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Mr. Russell:

As agreed to after my initial receipt of your $1,000 claim regarding my challenge on abiotic oil I have completed my major Los Angeles event and taken the time to review in detail the material which you submitted. As originally posed, my challenge included the statement that what was required was a clear demonstration that abiotic oil was entering world markets and production flows. The implication of your challenge, and other challenges received recently, addresses the key issue facing mankind. The question of importance is not one of theory, or abstract possibility. The question, accurately stated, is whether or not there really is enough oil (of any kind) to adequately support the current and expanding world population and the current patterns of rapidly increasing oil consumption in a paradigm which has yet to demonstrate even the slightest deviation from continuing overwhelming and abject reliance on hydrocarbon energy.


Before going into detail as to why your claim is denied I feel it first imperative to clarify a major point of dishonest misinformation concerning my viewpoint and motives. It is being alleged that I am somehow an advocate or spokesperson for the insane agenda of infinite war which is now unfolding before us. Nothing could be further from the truth and such a representation is one of the grossest forms of character assassination I have ever witnessed. Anyone who has attended any of my more than 35 lectures in eight countries (more than 15,000 live audience members) will know, of a certainty, that my position on solutions is absolutely clear.


I advocate an immediate cessation of all military conquest and imperialism by the US government and industrialized powers; an end to the war on terror. I advocate an immediate convening of political, economic, spiritual and scientific leaders from all nations to address the issue of Peak Oil and its immediate implications for economic collapse, massive famine and climate destruction (partially as a result of reversion to coal plants which accelerate global warming). This would, scientifically speaking, include immediate steps to arrive at a crash program – agreed to by all nations and in accordance with the highest spiritual and ethical principles – to stop global population growth and to arrive at the best possible and most ethical program of population reduction. It would also include arrival at a painful but absolutely necessary plan to implement a global program of “contraction and convergence” whereby consumption, rampant economic growth based on globalization, and corrupt economic practices is reversed in favor of a planned and executed program intended to reduce the size of a world economy which is inherently linked to the consumption of hydrocarbon energy. In stating this position I have made it clear that nothing of any real significance will be changed at all until a complete revision is made in the way money works on a global and local scale because it is financial activity and policy which will dictate how any objectives are implemented and paid for.


With regard to abiotic oil and gas I must also point out that I absolutely do not dispute (and never have) that they could be made in a laboratory setting using inorganic chemicals. The Third Reich manufactured synthetic oil during World War II. The Nazi program was horribly inefficient in terms of net energy and was not sustainable.  Simply put you can’t make artificial oil and gas a viable alternative to anything if it takes more caloric (or joule) energy to produce it than you get from burning it. An analysis of all of these “manufactured” fuels reveals that it either took more energy to manufacture than they produced when burned or that the chemical compounds used to make them were either in insufficient quantity or economically unsuited for hydrocarbon replacement in a current world regime relying on 700 million internal combustion vehicles. The question is one of sustainability, not theory.




In the material you submitted you provided some of the major reasons why your claim is herewith denied. The Russian scientists involved in research in the Dnieper-Donets basin have failed – not once, but twice – to appear in a public forum to either defend their research or to provide verifiable production data showing how much allegedly abiotic oil was entering production.

From the American Association of Petroleum Geologists article of November 2002 which you cited, there appears the following quote from Program Director Barry Katz: (Yes, he’s from Chevron, but it doesn’t change the fact that Russians are dodging)

"On the Western side, we've gone through what you've typically done in the scientific method," he noted. "The Russian arguments have been just that, arguments. We have yet to get them in a room to see what they have on the table."

Also, below you will see a second instance from Jean Laherrere who cites another instance where the Russians failed to show up to justify their alleged findings with actual production numbers in 2001. The bottom line is that either from the oil industry itself or from academia and governmental institutions, there has been no verified data demonstrating any commercial viability or impact from abiogenic oil or gas.

You also refer to Michael Lewan from the USGS as follows:

Modern theory directly links petroleum origination to organic detritus, according to Michael Lewan, a research geochemist for the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver.

"The modern, organic theory of the origin of petroleum states that a portion of the lipid fraction of micro-organisms deposited in anaerobic sediments is the original source of petroleum," he said.

This is the same USGS that admittedly cooks its own books and admits that it adjusts reserve estimates as a product of anticipated demand. This is not science. This is Enron-style book-cooking. (Please see http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/04_04_02_oil_recession.html).

