Natural Gas, Oil Occur Naturally & Are Not a Limited Fossil Fuel, Says Prominent Scientist
A lot of powerful interests use “energy shortage” scares to manipulate not only public opinion (particularly in regard to U.S. foreign policy toward oil producing nations) but also the price of oil itself.
However, the truth is that oil is not a limited resource, according to one of the world’s most prestigious scientists, whose views on the subject have not received the publicity they deserve. Dr. Thomas Gold contends, based on long study, that oil, natural gas and coal are not so-called “fossil fuels.”
Instead, according to Dr. Gold, these resources are constantly being manufactured within the Earth by natural processes that are little understood and which point toward new, relatively unexplored realms in science.
In his book, The Deep Hot Biosphere: The Myth of Fossil Fuels, which is available in most bookstores, Dr. Gold has outlined the entirety of his theory.
Dr. Gold was the guest on the Oct. 28 broadcast of Radio Free America, the weekly call-in talk forum with Tom Valentine, sponsored by American Free Press. He and Valentine were joined by a longtime mutual friend, oil wildcatter John Ledbetter, who has used Dr. Gold’s research in his own oil drilling ventures.
What follows is an abbreviated transcription of the broadcast. Valentine’s questions are in boldface. Gold’s responses are in regular text. Ledbetter’s comments are in italics.
Your most controversial idea is the non-biological origin of natural gas and oil. You put forth the position that dinosaurs and plants and the fossils from those living beings are not the origin of oil and natural gas. Your theory was first publicly referenced in a book by your colleague, the late Fred Hoyle, one of the world’s leading physicists and astronomers, in which Hoyle had a chapter entitled “Gold’s Ore Theory,” the ore referring to the porous spaces in the Earth. What first prompted you to suggest that oil and natural gas is generated from a chemical substance in the crust of the Earth?
The astronomers have been able to find that hydrocarbons, as oil, gas and coal are called, occur on many other planetary bodies. They are a common substance in the universe. You find it in the kind of gas clouds that made systems like our solar system. You find large quantities of hydrocarbons in them. Is it reasonable to think that our little Earth, one of the planets, contains oil and gas for reasons that are all its own and that these other bodies have it because it was built into them when they were born?
That question makes a lot of sense. After all, they didn’t have dinosaurs and ferns on Jupiter to produce oil and gas?
That’s right. Yet, for some reason my theory was not heard. The old theory that it was all made from fossils had become so firmly established that when the astronomers had perfectly definitive evidence on most of the other planets, it was just ignored, especially by the petroleum geologists who had, by then, called these things “fossil fuels.” So once they had a name, then every body believed it.
The oil geologists have carved a niche for themselves and they are perceived now to “know more” about how oil was supposedly formed from dinosaur bones than anybody. However, you have taken your theory (which argues against the traditional theory) and have gone one step further by saying that there is a biosphere; that living entities (fungi, microbes, etc.) are not necessarily just the ones we see on the surface of the Earth but that living creatures are deep in the Earth which could have given rise to creatures on the surface.
I will tell you why this had to be so and why I became convinced. In the whole petroleum and coal story, there is this extraordinary paradox that all of these substances contain some biological material. But the chemistry in detail fits it better, as many chemists have said, with the theory of a primordial hydrocarbon mixture (say an oil or gas mixture) to which biological products have been added. That was one aspect that has been quite firmly noted by many Nobel laureate chemists and others.
So every time they find oil deep in the ground and they analyze it chemically, they are effectively supporting your theory?
Absolutely. That has been known, also, for quite a large number of years since the mid-1950s.
Human skull fossils have been found in anthracite coal in Pennsylvania. The official theory of the development of coal will not accept that reality, since human beings were not around when anthracite coal was formed.
That’s right. Coal was formed millions of years ago.
However, you cannot mistake the fact that these are human fossils. Nonetheless, your theory explains how this could come about.
The La Breatarpits in Los Angeles have saber toothed tigers and all kinds of things in them. But the only thing which, at the present time, you can see anything that would make coal of the kind that we mine (usually at a very shallow level) are the big tar pits and tar lakes, such as the one at La Brea and ones in Trinidad.
The coal we dig is hard, brittle stuff. It was once a liquid, because we find embedded in the middle of a six-foot seam of coal such things as a delicate wing of some animal or a leaf of a plant. They are undestroyed, absolutely preserved, with every cell in that fossil filled with exactly the same coal as all the coal on the outside. A hard, brittle coal is not going to get into each cell of a delicate leaf without destroying it. So obviously that stuff was a thin liquid at one time which gradually hardened.
The only thing we find now on the Earth that would do that is petroleum, which gradually becomes stiffer and harder. That is the only logical explanation for the origin of coal. So the fact that coal contains fossils does not prove that it is a fossil fuel; it proves exactly the opposite. Those fossils you find in coal prove that coal is not made from those fossils. How could you take a forest and mulch it all up so that it is a completely featureless big black substance and then find one leaf in it that is perfectly preserved? That is absolute nonsense.
Where then does the carbon base come from that produces all of this?
Petroleum and coal were made from materials in which heavy hydrocarbons were common components. We know that because the meteorites are the sort of debris left over from the formations of the planets and those contain carbon in unoxidized form as hydrocarbons as oil and coal-like particles. We find that in one large class of meteorites and we find that equally on many of the other planetary bodies in the solar system. So it’s pretty clear that when the Earth formed it contained a lot of carbon material built into it.
Your book points out that there are all sorts of life forms within the Earth.
