Letter of the Month - July 1999
The Origins of Oil and Petroleum
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Date: Mon, 29 Jul 1996 17:54:57 PDT
From: "Daniel E. Reynolds"
Subject: Oil - A REWEWABLE and ABIOTIC FUEL?
On June 20th, 1996 Col. Prouty stated...
"Oil is often called a 'fossil' fuel; the idea being
that it comes from formerly living organisms. This may have
been plausible back when oil wells were drilled into the
fossil layers of the earth's crust; but today, great
quantities of oil are found in deeper wells that are found
below the level of any fossils. How could then oil have
come from fossils, or decomposed former living matter, if it
exists in rock formations far below layers of fossils - the
evidence of formerly living organisms? It must not come
from living matter at all!"
Two days after I read his statement I encountered the
following statement in a newspaper I deeply respect:
"Any geologist will tell you, well, most geologists
will tell you that OIL IS CREATED BY THE MAGMA OF THE EARTH.
The oil wells in Pennsylvania that were pumped out dry at
the turn of the century and capped are now filled with oil
I would be honored if Col Prouty could provide me with
just a few additional leads to MORE DOCUMENTATION BACKING UP
HIS ASSERTION. A search of the US libraries (via computer)
has turned up the name of Professor Thomas Gold who wrote a
"Power from the Earth".
I tried to contact Marc J. Defant, a Volcanologist who
teaches at the University of Southern Florida, but he is in
Russia -- probably drilling for OIL PRODUCED BY MAGMA!!!
Professor Gold's book has been requested via interlibrary
I certainly believe Col Prouty is telling the truth --
as he knows it -- personally! Well, I seek the TRUTH -- and
when I find it -- I teach it to all who desire to hear it --
as best I can.
Thank you for taking time to read my request. If, Col
Prouty can find the time to read it too -- and he chooses to
share additional information with me -- I shall be most
Daniel E. Reynolds
July 29, 1996
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Here is Col. Prouty's response.
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Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 21:16:04 -0400
From: Col. L. Fletcher Prouty
Subject: RE: Reynolds letter
This response is for Daniel E. Reynolds, 29 July 1996 on the subject of "Oil
- A renewable and abiotic Fuel?"
Dan, your use of the word "abiotic" is good. As a non-fossil fuel, petroleum
has no living antecedent. It contains chemical elements found in living matter; but it is
not "formerly living matter." There has not been enough true "formerly
living matter"through all of creation to account for the volume of
petroleumthat has been consumed to date.
My background in this subject goes back to 1943. I was the pilot who flew a
U.S. Geological Survey Team from Casablanca to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. We met
the Cal. Standard Oil team holding down that lease. Then we went back to
Cairo to meet President Roosevelt during the Nov. 1943 "Cairo Conference"
with Churchill and Chiang Kai Shek. FDR ordered the immediate construction
of an oil refinery there for WW II use. This led to ARAMCO.
During the "Energy Crisis" of the 1970's I was detailed to represent the U.S.
Railroad industry as a member of the "Federal Staff Energy Seminar" program
started by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, sponsored by
Georgetown University. That began in Jan 1974 and continued for four years.
It was designed to discuss "the working of the United States national energy
system, and new horizons of energy research." Among the regular attendees
were such men as Henry Kissinger and James Schlesinger...most valuable
During one meeting we took a "Buffet Break" and I was seated with Arthur
Kantrowitz of the AVCO Company..."Kantrowitz Labs" nearBoston. At the table
with us were four young geologists busily talking about Petroleum. At one
point one of them made reference to "Petroleum as organic matter, and a
fossil fuel." Right out of the Rockefeller bible.
Kantrowitz turned to the geologist beside him and asked, "Do you really
believe that petroleum is a fossil fuel?" The man said,"Certainly" and all
four of them joined in. Kantrowitz listened quietly and then said, "The
deepest fossil ever found has been at about 16,000 feet below sea level; yet
we are getting oil from wells drilled to 30,000 and more. How could fossil
fuel get down there? If it was once living matter, it had to be on the
surface. If it did turn into petroleum, at or near the surface,how could it
ever get to such depths? What is heavier Oil or Water?" Water: so it would
go down, not oil. Oil would be on top, if it were "organic" and "lighter."
"Oil is neither."