Why is it that you so readily imply a massive conspiracy including myself, Colin Campbell, Laherrere, Dale Pfeifer, Richard Heinberg, Julian Darley, Kenneth Deffeyes, Michael Klare and David Goodstein and yet you deny the possibility of any conspiracy, dishonesty or distortion by entities that have already been shown to be dishonest. Enron cooked its books. Shell has just announced it overstated reserves by 20% to disastrous effect on its share price. El Paso may soon restate reserves by as much as 45% and we have official academic data showing that for more than twenty years more oil has been consumed annually than has been discovered and -- for the first time in eighty years – 2003 saw not a single discovery of a so-called “mega” field of 500 Mb or more. (Interesting use of the term “mega” since 500 Mb represents less than a six day supply for the planet).

And the absurd allegations that all of the above eminent academics and researchers are in the employ of the oil industry also falls flat on its face when one observes that Heinberg, Darley, Deffeyes, Aleklett, Klare and Goodstein – to name only a few – are academics. Yes, Deffeyes once worked for Shell but he got out when he saw what was coming many, many years ago and his long tenure at Princeton and the fact that his income is derived from there speaks volumes. Neither Heinberg, Darley, Klare, Goodstein (Vice Chancellor of the California Institute of Technology) or I have ever worked for the petroleum industry in any way, shape or form.

More reasons for the denial of your claim, including recent response from Jean Laherrere follow:

However, even the Russian scientists he has worked with accept the organic origin of petroleum found in large, commercial accumulations…

If abiogenic petroleum exists in amounts large enough for economic production, he hopes details of the science involved will be presented at the London Hedberg .

"I have yet to have anyone show me that there are commercial quantities of these hydrocarbons," Katz said.

"I'm a scientist, so I have to keep an open mind. But I need to see some evidence."



Krayushin was planned to speak at the 2001 IIASA meeting but before I sent the attached my comments on his previous paper to the organizer

and himself. The result was that he found one bad reason not to come, An AAPG meeting on abiogenic was planned last year but it was postponed to this year The amount of methane in volcanoes and mid-oceanic ridges is very small (Etiope), much less than from cows or termites abiogenic oil could be forgotten as a potential Campbell and myself were opposed to Kenney (as Aldeman) in the 1999 IEA meeting in Paris


The result is that I doubt that IEA is counting on abiogenic resources



jean laherrere


Laherrere’s technical comments:


                        IIASA-IEW June 19, 2001

-Comments by Jean Laherrere on the « theory of abiogenic origin of oil and gas »

presented by Vladilen A. Krayushkin  


-1-Examples of abiogenic fields in the Dnieper-Donets basin

From Kenney 1996 (http://www.csun.edu/~vcgeo005/Energy.html) :

<<Professor Vladilen A. Krayushkin, Chairman of the Department of Petroleum Exploration, Institute of Geological Sciences, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Kiev, and leader of the project for the exploration of the northern flank of the Dni eper-Donets Basin, at the VII-th International Symposium on the Observation of the Continental Crust Through Drilling, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1994.

"The eleven major and one giant oil and gas fields here described have been discovered in a region which had, forty years ago, been condemned as possessing no potential for petroleum production. The exploration for these fie lds was conducted entirely according to the perspective of the modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of abyssal, abiotic petroleum origins. The drilling which resulted in these discoveries was extended purposely deep into the crystalline basement rock, and it is in that basement where the greatest part of the reserves exist. These reserves amount to at least 8,200 M metric tons of recoverable oil and 100 B cubic meters of recoverable gas, and are thereby comparable to those of the North Slope of Alaska. It is conservatively estimated that, when developed, these fields will provide approximately thirty percent of the energy needs of the industrial nation of Ukraine."<<


Kenney seems to report wrong figures. 8.2 Gt oil & 100 G.m3 gas represent 60 Gb and 2 Tcf ! The real data are quite different.

