbon deposits in the context of geologic time, it would be a surprising and amazing coincidence to know that there still are now. If deposits are feeding on themselves, their present existence becomes less surprising.

The crucial issue for the concept of the organic model is how it could support any mechanism to supply oil reserves faster than its exhaustion. Geological facts collected from all oil basins testify that, geologically, the fields of oil and gas are formed very quickly, which contradicts the time required for maturation of organic rocks is based concepts as biogenic. This is a crucial observation for this traditional model.

Some believe that abiogenic origin has a difficult mission for the hydrocarbon deposits were not as plentiful as the sources are largely abiogenic. Thinking that mantle volatiles are alleged as rare in the superficial layers of the Earth is interesting to note that solid rock of the lower crust and upper mantle cover vast desert areas (as examples granulitic belts and ophiolite). In addition, outcrops of rocks off the mantle of the ocean floor and throughout the global system of mid-ocean ridges are plentiful on this planet. Also, it is often assumed that earthquakes cause massive discharges of hydrocarbons (e.g. oil seeps ''catastrophic'' oil slicks in the oceans) due to rupture of impermeable rocks, however, it is considered that the constant fluid seeps always migrate to the surface that day-to-day, called the ''cold'' outgassing such moves as much or even more help in relation to catastrophic events.

Some think that this argument would be somewhat strange because there is evidence of fossils in tar pits (lakes of bitumen) covering a wide range of periods and therefore many of them are important sources of fossils. This certainly proves the fossil organic matter replenishment through geological time (hundreds of millions of years) with which the biogenic origin alone explains sic. However, this has nothing in common with the rapid formation of gas and oil fields (around 10 to 40 thousand years), and geologically rapid deterioration.

Hydrocarbons disappear quickly while there was dissipation, evaporation, and deep oxidation intense biodegradation. So the clue to solving this problem lies in the global balance of carbon and hydrogen flows and exchange rates. When scientists and researchers give attention to these facts and better understand the Earth system, integrating the knowledge of physics, astrophysics and astronomy will be clear that hydrocarbons (oil and natural gas) are primordial materials, and therefore prior to emergence of life.

Methane on Earth

Methane gas is typically found on Earth, if not in natural gas deposits, deposits of methane hydrate under high pressure in the abyssal plains of oceans, often reworked by bacteria levels in most shallow gas hydrates frozen soils under permafrost "or from the degradation of biogenic materials. Methane is a greenhouse gas that causes greenhouse about 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, CO 2 (carbon dioxide).

It is possible that the major extinctions of life that occurred in Earth's history are due to the increase of methane in the atmosphere through geological processes, such as demotions sea level or meteorite impacts, which could destabilize gas hydrates in the oceans. It is possible that this situation would have occurred either during the Permo-Triassic crisis, with the fragmentation of the supercontinent Pangaea with expressive or meteorite impacts during the transition from the Cretaceous to Paleogene (Old Lower Tertiary).

Methane reacts with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide when it interacts close to the

volcanoes of magma (lava). Methane reacts with water, oxygen and calcium to form carbonate cements and concretions in sedimentary reservoirs of oil.

Microbial life that live inside the Earth or near the bottom of the sea feed on methane, creating spectacular ecosystems, with bizarre life forms and as yet little studied, such as chemosynthetic communities and deepwater corals.

Methane interacts with argillaceous rocks rich in organic matter (kerogen) and can produce smaller contributions to the formation of hydrocarbon oil, due to production of real biomarker (e.g. hopanes, terpanes which are derived from cell walls of bacteria) and unsaturated (alkenes), but not exactly oil. It can also interact with peat swamps forming deposits of coal, bringing great depths metals like mercury (as methyl or dimethyl mercury), arsenic, nickel, vanadium, cadmium, lead, selenium, uranium, among others.

vanadium, cadmium, lead, selenium, uranium, among others. Hopanes are a class of isoprenoids present in small

Hopanes are a class of isoprenoids present in small quantities in oil. Its origin is related to traces of cell walls of bacteria (archaea) that feed and die in the midst of abiogenic primordial hydrocarbons. These traces are called biomarkers

Methane (and the same or carbonates from methane oxidized) can polymerize inside the Earth through reactions catalyzed Fischer-Tropsch type synthesis, forming liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons (oil) by serpentinization of peridotite (dunite) of the mantle produces hydrogen in the presence of metal catalysts such as nickel, iron, etc.

