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  1. #1
    Senior Member Digby's Avatar
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    Default Oil Reserves - Other Scientific Questions

    Hi Guys

    When I was young I used to read books on palaeontology etc and learned that oil was created by the long term crushing of trees during the Cretaceous period.

    So I have three questions

    Is that true ?

    If so does that mean that say northern Alaska was heavily forested ?

    And does that mean that Saudi Arabia etc was heavily forested once ?

    And how can Kuwait have so much oil when it is so small ! Kuwait is only 17,820 sq kilometres, whereas New Zealand is 268, 680 sq kilometres. So I would guess that Kuwait is about the same size as say the Waikato !

    Regards

    Digby

  2. #2
    Minister of Guitar. rob_on_guitar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oil Reserves - Other Scientific Questions

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum#History

    I think alot of it has to do with the earths structure too, the layers under the crust etc

    "According to the biogenic theory, petroleum is formed from the preserved remains of prehistoric zooplankton and algae which have been settled to the sea (or lake) bottom in large quantities under anoxic conditions. Over geological time this organic matter, mixed with mud, is buried under heavy layers of sediment. The resulting high levels of heat and pressure cause the organic matter to chemically change during diagenesis, first into a waxy material known as kerogen which is found in various oil shales around the world, and then with more heat into liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons in a process known as catagenesis.

    Terrestrial plants, on the other hand, tend to form coal. Many of the coal fields date to the carboniferous period.

    Comparative figures:

    1 litre of regular gasoline is the time rendered result of about 23.5 metric tonnes of ancient phytoplankton material deposited on the ocean floor [1].
    The total fossil fuel used in the year 1997 is the result of 422 years of all plant matter that grew on the entire surface and in all the oceans of the ancient earth. "
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Digby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oil Reserves - Other Scientific Questions

    Great Rob

    Very Scientific, that answers some of my questions.

    In summary

    Coal comes from trees
    Oil comes from zoo plankton and algae.

    Regards

    Digby (on keyboard)
    Last edited by Digby; 21-11-2007 at 07:46 AM. Reason: typos

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