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Natural Crude Oil Seepage

Natural Crude Oil Seepage23-03-2019 19:06
HarveyH55Profile picture★★★★★
Just saw part of an animal rescue show on TV, about lots of birds covered in crude oil. It wasn't an oil spill, just normal, natural crude oil, seeping up offshore (California, obviously...). They didn't mention Global Warming (surprisingly), but sort of had me wondering. I live in Florida, and there is a lot of fighting over offshore drilling, both sides make some very good points. Seems like if huge quantities of the nasty gooey stuff is going to mess up the environment and ecosystem, kill birds and fish, naturally, it could be too terribly worse, to just pump it out. It would reduce the natural seepage, good for the environment, plus a nice boost for the local economy. Sure, there is some chance of a spill, or a rig blowing up, but not a common occurrence, since the equipment, and product are of considerable value. Not to mention the clean up costs, law suits, and all the trouble and expense to get the drilling permit in the first place.

Of course no one would consider offshore oil drilling as being good for the environment. Oil is evil, nasty stuff, killing our planet. Oil spills are devastating to animals. But that oil is going to spill naturally, and release larger quantities, as time passes. The cracks that the oil is escape, will keep getting larger, as more oil pushes through them, to relieve the built up pressure. Drilling would relieve some of the pressure, and remove some of the oozing oil, should reduce natural seepage, least keep it from escaping in larger volumes. Oil spills aren't that common or frequent, accidents happen, it's unfortunate. The media just magnifies them, since it's just another reason to stop using crude for energy production.

I also remember that there are places where crude oil seepage occurs on dry land. Just seems like crude oil will continue to come out of the ground, whether we encourage it or not. Just seems like one way or another, it's coming out, and will likely burn, or have to be dealt with, as a mess to be cleaned up anyway. Might as well keep using it, good energy source that's not going away, regardless of what a few people want.
23-03-2019 23:36
IBdaMannProfile picture★★★★★
HarveyH55 wrote:I also remember that there are places where crude oil seepage occurs on dry land. Just seems like crude oil will continue to come out of the ground, whether we encourage it or not.

Exactly. You just explained two things:

1) Petroleum is the product of natural geological processes, not of fossils, and

2) Fracking is perfectly safe for the environment

First, notice how oil reserves typically begin more than a couple of miles below the surface, under a solid bed of impermeable rock. The fossil record extends down less than one mile, and could never extend below impermeable rock for obvious reasons. Hydrocarbons have nothing to do with fossils and it would be absurd to imagine they do.

Also, you are correct that petroleum seeps upward. We observe this clearly in the Gulf of Mexico where there are natural seep zones.

A natural seep zone indicates a poor place to put a well because it indicates a lack of impermeable rock preventing the oil from seeping upward ... although it is a good indication that there is likely a great spot somewhere nearby to put a well because there is obviously petroleum down below. In fact, when we find an abundant oil reserve it's precisely because there was impermeable rock preventing the oil from seeping away a long time ago.

Therefore, with a solid layer of impermeable rock more than a mile below any fresh water aquifier (i.e. the water table) it is absurd to think that fracking will somehow push petroleum through the impermeable rock to seep into the aquifier a mile or more above.

Yes, petroleum seeps up.

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