They all agreed water was heavier, and therefore if there was some crack or
other open area for this "Organic matter" to go deep into the magma of Earth,
water would have to go first and oil would be left nearer the surface. This
is reasonable. Even if we do agree that "magma" is a "crude mixture of
minerals or organic matters, in a thin pasty state" this does not make it
petroleum, and if it were petroleum it would have stayed near the surface as
heavier items, i.e. water seeped below.
My D. Van Nostrand "Scientific Encyclopedia" says "Magma is the term for
molten material. A natural, complex, liquid, high temperature, silicate
solution ancestral to all igneous rocks,both intrusive and effusive. The
origin of Magma is not known." My "Oxford English Dictionary" does not even
have the word "Magma."
Some years ago I wrote two or three pages that appeared in theMcGraw Hill
Yearbook of Science and Technology, i.e. "Railroad Engineering." Even that
source is a bit uncertain about the"origin of petroleum" to wit:
"Less than 1% of the organic matter that originates in or is transported to
the marine environment is eventually incorporated into ocean sediment," and
"Most petroleum is formed during catagenesis (undefined anywhere). If
sufficient organic matter is present oceanic sediments that undergo this
process are potential petroleum sources. Deeply buried marine organic matter
yields mainly oil, whereas land plant material yields mainly gas." (Their
idea of "deeply buried" is the "out.")
All this leaves us no where. I still go with Kantrowitz. Since oil is
lighter than water, everywhere on Earth, there is no way that petroleum could
be an organic, fossil fuel that is created on or near the surface, and
penetrate Earth ahead of water. Oil must originate far below and gradually
work its way up into well-depth areas accessable to surface drilling. It
comes from far below. Therefore, petroleum is not a "Fossil" fuel with a
surface or near surface origin.
It was made to be thought a "Fossil" fuel by the Nineteenth oil producers to
create the concept that it was of limited supply and therefore extremely
valuable. This fits with the "Depletion"allowance philosophical scam.
During one of our C.S.I.S. "International Nights" (1978) the Common Market
Energy boss, M. Montibrial of France, told us that while petroleum was being
marketed then for $20.00 per barrel or more, it cost no more than 25 cents
per barrel at the well-head. There is our petroleum problem! We were paying
more than $1.50-$1.60 per gallon, one 42nd of a barrel, at that time.
Interested folks need to learn more about the Chartered Institute of
Transport, and not waste their time with OPEC, the "Cover" story.
Those who pumped the Pennsylvania wells "dry" during the late eighteen
hundreds saved what they had for those better days.
L. Fletcher Prouty
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FOLLOW-UP-LETTER-- -- -- --
Subject: FACTS, FACTS, and MORE FACTS!
To: Col Prouty
Dear Len (and Col Prouty)
Stimulated by Col Prouty's assertion that OIL IS A
NON-FOSSIL FUEL -- I put my roadster in high gear -- and
went prospecting for some SOLID support! Well, I'm hear to
tell you both, I DO BELIEVE I've FOUND IT - in spades!
Item #1: A MAGNIFICENT BOOK!!!!
TITLE: Power from the Earth
Deep Earth Gas -- Energy for the Future
by Thomas Gold
[J.M. Dent & Sons, Ltd, London, 1987]
May I quote a few lines from from the front cover of
the book ... a few words ... on
JUST WHO THIS GUY THOMAS GOLD AND WHAT HE HAS TO SAY ON THIS SUBJECT!
"Professor Thomas Gold is one of the great scientific
thinkers of our time and in Power from the Earth he puts
forward a highly revolutionary and controversial theory.
According to Gold, there are within the Earth virtually
limitless stores of energy in the form of gas and oil as yet
untapped. This energy is of non-biological origin and
there is far more of it in the Earth than geologists have
ever imagined -- and IT IS ACCESSIBLE!
--- Score 1 for Col Prouty!
At a time when the future supply of traditional
fossil fuels is said to be seriously limited and nuclear
energy is becoming ever more suspect, Gold's theory has vast
implications for the future of the Earth's energy supplies
and is crucial to our understanding of the deep processes
that cause earthquakes and volcanoes. His view also clearly
has far reaching consequences for the economic and political
shape of the world.
--- Score 2 for Col Prouty!