USGS 1997-463 « Ranking of the world’s oil and gas provinces by known petroleum volumes »  gives:

                                    rank                 oil Gb              gas Tcf           condensate Gb          Mboe

Northern Alaska        24                    14.4                33                    1.1                               21

Dnieper-Donets        45                    1.4                   59                    0.2                               11.7


USGS « World petroleum assessment 2000 »


Dnieper-Donets Basin


Rank Province




Major Commodity


Cumulative Oil Gb


Remaining Oil Gb


Known Oil Gb mean


Undiscovered oil Gb


Oil Endowment Gb


Oil discovery maturity %


Undiscovered gas Tcf


Undiscovered condensate Gb



USGS PROVINCE: Dnieper-Donets Basin (1009) GEOLOGIST: G.F. Ulmishek

TOTAL PETROLEUM SYSTEM: Dnieper-Donets Paleozoic (100901)

ASSESSMENT UNIT: Carboniferous-Lower Permian Clastics (10090101)

DESCRIPTION: Assessment unit encompasses rocks of the postrift sag (Carboniferous-Lower Permian), and platform (Triassic-Tertiary) sequences over the entire basin area. The unit contains large hydrocarbon (mainly gas) reserves in more than 200 discovered fields.

SOURCE ROCKS: Two identified oil families demonstrate the presence of at least two source rock suites in the Upper Devonian and Lower Carboniferous sections. The latter are Visean organic-rich black shales and marls; Devonian source rocks occur deep and have not been penetrated by wells.

MATURATION: Source rocks are mature in the marginal areas and overmature throughout

most of the basin. Maximum maturation was mainly reached by Late Permian time, but could

have continued through early Mesozoic in the central part of the basin.

MIGRATION: Migration could have started as early as Early Carboniferous time, but an important stage of gas migration took place after deposition of Lower Permian salt.

RESERVOIR ROCKS: Carboniferous-Lower Permian sandstones contain almost all reserves. Most of undiscovered resources are expected in Lower Carboniferous rocks.

TRAPS: Structural traps are related either to plastic flow of Devonian salt (in deep areas) or to basement fault blocks (on basin margins). Stratigraphic traps are underexplored.

SEALS: Lower Permian salt directly seals reservoirs that contain more than half of reserves.

Other seals are Carboniferous intraformational shales.


Gavrish, V.K., ed., 1989, Geology and petroleum productivity of the Dnieper-Donets

basin—Deep framework and geotectonic development (Geologiya i neftegazonosnost

Dneprovo-Donetskoy vpadiny. Glubinnoye stroeniye i geotektonicheskoye razvitiye): Kiev,

Naukova Dumka, 204 p.

Shpak, P.F., ed., 1989, Geology and petroleum productivity of the Dnieper-Donets basin—

Petroleum productivity (Geologiya i neftegazonosnost Dneprovo-Donetskoy vpadiny.

Neftegazonosnost): Kiev, Naukova Dumka, 204 p.

Ulmishek, G.F., Bogino, V.A., Keller, M.B., and Poznyakevich, Z.L., 1994, Structure,

stratigraphy, and petroleum geology of the Pripyat and Dnieper-Donets basins, in Byelarus

and Ukraine, in Landon, S.M., ed., Interior rift basins: American Association of Petroleum

Geologists Memoir 59, p. 125-156.


USGS PROVINCE: Dnieper-Donets Basin (1009) GEOLOGIST: G.F. Ulmishek

TOTAL PETROLEUM SYSTEM: Dnieper-Donets Paleozoic (100901)

ASSESSMENT UNIT: Devonian Synrift (10090102)

DESCRIPTION: Assessment unit includes poorly known Devonian rocks. No fields have been discovered although many oil and gas shows have been detected. The unit occurs at drillable depths only along basin margins. Resource assessment is based on analogy with the adjacent Pripyat basin.

SOURCE ROCKS: Oils derived from source rocks within the Devonian section are known in stratigraphically overlying assessment unit 10090101. These source rocks are probably similar to organic-rich marine anoxic shales of the Pripyat basin.

MATURATION: Source rocks are probably in the oil window along the basin margins and

rapidly dip into the gas window zone basinward.

RESERVOIR ROCKS: Carbonate reservoir rocks including reefs are principal producers in

the Pripyat basin and are expected to contain almost all undiscovered resources in the Dnieper-Donets basin.

TRAPS: Structural and combination traps are expected along crests of the tilted fault blocks,

which control reef development.

SEALS: A shale formation is regionally developed at the top of the Devonian sequence. Salt,

although deformed, may be an important seal for some prospects.


