The Journal of History     Summer 2005    TABLE OF CONTENTS

An introduction to the modern petroleum science, and to the
Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins

Summary of the article

By J. F. Kenney

Different perspectives exist for the modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep and abiotic petroleum origins. They are:

1. Chemical genesis of the hydrocarbon molecules which comprise natural petroleum;
2. The physical processes which cause their terrestrial concentration;
3. The dynamic processes of the movement of that material into geological reservoirs of petroleum;
4. The location and economic production of petroleum.

Petroleum is a primordial material of deep origin which has been erupted into the crust of the Earth. In short, and bluntly, petroleum is not a "fossil fuel" and has no intrinsic connection with dead dinosaurs (or any other biological detritus) "in the sediments" (or anywhere else).

Using the laws of physics and chemistry and extensive geological observation and thermodynamics, scientists have consistently held that hydrocarbons conform to the general laws of chemical thermodynamics contrasting strongly to the field of geology in Britain and the U.S.A.

Only methane and ethene do. Methane is thermodynamically stable in the pressure and temperature regime of the near-surface crust of the Earth and can be generated there spontaneously. However, methane is practically the only hydrocarbon molecule possessing that thermodynamic characteristic.

Ironically, it was a French and German scientist using chemistry and thermodynamics who refuted the Russian's theory of oil creation. Chemistry and thermodynamics had not been developed at the time the Russian, Mikhailo V. Lomonosov, developed his theory.The great French chemist Marcellin Berthelot particularly scorned the hypothesis of a biological origin for petroleum. His experiments demonstrated the generation of petroleum by dissolving steel in strong acid proving total absence of any "biological" molecule or process. Other scientists such as Biasson and Sokolov, but not limited to these famous scientists, proved that petroleum was unconnected to biological matter.

Then, in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, 1876-1901, the great Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev also examined and rejected Lomonosov's hypothesis of a biological origin for petroleum. Moreover, he stated clearly that petroleum is a primordial material which has erupted from great depth.

The U.S.S.R. was compelled to develop its own petroleum resources since it did not have the ability to draw from the region which is known for its oil reserves, the Middle East, due to the turn of events created by the U.S. in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Moreover, at the end of WW II, the Soviet leadership was under the impression that their oil fields were "depleting" and "nearing exhaustion." In 1951, the modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins was first enunciated by Nikolai A. Kudryavtsev at the All-Union petroleum geology congress. He also analyzed the hypothesis of a biological origin of petroleum, and pointed out the failures of the claims then commonly put forth to support that hypothesis. Others who concurred with him include P. N. Kropotkin, K. A. Shakhvarstova, G. N. Dolenko, V. F. Linetskii, V. B. Porfir'yev, and K. A. Anikiev. Between the years 1951 and 1965 the modern theory was firmly established.

Ironically, the theory of abiotic petroleum origins was, initially, a geologists' theory. Kudryavtsev, Kropotkin, Dolenko, Porfir'yev and the developers of the modern theory of petroleum were all geologists. Physicists and chemists used modern quantum statistical mechanics, the techniques of many-body theory, and the application of statistical geometry to prove their theory of deep, abiotic petroleum sources.

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Editor"s note: My profound gratitude to the scientists who have labored tirelessly to author these articles. The myth of "Peak Oil" will at last be broken, and lives will be saved assuming that ordinary people read this edition.


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