It was an unthinkable thing, when this discovery was made, that there were life forms that did not depend on life on the surface, such as the process called photosynthesis where we find chemical energies created from the sunlight. That had been thought to be the only way life was to be supported. And here we find gasses and liquids coming up from cracks in the ocean floor which feed enormously intense forms of life, which includes quite large creatures. It is only because we found and saw some of these large creatures that this was discovered. However, the principal things that are living there are microbial, which feed the large creatures.
To verify your theories, you participated in the drilling of an unusual oil well in Sweden. Please tell us about that.
I was responsible for initiating the drilling of two quite deep wells in a huge meteorite crater in central Sweden. The reason I was interested in that was be cause it was in pure granitic rock with not a stitch of any sediment—nothing biological, just hard brittle rock.
To the average oil geologist that kind of area would be a wasteland.
They thought I was absolutely crazy to get the Swedes to drill there.
We were not able to produce commercial quantities of oil, because of the bacteriological content which clogged up the wells, but the bacteria which were living there were on the oil that was coming up. The bacteria that were captured at the various levels were just exactly those that would only reproduce at the elevated temperatures that, of course, occur at the various levels. There was no question that these were microbes from down there that were living, in fact, on the oil and gas as their principal food source and that this was their supply of energy.
Let me tell you why I was convinced. We first pulled up 80 barrels of oil, so this was not just trace amounts. Yet, I had been told by I don’t know how many traditionalists that this was an absolutely mad place to look for oil.
Meanwhile, based on the Swedish results, the Russians have drilled 300 deep holes in granitic rock of this type in Russia and found oil in most of them. The White Tiger field off the coast of Vietnam is producing at a very good rate now from granitic-based rock, so we know that this whole story is correct.
You were confident that this drilling would be successful in Sweden, despite the naysayers, weren’t you?
Well, there was sort of a great intellectual puzzle in the whole oil and gas business, and it was the following: All oil and gas areas contain unquestionably biological molecules. There are degrees of complexity that could not be found without biology. There not only had to be something alive, but it had to be in large quantities.
Another thing is that oil, consistently, the world over, contains a large concentration of the natural gas helium, which is totally chemically unconnected to biology. There is no biological material that could have attracted it or produced it. It’s an element, so it cannot be produced.
The great puzzle was why the helium, an unrelated substance to anything biological, was found in petroleum. The helium could only have become concentrated by mechanical pumping, because nothing chemically would affect the helium at all. The only way you can concentrate it is to mechanically pump it and it occurs diffusely distributed in the rock, but it is highly concentrated by a huge factor just in oil. So how would oil, if it is derived from dinosaurs and plants, have concentrated the helium? It is out of the question.
The only way in which the helium could have become concentrated would be if when it was diffusely distributed in all the porous spaces in the rock that another substance in large quantity came charging through those porous spaces and held the spaces open with high pressure. Oil pumped up whatever residual gas was mainly in those porous spaces. Then, when it comes to shallower levels—which is where we eventually find it—the oil contains whatever it has pumped up from deep levels below.
The puzzle was that this nonbiological material was highly concentrated by a factor of perhaps a thousand in oil and so were the biological molecules. It was a puzzle as to why those two contradictory things came together.
How about magnetite (that is, iron)? What part does it play in your theory?
The thing is that microbes can live on petroleum where it is oozing up from deep below only if they can loosen some oxygen. Hydrocarbons are only useful for energy and microbes need an energy supply which can be used for the combustion process. That needs oxygen. Without oxygen, all of the coal in the world would be useless to you.
Microbes have no free oxygen like we have in the atmosphere, so they have to find their oxygen from materials that are buried in the rocks. There the substances that are the most prolific suppliers of oxygen are iron oxide and sulphur oxide.
What we have found for a long time to the puzzlement of many petroleum geologists is that petroleum bearing areas have magnetite, a less oxidized form of iron, and sulphur and sulphides, which are compounds of sulphur, but not oxidized.
So to get that kind of magnetite around the oil, microbes consumed some of the oxygen to make the magnetite out of the ferrous iron that is in the rock. This proves that there is a biological factor at play.
Actually, the magnetite grains are very tiny and no such tiny ones occur naturally without biology. They are clearly biological products and there is no question that we found this in huge quantities in Sweden. Probably all the iron mines in Sweden that started the big Swedish iron industry are the same as what we found at our oil drilling. A great deal of the microbic activity found in the crust of the Earth is what we find in mining operations.
Many metal deposits that are totally unexplained, where the textbooks say that they have never been able to find any reason why these metals clustered together, can be explained. The answer as to why they got concentrated is because at depth at high pressures, it is very much easier to make complex molecules that contain metals. Then they come up and disintegrate and leave the metal atoms behind and that’s why we find copper and zinc and lead.
What about the methane balls that are being found at the bottom of the ocean?
That’s methane hydrate. Any place on the ocean floor that is cold and high pressure allows an ice that is a mixture of methane and water to form methane hydrate. In other words, methane has come up everywhere and met up with the water and there it makes the methane hydrate ice. It is thought that the total amount of the element carbon that is sitting on the ocean floors in the form of methane hydrate is more than all the coal and oil that we know of.
Your work contends that there is so much natural gas in the earth that it is causing earthquakes in trying to escape from the Earth. We could probably harness natural gas anywhere we wanted if we would just study your work. This is John Ledbetter:
If you’ll drill deep enough anywhere, you will find natural gas. It may not be in commercial quantities every time, but more than likely it will be. This whole thing involving the supposed scarcity of gas and petroleum and all of the politics that goes along with it—in the face of the findings of Dr. Gold—makes you wonder what everybody is really up to.
Is the oil and gas industry reconsidering things in light of your work?
In many other countries they are listening to me: in Russia on a very large scale, and in China also. It is just Western Europe and the United States that are so stuck in the mud that they can’t look at anything else.