Gavrish, V.K., ed., 1989, Geology and petroleum productivity of the Dnieper-Donets

basin—Deep framework and geotectonic development (Geologiya i neftegazonosnost

Dneprovo-Donetskoy vpadiny. Glubinnoye stroeniye i geotektonicheskoye razvitiye): Kiev,

Naukova Dumka, 204 p.

Shpak, P.F., ed., 1989, Geology and petroleum productivity of the Dnieper-Donets basin—

Petroleum productivity (Geologiya i neftegazonosnost Dneprovo-Donetskoy vpadiny.

Neftegazonosnost): Kiev, Naukova Dumka, 204 p.

Ulmishek, G.F., Bogino, V.A., Keller, M.B., and Poznyakevich, Z.L., 1994, Structure,

stratigraphy, and petroleum geology of the Pripyat and Dnieper-Donets basins, Byelarus

and Ukraine, in Landon, S.M., ed., Interior rift basins: American Association of Petroleum

Geologists Memoir 59, p. 125-156.


USGS PROVINCE: Dnieper-Donets Basin (1009) GEOLOGIST: G.F. Ulmishek

TOTAL PETROLEUM SYSTEM: Dnieper-Donets Paleozoic (100901)

ASSESSMENT UNIT: Continuous Basin-Centered Gas Accumulation (10090103)

DESCRIPTION: Continuous gas accumulation has been identified in Carboniferous clastic

rocks at depths of 3.5 to 5 km over most of the central basin area. The accumulation extends into the adjacent Donbas foldbelt (USGS province 1014) where it occurs at a depth of 600 to 800 m. No quantitative assessment of this unit is provided in this report.

SOURCE ROCKS: Devonian and Carboniferous anoxic black shales and Carboniferous coaly clastics and coal seams (in the southeast) could have sourced the gas.

MATURATION: The entire gas accumulation occurs deeper than vitrinite reflectance surface of Ro=0.9.

RESERVOIR ROCKS: Reservoir rocks are low-permeable sandstones and siltstones. Loss of permeability was caused by deep maximum subsidence.

TRAPS: Capillary forces provide the trapping mechanism.

SEALS: No regional seal exists above the gas accumulation.


Law, B.E., Ulmishek, G.F., Clayton, J.L., Kabyshev, B.P., Pashova, N.T., and

Krivosheya, V.A., 1998, Basin-centered gas evaluated in Dnieper-Donets basin, Donbas

foldbelt, Ukraine: Oil and Gas Journal, November 23, p. 74-78.

Ulmishek, G.F., Bogino, V.A., Keller, M.B., and Poznyakevich, Z.L., 1994, Structure,

stratigraphy, and petroleum geology of the Pripyat and Dnieper-Donets basins, Byelarus and

Ukraine, in Landon, S.M., ed., Interior rift basins: American Association of Petroleum

Geologists Memoir 59, p. 125-156.<<

No a word on basement reservoir fields. There is no doubt about the organic origin of the oil and gas.


From more recent data, there are 185 oil & gas fields in the Dnipro-Donets basin with a total discovered of 1.4 Gb oil, 67 Tcf gas and 0.5 Gb condensate.

List of 4 giant and 15 major oil and gas fields in Dnipro-Donets basin by decreasing size

Dnipro-Donets :

 major oil & gas fields (>100 Mboe)

HC Type

Number of Reservoirs

Discovery Year





Khrestyshchi Zakhidny








Hlyns'k-Rozbyshiv (Group of Fields)
















































Talalaivka (Group of Fields)

















On the second largest gasfield ( Khrestyshchi-Zakhidny), the gas production does not show any sign of refilling from the « abiotic » source.

The annual production display a natural decline with time and with cumulative production/ The ultimate estimate from decline is 10 Tcf when the reported value is 11.6 Tcf.



-2- Fractured basement reservoirs

Tony Batchelor Geoscience Limited in a paper Nov 2000 http://www.geoscience.co.uk/downloads/fracturedbasementver6.pdf

« Hydrocarbon production from fractured basement formations » lists all the fields with hydrocarbons in basement reservoirs. But he quoted the origin as :

<<Source of oil in basement rocks?

There are many possible sources for the oil accumulations in basement reservoirs, however,

three sources are referenced most commonly:

1) Overlying organic rock from which the oil was expelled downward during compaction.

2) Lateral, off-the-basement but topographically lower, organic rock from which oil was

squeezed into an underlying carrier bed through which it migrated updip into the

basement rock.

