09 November 2010

Reporting in the journal Nature, scientists from Royal Holloway, University of London and the Institut de Ciencies del Mar (Spanish Research Council) have revealed a new model that explains how continents thin as well as helping to more accurately predict the location of hydrocarbons such as oil and gas. _SD
via New Energy and Fuel

A new model of continental thinning, faulting, and re-forming, promises to provide new ways to locate vast new petroleum reserves. Scientists at institutions in the UK and Spain hopes to provide petroleum prospectors with new conceptual tools for determining the most likely areas to find the billions of years worth of hidden hydrocarbons.
The new model is based on high-resolution images of the tectonic structure of the crust at such margins. These images are obtained using elaborate seismic methods, which give a picture of the crust below the oceans, showing where faults and sediments are.

The new model has important implications for the formation of hydrocarbon resources, plus it offer a new view of the style of faulting during continental thinning, sediment deposition and potentially for the opening of oceanic gateways and oceanic circulation. _BrianWestenhaus
The geologic sciences are still quite young, sharpening their teeth on ideas that take into account the antiquity of the planet, the incessant nature of geologic processes, and of microbial and photosynthetic organisms which have thrust their way into the midst of epochal geologic upheaval.

Older geologic theories focused upon easily accessible sediments from relatively recent geologic regions -- areas laid down millions or dozens of millions of years ago as opposed to the billions of years that photosynthesis has been converting CO2 to organic carbon. Exceptions to conventional theory have popped up from time to time, but have been largely ignored as anomalous.

As large international companies get shut out of the richest oil reserves of OPEC nations and corrupt, unreliable nations such as Russia, they are forced to look for oil wherever it may be found. Continental shelves off large rivers such as the Mississippi and the Amazon are likely places for grabbing oil dozens of millions of years old. But to find the truly old oil and hydrocarbon, some new ideas will be necessary -- and will require testing. All of that takes time, which the big international oil companies are running out of, caught between political peak oil (Obama, Boxer, Salazar, etc.) and sovereign oil companies that nationalise the valuable assets and work of multi-nationals at the least opportunity.

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