In the past Professor Gold has explained the nature
of pulsars and solar flares, proved that the Earth's poles
change position over time, made new discoveries about the
workings of the human inner ear, and was the only scientist
to predict that Moon's surface consists of dust. His new
theory has already been grabbing the attention of the
international press and a drilling operation has been
started in Sweden on the basis of his idea.
In Power from the Earth Professor Gold puts forward
one of the most important scientific ideas of our age."
--- Well, having read the book, I can say I certainly
concur with THAT OPINION. And guess what -- Dr. Gold is a
friend of Arthur K. of AVCO LABS, etc....! BULLSEYE!
--- Score 3 for Col Prouty!
WHO IS THIS MAN....well listen up...
"Professor Thomas Gold, FRS, was born in Austria and
educated in Switzerland and England, where he became famous
as an astronomer at Cambridge in the post-war years. In
1956 he moved to the United States to become a professor at
Harvard. He later became Professor of Astronomy at Cornell
University, where he founded and directed the world-famous
Center for Radiophysics and Space Research. He is a Fellow
of the Royal Society and of the United States National
Academy of Sciences, and in 1985 was awarded the Gold Medal
by the Royal Astronomical Scoiety. He now lives in
Cambridge, England and is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity
Not bad. Not bad at all.
In fact, I'm honored to have made his acquaintance.
---- Score 4 for Col Prouty
& a Hearty THANK YOU TO DR. GOLD.
They say -- he coined the term magnetosphere in '59!
I wonder what HE THINKS is causing those black outs out
West??? Falling tree limbs? Now THAT's an interesting
hypothesis! Maybe a bird took out the TWA? Hey, it's
just a theory, just a theory...
Ok ... now ... I hear some one murmuring
... "Well, if his Ideas are so good, so right, so profound
-- SURELY THEY'VE MADE THE SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE ...REFEREED
JOURNAL ARTICLES ... you know ... and all that. I mean ...
if it's REEEEEEAL SCIENCE surely it's been recognized around
As a matter of fact, it has!
My I introduce you both (if you have not been so
introduced prior to this letter) to the work and writings of
Ref: Kropotkin, P. N. (1985)
Degassing of the Earth and the Origin of Hydrocarbons,
published in the
International Geology Review, 27, 1261-1275
P.N. Kroptkin -- who is with the Geological Institute
of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Moscow, it says
in the header "has long been a leading proponent
of the INORGANIC ORIGIN OF PETROLEUM, a THEORY
which has had a continuous tradition of support in
Russia and the Soviet Union and a recent revival
in the United States and Western Europe."
Oh, well, better late than never!
THIS PAPER IS LOADED WITH FACTS! Anyone who thinks
that Col Prouty or Dr. Gold are spinning some kind of yarn
... HAD BEST READ IT -- ASAP. WE ARE BEING OFFERED AN
IMMORTAL SYMPHONY BY THESE MEN -- and I for one LOVE the
Sound of THIS MUSIC!
May I share just one quote from the work of P.N.
Kroptkin... from page 1265 ... just one of many many AWESOME FACTS IN THIS SCIENTIFIC DOCUMENT...
"Commerical oil pools in the basement rocks have been
recorded in 267 oil and gas deposits on different
continents. In some, oil is present at a depth of several
hundred meters from its surface; in the USSR, such pools are
known in a number of areas. A detailed analysis of the
geological environment suggests that in some of these
deposits, OIL COULD NOT HAVE ENTERED THE POOLS FROM THE
OIL-BEARING STRATA OF THE SEDIMENTARY COVER AND,
CONSEQUENTLY, PENETRATED FROM BELOW ALONG FAULTS.
---Score a HOME RUN for Col Prouty and Dr. Gold!!!!
Such is the Borolla deposit with pools in the Precambrian
granites of the Shillong plateau (eastern India), the Peace
River deposit in Western Canada associated with faults in
the basin of the Athabasca River which border the zone of
the pericratonic tough of the Canadian Shied, and the
giganitc deposits of the Hugoton-Panhandle region of the USA
and the Augila-Nafoora-Amal deposit in Libya. In the
Hugoton-Panhandle deposit, the upper Paleozoic sediments and
the basement rocks contain, in addition to oil, 2000 billion
m^3 of fuel gases and 10 billion m^3 of helium and its
concentration in such vast amounts over a small area may be
explained, as earlier noted by V. I. Vernadskiy, solely by
the migration of gas from a great depth, where faults drain
huge volumes of rocks of the lithosphere."
