I'm going to tackle your questions one-by-one and then summarize.
The main theory is not that oil is a renewable resource, but that
there's a lot more in reserve than originally thought to exist. You
can think of the oil as rejuvenating temporarily, not really renewing.
Oil is formed near the surface (on a global scale that is) by the
decomposition of animals and plant matter, compressed, and changed
into the hydrocarbons which make up oil and gas. See the link below
for a detailed explanation as well as a diagram of how that works. The
newer theory which explains why some previously dry oil fields have
started to rejuvenate is that there are huge pockets that exist of
gases and oil which were formed when the planet was first created or
soon after which have yet to be tapped, but are much deeper than could
be theorized by the plant/animal decay formation.
Please look below for an article quoted from the New Scientist, and
another article quoted about an oil field off the coast of Louisiana.
"IS OIL A RENEWABLE RESOURCE" on google:
"IS OIL A RENEWABLE RESOURCE" on google groups:
Where oil comes from:
Quoted New Scientist article (scroll about half way down):
Article about Eugene Island off the coast of Louisiana:
So the short is that oil isn't competely renewable (it will eventually
run out, but hopefully if these deep pockets exist, not before we move
onto the next fuel type). The long is that yes, eventually in a couple
million years, after we're all long and dead, our bodies and
trees/plants around us may form into oil deposits which can be tapped
by our distant distant children (should they still be using fossil
fuels). Hope I answered your questions!
Clarification of Answer by
26 Jan 2003 10:26 PST
Thank you for your approval of my first answer, I'll try to explain
your clarification questions so that they'll be as understandable and
I'm not too sure about this question as all that I've read notices a
difference in age of the oil, but as to the makeup, I haven't found
anything conclusive. What they do say is that the non-biological oil
doens't have the same biological contaminants. What contaminants it
does have (plant/animal/bacterial cells) is theorized to be the
dirtying of the deep non-biological oil as it seeps up to the surface
through dirty deposits in the rock.
I'll quote from a nice bullet explanation on a website I found for a
Physics course. You can check out the link below for more information
including a pressure graph which helps to show how pressure and
temperature "cooks" non-biological oil out of its base constituents.
-The most abundant material around the solar system is, by far,
hydrogen. Next are Helium, Carbon, Oxygen
-As a result, it stands to reason that wed find lots of CH4 and H20
in comets and asteroids and outer planets and their satellites and we
-Earth formed from accretion of solar system materials: lots of CH4
and H2O as a result
-At 200 to 300 km depth, can cook several hydrocarbons out of CH4. A
matter of the right pressure and temperature
-At 200 km CH4 (methane) is a fluid and it dissolves hydrocarbons
-Methane ultimately moves up
-The fluid pressure from CH4 can open fractures
-Nearby openings from hot magma can be used as channels. If too hot,
conversion to CO2 is likely however
-Methane delivers hydrocarbons: at low pressure the dissolved
-If the rock above is impermeable and has a dome shape, you find an
oil field, just like in the biological case.
non-biological oil on google:
Non-biological oil production: