Is tectonic activity the real source of oil? Should we be using it?

We missed this item recently about a major new oil find off the coast of Brazil. If current estimates pan out, there may be as much as 33 billion barrels of crude oil in the new sub-Atlantic field. That would make the new find the third largest reserve in the world and it could be a huge boon to Brazil. Over at Motor Trend, there is an interesting piece that relates to this find about the late astrophysicist Thomas Gold. In 1999, Gold speculated that in a paper that fossil fuels were anything but.

In "The Deep Hot Biosphere," Gold theorized that oil is actually produced continuously within the earth by microbial processes and pressure from tectonic plates rather than by decomposition, as long believed. The recent Russian oil finds at depths of up to 40,000 ft tend to support this theory. If this is in fact the case then it raises some important questions going forward. Even if diminishing oil supplies are no longer actually a problem, the issue of global climate change remains. If we are to address that problem, then should we use these new oil finds? On the other hand perhaps we should research this theory in more depth and try to understand just how it might work and how long it takes. Is there a possibility that oil could become a renewable resource? Could we possibly help to feed it by using carbon sequestration to pump CO2 back deep into the earth? At this point we have far more questions than answers.

[Source: Motor Trend]

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