May I make a simple REQUEST TO COL PROUTY...
Sir. Please continue to provide YOUR PROVOCATIVE
MATERIAL...and OFFER US THE FACTS, as YOU KNOW THEM. Those
of us out in this media-blitzed wilderness LOVE TO
DO RESEARCH. WE WILL EFFORT to track down the details and
WE WILL DO OUR PART but KNOW WE NEED GUIDANCE and we beg you
to continue to shine YOUR VERY BRIGHT AND WISDOM FILLED
LIGHT on the ROAD A AHEAD FOR US, OFFERING JUST A LITTLE
DIRECTION, NOW AND THEN! We are OVER-UNITY 'MACHINES' ...
and WE SHALL NOT FAIL YOU!
My very BEST to you both of you & Len!
Joyously Walking the grounds
on which the Wright Brothers grew to fame,
and VERY HAPPLY to be able to say so -- this day!
Petroleum Disscussion Update for March 1997
FOSSIL-FUEL THEORY DEBUNKED: OIL, GAS DEPOSITS CALLED PRIMORDIAL
by Toldedo Blade
SEATTLE - The public's most widely known piece of geological
knowledge--how petroleum and natual-gas deposts formed on Earth---is
false, a noted scientist says.
Surprisingly, his campaign to rewrite school textbooks and
encyclopedias is getting grudging support from some geologists, who
acknowledge that petroleum's origins may be dramatically different than
what people believe.
Millions of Americans learned in grade school that oil deposits
originated in the age of dinosaurs, when vegetation in lush forests was
buried and subjected to high heat and pressure. Those extreme conditions
supposedly transformed the hydrocarbons in vegetation into the
hydrocarbons of petroleum.
"That's nonsense," snapped Thomas Gold, a scientist at Cornell
University. "There's not a shred of evidence from chemistry, geology, or
any other science to support it. It has no place in textbooks and school
In appearances at the annual meeting of The American Association
for the Advancement of Science in Seattle here that ended Thursday, Gold
repeatedly challenged geologists to reconsider and reject the
Gold also presented evidence that oil and gas deposits on Earth
are primordial. That means they came with the planet. They were part
of the original raw material that formed the sun and planets, and
deposited deep below Earth's surface when the planet formed 4.5 billion
Some of the oil gradually oozes upward from these original
deposits 100 to 200 miles below the surface and collects where oil
drillers can reach it.
In one presentation, Gold described shafts that he and associates
drilled in an ancient meteorite impact crater in Sweden. They drilled
into a kind of rock that was not sedimentary, not associated with the
sediments believed to produce oil deposits.
At a depth of about 4 miles, they encluntered a hydrocarbon oil
similar to light petroleum that Gold believes was primordial oil. He
noted a variety of evidence to support the belief. Gold estimated that this single site contained "more petroleum
than all of Saudi Arabia." With current technology, however, pumping it
out would be impossible, he added. Gold contended that many other planets and planetary bodies in
the solar system have similar deep deposits of hydrocarbons, which are
the stuff of oil and natural gas. Gold argues that a primordial origin for petroleum is the only
way to explain its chemical composition.
Petroleum originating from plant matter decayed by bacteria,
similar to bacteria that decay backyard garden-compost piles, would
resemble a microbial product. Instead, petroleum is chemically similar
to a pure hydrocarbon that has been contaminated with microbial material. That contamination, he argues, occurred as petroleum seeped upward through rock now known to contain enormous amounts of bacterial
life. In moving upward, petroleum also collected helium, explaining why
oil wells are such a rich source of helium.
"This is the only possible explanation," Gold said. "The
association of helium with petroleum has not been accounted for in any
How do geologists respond?
They're beginning to listen, according to Michael Carr, who
appeared on a panel where Gold presented his theory. Carr is a scientist
with the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Va. "Dr. Gold has some very, very good evidence, especially that
involving helium," Carr said. "He certainly is challenging the
geological community. There is a debate within the gological community."
Carr said geologists plan to reconsider the conventional theory
about petroleum formation at a major meting later in the year.
Once again, Prouty's assertions are backed by solid, credible people, and
the next time Warren Commission apologists pooh-pooh Prouty, citing
Prouty's "obviously ridiculous" views on petrol, just refer them to the
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