Sudden shifts large amounts of methane in Earth's interior can cause large earthquakes, as pointed out by scientist Thomas Gold. The sudden escape of methane to the surface land surface or on the seas can also be a cause of some plane crashes and shipwrecks. Loss of support could occur if the route of vessels or aircraft to coincide with a large flux of methane which would result in a decrease in the density of air or water. Methane has a wide range of thermodynamic stability. Experiments of high pressure and temperature confirm this statement.

Unusual deposits

Hydrocarbon deposits are found in areas condemned by orthodox traditional biogenic theory. Some oil fields are being fed back from deep sources, although this is not a rule for a "biogenic source rock" deep.

Example noted of oil fields that refilling was reported in Eugene Island, Block 330, in the Gulf of Mexico. The Russians also have found refilling at Romashkinokoye supergiant oilfield, like the Americans also saw the same phenomenon in Prudhoe Basin, North Slope, Alaska. This is a common phenomenon in most fields of oil and natural gas. When the critical pressure is exceeded or when an earthquake can be replenishment of the reservoirs if which the structural configuration allows it.

In the field of White Tiger, Vietnam and many fields in Russia, oil and natural gas are being produced in reservoirs located in the basement granites, with some wells showing the presence of hydrocarbons over a thousand feet below the top of the granitic basement. In the case of Vietnam there is no source rock below the biogenic theory and the producer would have to be a migration of tens of kilometers to the oil migrated laterally, when through a logical analysis becomes easy to conclude that migration of hydrocarbons is from the deep fault affecting the basement and allow communication with the mantle.

the basement and allow communication with the mantle. Model of White Tiger Field, Vietnam. Oil production

Model of White Tiger Field, Vietnam. Oil production is done in fractured granitic rock of the basement, more than 1000 meters below the top

The "black shales" of the Achaean Pilbara Craton (3.25 Ga), Australia, have fluid inclusion oil and pirobitumen. There is much evidence of bitumen in very old rocks, mainly associated mineralizations. The primordial hydrocarbons also may lead metal compounds and deposit them in hydrothermal processes.

Microbes deep inside the Earth

Microbial life has been discovered 4.2 kilometers deep in Alaska and 5.2 kilometers in Sweden. Metanophillic organisms are known a long time and recently found microbial life in Yellowstone Park, USA, and are based on the metabolism of hydrogen. Other bodies deep and warm environments (extremophiles bacteria) remain to be discovered and those who support extreme environments such as hypersaline lakes. Proponents of Abiogenic Theory or inorganic origin of oil indicate that the deep biosphere is responsible for biomarkers present in the oil, i.e., these biomarkers are actually organic contaminants of natural hydrocarbons.

are actually organic contaminants of natural hydrocarbons. Microbial life feed by primordial hydrocarbons in depths. An

Microbial life feed by primordial hydrocarbons in depths. An artistic conception of Deep Hot Biosphere (The Deep Hot Biosphere, Thomas Gold, 1999)

Helium

Association of helium in natural gas fields and oil is quite common. While 3 He is a primordial gas found in mantle, 4 He is also generated from the radioactive decay of uranium.

Helium is commonly associated with light oils, often accompanied by nitrogen and methane. These gasses aid in the migration of liquid oil and other gasses from deep levels in mantle to shallower levels in crust.

No known biological process produces helium, so its close relationship with oil is a strong argument for abiogenic theory. Commercial accumulations of helium are generally rare, however, are always associated with oil and natural gas. In the gas field Panhandle-Hugoton

in Kansas and Texas, there is significant production of helium. There are also other fields such as Algeria and Russia with important content.

