Where did oil come from on our planet?

Oil is the main resource of the modern economy. Without exaggeration, the well-being of all mankind depends on it. But despite many years of studying the flammable liquid, its origin still remains a mystery.

Various researchers put forward their own versions of how the «black gold» appeared on the planet. Why don’t they have a unified theory of origin?

Oil and gas are constantly moving inside the earth’s crust along natural voids (pores, cracks, faults). However, it is not known for certain where the mineral is formed. Known deposits are just places of accumulation without faults, from where oil cannot escape.

Nevertheless, scientists have identified two most likely versions of oil formation: organic and inorganic.

There are indicators that can detect oil accumulations. One of these is clay rocks. This is the clay that once lay on the seabed. Over time, it mixed with the remains of sea animals, sand and silt, accumulated and turned out to be deeper and deeper.

Millions of years later, under the influence of compaction, high temperature and earth pressure, such clay turned into rock.

Clay and oil are often found together. Therefore, most scientists believe that both substances appeared from the same thing — from the remains of living organisms (zooplankton, algae, etc.)

Once deep underground, under the influence of high temperatures and pressure, organic matter decomposed and was converted into oil in the course of chemical reactions. For such a transformation

All oil and gas companies of the planet adhere to this theory, so the search for oil always begins with the search for shale.

The development of the chemical industry has shown that oil and gas can be obtained in laboratory conditions from inorganic compounds. For example, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen (synthesis gas) can be converted to hydrocarbons. Namely, oil and natural gas are made of them.


Therefore, some geologists believe that oil formed somewhere underground, at a depth of 50 to 240 km. Alternatively, the flammable liquid could be obtained from methane reserves. Then the newly minted oil reached the upper layers of the planet through voids and crevices.

The flaw in this theory is that the resource clusters formed in this way can be located anywhere. It is much easier to find clay shale. but

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