3) Lower, lateral reservoirs from which earlier trapped oil was spilled due to tilting or

overfilling (Landes et al, 1960).<<

Many fields are listed in many countries, and for Russia :

Former Soviet Union Countries

There are said to be numerous fields in the FSU producing from fractured basement reservoirs (Kenny, 1996), but very little detail has been published in the West. Kenny (1996) states that more wells have been drilled into crystalline basements within the FSU than all other nations combined with the consequence of greater production. For example, the Caspian district has a total of eighty fields producing from crystalline basements. Unlike the majority of drilling operations which cease as soon as basement rocks are encountered (Aguilera, 1995b), Krayushkin et al (1994) state that all of the hydrocarbon fields within the FSU producing from crystalline basements were developed intentionally. Published articles from a working conference on oil in granite held in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia in late 1997, (see latest reference section), refer to basement oil shows in the Chibuiuskoye, Verkhnechutinskoye and Iskosgorinskoyeoil fields, together with the Zelenetsky, Chernorechensky, Lekkemsky and Timansky oil productive areas. Production statistics from individual wells or fields were not made available. One such example is discussed by Krayushkin et al (1994) involving an exploration project on the flanks of the Dnieper-Donets Basin. An initial geological study of the sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks in the 'Northern Monoclinal Flank' of the Dnieper-Donents Basin concluded that there was no potential for hydrocarbon production. The conclusion was made because of the absence of any source rock and the presence of active, strongly circulating artesian waters. However, the exploration and drilling programme which followed the initial study resulted in the discovery and development of 12 fields with oil reserves equal to 219 million metric tons of oil equivalent, the major part of which, according to Krayushkin et al (1994), is produced from the PreCambrian crystalline basement. However, this is difficult to demonstrate, partly because of multiple completions in basement and overlying cover (Kitchka, pers. comm., 1999). The fields were discovered in an area covering 30-35 km by 400 km where the oil and gas bearing rocks are Middle and Carboniferous sandstones and PreCambrian granites, amphibolites and schists of the crystalline basement complex. The exploration programme also resulted in the discovery of a gas field with reserves of 100 billion cubic metres. From a total of 61 wells drilled in a corridor 35 km wide by 400 km long, 37 produced commercial quantities of hydrocarbons (an exploration success rate of 55%). Initial flows from the productive wells varied between 40 and 350 metric tons/day of oil and 100,000-1,600,000m 3 /day of gas. Production interval depths within the PreCambrian basement varied between 3,135 m and 4,041 m. Recently we have learnt of a new discovery in PreCambrian basement called Goshinovskoye field (Kitchka, pers. comm., 2000). Near Khark another corridor 30 km wide by 100 km long is associated with 3.5 Tcf reserves (Kitchka, pers. comm., 1998) <<

I lived for several years in the 50s and 60s in Calgary exploring for oil all around Canada and Michigan. I went to visit the site of the first oil discovery in Western Canada called Oil City. Located on seepage on Cameron Brook, Original Discovery n°1 found 300 b/d at 311m in 1902 in what is now the Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta. The site was abandoned in 1907 after 7 other wells. The discovery is in the basement, as the Lewis Thrust has pushed (100 km) over Cretaceous sediments a sheet of very old rocks. The oil comes from the underlying sediments. North to the Park, there are today producers at 6000 ft. Finding oil in fractured basement is not new !


-3- Refilling oil and gas fields : Case of Eugene Island 330 oilfield

Eugene Island 330 oilfield discovered in 1971was taken by the Wall Street Journal (Cooper Ch.1999 “ Odd Reservoir Off Louisiana Prods Oil Experts to Seek a Deeper Meaning -Something mysterious is going on at Eugene Island 330” April 16 http://oralchelation.com/faq/wsj4.htm) as the example of refilling reserves to wonder about a deeper origin for oil and to explain the huge increase in the Middle East reserves in the second half of the 80s. This thesis was defended by a geochemist Jean Whelan in 1996, http://www.williamsinference.com/energy.html  Volume 14, No. 2 - May 1996 The estimated oil reserves of Penzoil's Eugene Island Block 330 in the Gulf of Mexico have declined much less than experts had predicted. Dr. Jean K. Whelan of Woods Hole thinks the field may be refilling itself naturally from hitherto undetected gas and oil reservoirs more than 30,000 feet below the surface. (NYT). Cooper claimed that the reserves reported previously at 60 Mb now are estimated at 400 Mb after an increase of production from 4000 b/d in 1989 to 15000 b/d.