The retention of helium requires specific conditions, for example, be an extremely effective seal rock overlying reservoir, usually salt (also called evaporites). The radiogenic helium formed in crustal levels would not itself sufficient pressure to embed from the rocks beside the reservoirs of methane and light oils. The most logical assumption is therefore that migration comes from its deep (mantle) bringing other hydrocarbons. Sometimes helium occurs associated with carbon dioxide gas, both primordial.

Trace element and associated metals

Nickel (Ni), Vanadium (V), Lead (Pb), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), Mercury (Hg), Cobalt (Co), Chromium (Cr), and other metals are often found in petroleum, mainly Nickel and Vanadium. Some heavy oils, such as some crude oil from Venezuela, have up to reach 45% of Vanadium (pentoxide) in the ashes, values which are even commercials. These metals and their paragenesis are common in Earth's mantle.

These trace elements are also called biomarkers, or non-"abiomarkers" but through the paragenesis of the metals is possible to establish signatures for identification of origin of crude oil (petroleum).

The presence of mercury (Hg) is remarkable in many gas fields and also oil, oil shales, black coal and also peat. Mercury, as already mentioned, can migrate in the form of organometallic compounds such as methyl or dimethyl mercury. It is a highly toxic element, biocide, and has no intrinsic relationship with biological activity. Until the mercury present in peat could come from upwelling through deep faults below that bring methane to the surface levels.

Analysis of 22 trace elements in 77 oils, chemically correlate best with the composition of chondritic meteorites, serpentinized peridotite in the mantle and fertile primitive mantle than oceanic crust or continental, and show no correlation with the distributions of the chemical in water sea (Szatmari et al., 2005).

of the chemical in water sea ( Szatmari et al ., 2005). Comparison of average trace

Comparison of average trace element of Brazil's 67 oil (ppb) with chondrite, UB-N serpentinized mantle, primitive mantle, spinel peridotite mantle and depleted mantle (ppm). The correlations are better with the serpentinized mantle. Szatmari et al. (2007)

Diamondoids

Tiny diamondoids occur in petroleum (oil, gas and condensate). Are molecules that have a similar arrangement of the structure of atoms as diamonds, that is the cubic crystal system, and it is suspected that its origin is also linked to the environments of origin of kimberlites and lamproites, which carry natural diamonds, from the ultra high pressures and temperature in the Earth's mantle, bringing them to the surface. These diamondoids found more abundantly in condensates, which are very light oils. Diamondoids are excellent raw material for nanotechnology.

Diamondoids are excellent raw material for nanotechnology. Diamondoid tiny crystals have an ubiquitous presence in

Diamondoid tiny crystals have an ubiquitous presence in hydrocarbons, mainly in gas and condensates

Hydrogen

Petroleum is composed mainly of alkanes (n-alkanes, paraffins). Sir Robert Robinson, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (1947) studied the constitution of the natural oil in great detail and concluded that there was much excess hydrogen to that was the product of organic waste from plants or animals. Olefins (alkenes), which are unsaturated hydrocarbons, are what should be expected if the source was organic. He then wrote:

should be expected if the source was organic. He then wrote: Sir Robert Robinson (1886-1975) “Actually

Sir Robert Robinson (1886-1975)

“Actually it cannot be too strongly emphasized that petroleum does not present the composition picture expected from modified biogenic products, and all the arguments from the constituents of ancient oils fit equally well, or better, with the conception of a primordial hydrocarbon mixture to which bio-products have been added.” Sir Robert Robinson (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1947)

Thermodynamics

The Second Law of Thermodynamics prohibits the spontaneous formation of hydrocarbons heavier than methane at low pressures. Thermodynamic calculations and various experimental studies performed in Russia and the United States confirmed that n-alkanes (common components in oil) do not evolve spontaneously from methane at pressures typically found in sedimentary basins, so the theory for the origin of hydrocarbons Abiogenic suggests deep generation (below 150-200 km, according to studies leading by Dr. J.F. Kenney and Russian colleagues.

