Gouging in the Name of Peak Oil
Oil companies posting huge profits, taking advantage of the perception
of scarcity from Hubert's Peak theory that may actually be mostly hype,
considering the known existence of renewable magma oil. (Feedback comment
states that magma oil is not adequate to counteract the peak oil phenomenon.)
Pure Energy Systems News
Copyright © 2005
At a time when the price per barrel of oil is reaching
record highs, why is it that the large oil companies are also posting near
Why aren't they using their proceeds to lower the price or address the
shortfalls? Why are these companies allowed to get away with this gouging?
According to the Cincinnati Post (ref), Exxon
Mobil, the world's largest publicly-traded oil company, announced a 32 percent
boost in second-quarter profits, the third-largest increase in company history.
Royal Dutch Shell, the world's third-largest oil company, reported
second-quarter profits up 34 percent. British Petroleum's were up 29 percent.
ConocoPhillips, America's third-largest, reported profits that skyrocketed by 51
It seems to me that the main reason for this disconnect has to do with the buzz
about Peak Oil, which purports that there will come a time when the oil being
tapped from known oilfields reaches a climax, and thereafter because the oil
will be harder to obtain, the prices must increase. "That is why we are
seeing the price increases today", is the punch line of this sky-is-falling
In other words, we are not at that point yet, but this future theory is being
used as a justification for putting the squeeze on the consumer -- and the
economy -- today.
In the course of running a daily energy technology news service, I run into this
line of thinking on a routine basis.
Might the oil companies be faking shortages in order to gouge prices in line
with this perception?
If oil is harder to get at, then why are these oil companies posting near record
profits? I would expect that their profits would be declining, which would force
increases to stay solvent, not huge windfalls.
The fact is, there is a very large body of scientific evidence that oil is not
the limited resource we once thought it was. (ref)
There is a deep-crust inorganic process involving magma near the mantle that
appears to be at work in replenishing the many of the deep oil wells from below,
so that a well exhausted at one time might have a renewed supply again just five
Of course this does not mean that we should continue burning fossil fuels at the
rate we now are as a society. Global warming is also a very well-documented
phenomenon, and humans' burning of fossil fuels is an obvious, and correlated,
major contributing factor.
The time is long overdue for us to turn to clean, reliable, affordable energy
solutions, which are presently being developed worldwide, but which too often
languish for lack of adequate funding.
What the major oil companies are doing by profiting so hugely at this time of
planetary need is profoundly unethical. I predict that this year will go down as
their last hurrah. The days of oil dependence are coming to a close, and their
control over our lives will not last much longer.
Clean energy sources are afoot that will enable each home, each business, to be
independent from the grid.
Why can't the oil industry use their profits to help bring this new revolution
about -- and profit from bringing forward new technologies, rather than continue
to be the infamous antagonist they have been for so long?
# # #
Sent: Friday, August 26, 2005 4:39 PM
Subject: Gouging in the Name of Peak Oil
have just come across your most disappointing article titled Gouging in the
Name of Peak Oil (/2005/08/26/9600155_Oil_Gouging/).
points. Firstly oil prices (for light sweet crude) are high because
there is a shortage in light sweet oil. Extraction rates for light sweet
oil have fallen over the last few years according to OPEC reducing the
proportion of light sweet oil. Refineries are not able to process the
replacement (heavy sour) so bid up the price on the desired grade. Of
course the oil companies are making large profits, just because light sweet
crude has peaked to be replaced by heavy sour doesnt affect their costs
much but the resulting shortage bids up the price.
this paragraph was particularly concerning:
fact is, there is a very large body of scientific evidence that oil is not the
limited resource we once thought it was. (ref)
There is a deep-crust inorganic process involving magma near the mantle that
appears to be at work in replenishing the many of the deep oil wells from
below, so that a well exhausted at one time might have a renewed supply again
just five years later.
dont understand how you can defend this position in light of this evidence:
fact remains that the abiotic theory of petroleum genesis has zero credibility
for economically interesting accumulations. 99.9999% of the world's liquid
hydrocarbons are produced by maturation of organic matter derived from
organisms. To deny this means you have to come up with good explanations for
the following observations.
1) The almost universal association of petroleum with sedimentary rocks.
2) The close link between petroleum reservoirs and source rocks as shown by
biomarkers (the source rocks contain the same organic markers as the
petroleum, essentially chemically fingerprinting the two).
3) The consistent variation of biomarkers in petroleum in accordance with the
history of life on earth (biomarkers indicative of land plants are found only
in Devonian and younger rocks, that formed by marine plankton only in
Neoproterozoic and younger rocks, the oldest oils containing only biomarkers
3) The close link between the biomarkers in source rock and depositional
environment (source rocks containing biomarkers of land plants are found only
in terrestrial and shallow marine sediments, those indicating marine
conditions only in marine sediments, those from hypersaline lakes containing
only bacterial biomarkers).
4) Progressive destruction of oil when heated to over 100 degrees (precluding
formation and/or migration at high temperatures as implied by the abiogenic
5) The generation of petroleum from kerogen on heating in the laboratory
(complete with biomarkers), as suggested by the biogenic theory.
6) The strong enrichment in C12 of petroleum indicative of biological
fractionation (no inorganic process can cause anything like the fractionation
of light carbon that is seen in petroleum).
7) The location of petroleum reservoirs down the hydraulic gradient from the
source rocks in many cases (those which are not are in areas where there is
clear evidence of post migration tectonism).
8 ) The almost complete absence of significant petroleum occurrences in
igneous and metamorphic rocks (the rare exceptions discussed below).
The evidence usually cited in favour of abiogenic petroleum can all be better
explained by the biogenic hypothesis e.g.:
9) Rare traces of cooked pyrobitumens in igneous rocks (better explained by
reaction with organic rich country rocks, with which the pyrobitumens can
usually be tied).
10) Rare traces of cooked pyrobitumens in metamorphic rocks (better explained
by metamorphism of residual hydrocarbons in the protolith).
11) The very rare occurrence of small hydrocarbon accumulations in igneous or
metamorphic rocks (in every case these are adjacent to organic rich
sedimentary rocks to which the hydrocarbons can be tied via biomarkers).
12) The presence of undoubted mantle derived gases (such as He and some CO2)
in some natural gas (there is no reason why gas accumulations must be all from
one source, given that some petroleum fields are of mixed provenance it is
inevitable that some mantle gas contamination of biogenic hydrocarbons will
occur under some circumstances).
13) The presence of traces of hydrocarbons in deep wells in crystalline rock
(these can be formed by a range of processes, including metamorphic synthesis
by the fischer-tropsch reaction, or from residual organic matter as in 10).
14) Traces of hydrocarbon gases in magma volatiles (in most cases magmas
ascend through sedimentary succession, any organic matter present will be
thermally cracked and some will be incorporated into the volatile phase, some
fischer-tropsch synthesis can also occur).
15) Traces of hydrocarbon gases at mid ocean ridges (such traces are not
surprising given that the upper mantle has been contaminated with biogenic
organic matter through several billion years of subduction, the answer to 14
may be applicable also).
The geological evidence is utterly against the abiogenic postulate.
Page composed by Sterling
D. Allan Aug. 26, 2005
Last updated December 24, 2014