The production in 1989 was in fact 20 000 b/d ; the low was in 1992 at 15 000 b/d and the peak in 1996 at 30 000 b/d (28 000 for OGJ and 33 000 for MMS). The reserves were in fact estimated in 1978 by OGJ at 325 Mb (500 Mb by the famous explorer Klemme in 1977) and increased to 388 Mb in 1996, normal reserve growth with the poor US practice of reporting (SEC rules) only the proved reserves, neglecting the probable reserves. But MMS estimated tthe reserves at 464 Mb in 1986 and only at 416 Mb in 1998 (negative growth !).

In fact this field is reported to have been charged again now because the depletion of pressure from the source-rock (or a deeper reservoir) by one of largest and best studied fault (the Red Fault) in the GOM by many university seismic studies as 4D (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/4d4/talks/expl/index.html) (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/GBRN/anderson/4D.article.html), study carried out to show the present migration through the fault into the producing reservoirs..

The annual production of the field displays a strong decline, then a minor rebound and a new decline shows only a minor refilling, very easy to explain with a minor charge from the original .source-rock as explained in the article « Recovering dynamic Gulf of Mexico reserves and the U.S. energy future » Roger N. Anderson, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University et al. Jean Whelan was a co-author. Most of paragraphs in this article were published in the week of April 26, 1993 by OIL&GAS JOURNAL http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/GBRN/anderson/ogj042693.html, it is written :

<<The organic geochemical signature of the reservoir oils and gases are equally persuasive that an injection event has occurred recently in the EI 330 field. Texas A&M's Geochemical and Environmental Research Group has conducted a four-part, Gulf of Mexico Oil Correlation Study. Phase 4 included the analyses of 33 oils from all the major reservoirs of EI 330. Among the conclusions: the oils are biodegraded in the shallow reservoirs; there is little biogenic gas present; and the biomarkers, heavy metals, and sulfur isotopes indicate a carbonate marine source of probable Cretaceous age.

Combining the maturation and fractionation evidence, the organic geochemistry indicates the EI 330 hydrocarbons are derived from the first gas-rich, fluid discharges from mature oils presently cracking to gas and undergoing evaporative fractionation. The gas-saturated fluids, expelled from deep within the sub-basins, entrain less mature oils from shallower depths on their way up the synclinal turbidites to the distributary network buried within the Red Fault Zone. From there, the fluids lose their hydrocarbons preferentially to the first low pressure reservoirs encountered in the transition above geopressure. Some water, and accompanying methane makes it all the way to the surface, where seeps are active along the Red Fault Zone today.                  Effect on U.S. reserves        Our working hypothesis for the rock mechanical behavior of the system is that volume changes from the generation of gas produce an added pressure increase to that of compaction within the geopressured "kitchen." Periodically, pressures build to hydraulic fracturing stresses. Faults like the Red Fault Zone open to release bursts of fluids upward toward the surface. The hydrocarbons, being the most buoyant components of the released fluids, fill the first available space in the more weakly pressured (down-thrown side in the case of the Red Fault Zone). Filling is in a deep-to-shallow sequence. The oils are swept with the fluid, whereas the gases are dissolved in the fluid. Such bursting events have occurred repeatedly during the Plio-Pleistocene evolution of the Gulf of Mexico, and billions of barrels of as yet undiscovered hydrocarbons must exist within the geopressured depths of the basin. To think otherwise is illogical.<<

They see a large potential from refilling from the deeper sedimentary reservoirs (proof with biomakers), but not from abiogenic sources in the basement and the mantle !


« Eugene Island Block 330 Field--U.S.A. Offshore Louisiana « by David S. Holland, John B. Leedy, David R. Lammlein  (Published in AAPG Treatise of Petroleum Geology, Atlas of Oil and Gas Feilds, Structural Traps III, p. 103-143; adapted for online presentation)


gives a good description of this field.


There are other examples of refilling fields, mainly gasfields, as Groningen. The seal of most gasfields is not good enough (except evaporites) to keep for a long time and most are in charge from the source-rock. When a gasfield is depleted enough, it could be partly refilled as Groningen giant gasfield in Netherlands from its source-rock (Carboniferous).