studies leading by Dr . J.F. Kenney and Russian colleagues. Stability of hydrocarbons at temperatures and

Stability of hydrocarbons at temperatures and pressures in the Earth (from Chekaliuk, 1976). Methane (CH4) is the most stable molecule of the hydrocarbons, most of it would survive at all levels down to 300 kilometers, provide the temperature there did not exceed 2000 oC. For the other components of natural petroleum-paraffins, aromatics and naphthenes - the percentages in equilibrium are shown, these would be the values most likely to be produced from a mixture of hydrogen and carbon. Methane streaming from great depth could bring up, in solution, significant fractions of these petroleum components.

“The Hydrogen-Carbon system does not evolve spontaneously at pressures less than 30 Kbar, even in the most favorable environmental conditions. The HC system evolves hydrocarbons under pressures found in Earth's mantle at temperatures consistent with that environment” J. F. Kenney and collaborators, 2002

Biology

Life as we know it is fundamentally based on carbon. The primitive organisms (archaea) derive energy from primordial methane or oil (hydrocarbons) that are deep within the Earth. Many microbes also draw oxygen from the reduction of sulfates and produce hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S). This deep biosphere as contaminants in oil shares and becomes the so-called biomarkers found in natural petroleum.

Photosynthesis is a very complicated process that primitive organisms have evolved to assist them in the conquest and survival on the planet surface. This may have occurred when the local source of hydrocarbons may have ceased. The astrophysicist Thomas Gold mentioned that the primitive bacteria invented photosynthesis to conquer the surface to make your own food, i.e. autotrophs beings.

the surface to make your own food, i.e. autotrophs beings. Phylogenetic Tree of Life Black smokers

Phylogenetic Tree of Life

own food, i.e. autotrophs beings. Phylogenetic Tree of Life Black smokers on the ocean floor and

Black smokers on the ocean floor and associated chemosynthetic communities

Serpentinization and chemical synthesis of oil - Fischer- Tropsch Synthesis

Another possible formation of inorganic oil is through the Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis. The Fischer-Tropsch catalyst converts carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and methane in various forms of liquid hydrocarbons. Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide is generated by the partial oxidation of coal or fuel wood. This process was developed and used extensively in World War II by Germany, which had limited access to oil supplies. Is still used today in South Africa to produce diesel from coal.

Fischer-Tropsch synthesis is used worldwide to produce liquid hydrocarbons from CO (or CO 2 ) gas by reductive polymerization in hydrogen, at medium pressures and temperatures (200-300°C), over transition metal catalyst. (Szatmari, 1989)

Serpentinization of ultramafic peridotite reactions involving carbon-rich Fischer-Tropsch and is believed to occur at depth where the mantle peridotite is hydrolyzed becoming serpentinite while there is hydrogen evolution. In the presence of transition metal catalysts (Fe, Ni, Co), hydrogen reacts with carbon dioxide from carbonate rocks and result in n- alkane hydrocarbons including linear saturated hydrocarbons, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, aromatic and cyclic compounds. It is also possible that the methane in the deepest regions of the mantle is polymerized by the Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis forming n-alkanes and other hydrocarbons.

Although this type of reaction can form some hydrocarbons at low pressure and temperature, the products are not petroleum. Thus these reactions, although not all forms molecules present in petroleum, could contribute to the formation of the hydro- polymerisation of methane and carbon dioxide.

of the hydro- polymerisation of methane and carbon dioxide. Petroleum synthesis in collision zones. Water and

Petroleum synthesis in collision zones. Water and CO 2 , expelled from understhrust shelf carbonates, cause serpentinization and carbonatization in basal peridotites of overriding oceanic lithosphere (Phiolite suite), with attendant hydrogen and hydrocarbon formation. (Szatmari, 1989)

Association of oil with deep structures

Oil and gas fields are mainly found on the deep structures present in the basement, related to lithospheric plate boundaries, structures of meteorite impact (impact craters). This association may be observed according to the distribution of oil fields along the arcs, such as Indonesia, Persian Gulf, the Apennines (Italy), Alaska, Barbados Arch and its continuity to Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela among others. Divergent margin basins or even aborted rifts, petroleum occurrences are associated with faults of great magnitude that communicate the crust and mantle in elevation. Reactivation of important geological along the fill of sedimentary basins facilitates migration of hydrocarbons to structural highs where these accumulations can form when they find reservoir rocks and impermeable rocks (seals) above, forming traps.

Why oil is often found in sedimentary basins?

Sedimentary basins fill depression areas where there were deeply faulted, associated with plate boundaries (rifts, convergence compression or collision between two continental lithospheric plates).

The sedimentary strata form excellent reservoirs (pore spaces) and sealing rocks which when combined can form traps for hydrocarbons. These traps are connected with deep sources, related to very deep faults also, having interactions with the mantle during the evolution and reactivation of the basin.

Oil also occurs in basement rocks, although the accumulations are more rare, because the

ignorance of the geology of this kind of terrane, and there is little effort to exploratory

drilling and surveys in this context. The

accumulations in sedimentary basins is due to the remarkable development of seismic reflection methods, which allow better identification of structures and prediction of reservoirs.

success of the discoveries of the

oil and natural gas

Hydrocarbons (oil, gas) migrating through faults from deep to the host sedimentary rocks are mainly in the reservoirs (rock porosity), however it is fairly common interaction between alocthonous hydrocarbon and interstratified rocks such as shales and / or alternating thin shales and carbonate rocks, leading to erroneous interpretation that these lithotypes are "source rocks" of oil (sic).

Example of oil trends in areas of compressional regimes

Example of oil trends in areas of compressional regimes Oilfields in the Middle East. The Arabian

Oilfields in the Middle East. The Arabian Plate has relatively small size and suffered several tectonic events and recurrences. The oil fields are related to deep structures in which the hydrocarbons migrate to excellent reservoirs in sedimentary basins in the Precambrian to the Cenozoic due reactivation of old deep structures

to the Cenozoic due reactivation of old deep structures Structure of the Arc of Indonesia. The

Structure of the Arc of Indonesia. The occurrences of oil and coal are related to seismogenic zones, mud and lava volcanism on the plate boundary. Deep structures promote hydrocarbon upwelling and migration besides descompression and partial melting forming lava volcanoes

descompression and partial melting forming lava volcanoes Structure of the Caribbean Plate. The occurrence of oil

Structure of the Caribbean Plate. The occurrence of oil in Venezuela and neighbors countries follow the plate boundary, where there are deep faults that allow for the rise of the hydrocarbon to sedimentary basins above

Conceptual

models

of

extensional

regimes

which

show

interaction

between

mantle

and

oil

trends

that

follow

megastructures

and oil trends that follow megastructures Model of ocean opening and extensional basin formation of

Model of ocean opening and extensional basin formation of divergent margins. Reactivation of old rift structures that formed the sedimentary basins will rise hydrocarbon from Earth's mantle to the crust, where rocks of sedimentary basins form the best reservoirs and sealing systems in favorable structural situation for the hydrocarbons accumulations

structural situation for the hydrocarbons accumulations Model for the Viking Graben in the North Sea. Large

Model for the Viking Graben in the North Sea. Large hydrocarbon accumulations of this area clearly follow the extensional trend of the rift where there is interaction with deep mantle through deep faults that allow the rise of primordial oil to the sedimentary basins and their consequent accumulation

“Geology is the prisoner of several dogmas that have had widespread influence on the development of scientific thought.” William R. Corliss, 1975

“It is a singular and notable fact that, while most other branches of science have emancipated themselves from the trammels of metaphysical reasoning, the science of geology still remains imprisoned in ‘a priori’ theories.” Sir Henry H. Howorth, 1895