-4- Attempts of drilling abiogenic HC

Drilling for abiogenic gas by the astronomist Thomas Gold in the Siljan crater in 1988 and 1991 has been failure, as methane was not found and the rumored 80 b of recovered oil in granite is assumed to come from the drilling mud. In Saskatchewan, in 1991 Warren Hunt has leased 9600 km2 on Precambrian bedrock aiming to abiogenic HC in the Craswell crater (35 km diameter and 478 Ma old). No drilling (as far as I know) has been carried out ; as I presume that Hunt has not found anyone to invest in his ideas after the failures in Sweden.

No one major oil and gas companies explores for abiogenic HC.

The IFP (Institute Francais du Petrole) school discards the abiogenic theory, as there is no proof of it.


Conclusions :

The proposed proofs of evidence of abiogenic origin in the Dnieper-Donets basin and in refilling fields are dismissed in front of real data.



The Great Oil Age

By Peter McKenzie-Brown, Gordon Jaremko and David Finch

Others advocate a new variation of inorganic theory they call abiogenic. The best-known modern advocate of inorganic origin is Thomas Gold, an astrophysicist at Cornell University. When explorations of space revealed that meteorites and other planets contained hydrocarbons in the total absence of life forms, it seemed to Gold to be strong evidence that petroleum could have originated abiogenically on earth as well.

Gold suggested that hydrocarbons may be abundant deep within planet Earth, and that the oil and gas already found originated at least in part in these deep zones. To test Gold's theories, a group drilled a deep well in the Siljan Ring - an impact crater in Sweden - and apparently found some 80 or more barrels of oil in a granite reservoir. But results proved inconclusive and the group began drilling a second well in 1991.

An iconoclastic Calgary geologist has developed even more radical theories than Gold's about the formation of oil and gas in the earth. Through a family-owned company, in 1991 Warren Hunt acquired the oil and gas rights to 960 000 hectares of Precambrian bedrock to test his theories. What is remarkable about this exploration play is that, according to conventional geology, he has acquired exploration rights in a geological region which could not possibly contain oil or gas.

In Hunt's two books - Environment of Violence and Expanding Geospheres, - he proposes theories which, if proved, will fundamentally alter the geosciences. One test of his thinking is the exploration play in northern Alberta, which assumes that the Alberta oil sands had a deep-earth origin.

In Hunt's view, Earth's core contains vast amounts of hydrogen which can sometimes migrate toward the surface. Deep within Earth's mantle, it may react with silicon carbide to form gaseous hydrocarbons and silane gas. When disturbed, these brews move up to the underside of the earth's brittle granite crust. There, the silane can react with water to form silica sand. The slurry of sand, water and hydrocarbons is lighter than the granite above, creating instability.

Hunt believes the granite ruptured through what he refers to as the Carswell Gastrobleme, a 37-kilometre wide crater in northwestern Saskatchewan. Silica erupted violently, then oozed eastward from this conduit. Over time, 50 000 cubic kilometres of sand wound up sitting in a granite bowl across northwestern Saskatchewan - a phenomenon Hunt claims has never been explained geologically.19

He speculates that the shifting granite eventually resealed the Carswell rupture, trapping hydrocarbon-rich silica sand layers under Alberta's oil sands. His exploration play is based on the notion that only some of that oil rose to the surface to be degraded into today's oil sands. Hunt suggests that a great deal of conventional oil - perhaps hundreds of billions of barrels - could still be present in reservoirs west of the Carswell rupture - under the oil sands. If they exist, those reservoirs would have been formed by fractures in the granite which filled first with sand, then with abiogenic oil and gas.


In 1901, John Lineham of Okotoks, Alberta, organized the Rocky Mountain Drilling Company and in 1902 drilled the first exploration well in Alberta on the site of these seepages. Now part of Waterton Lakes National Park, the Historic Sites and Monuments marker commemorates the discovery well and Oil City, the boom town which sprang up briefly in the area. The discovery well briefly produced up to 350 barrels of oil per day, but neither this well nor seven later exploration attempts resulted in steady production. Perhaps the greatest contribution of the Oil City play came about when the Western Oil and Coal Company drilled there and collected 256 rock samples at different depths which they examined for traces of oil. This method of systematic sampling set a precedent that drillers now routinely follow.