Sustainable Oil redux

A while back I did a piece on sustainable oil.  Apparently the topic is making the rounds.

Thomas Gold was not your typical radical. Far from being a mad scientist, he was a brilliant professor of astronomy at Cornell University, but he succeeded in driving many others mad with theories that flew in the face of conventional wisdom…..

Now, a couple of decades after Gold first suggested that hydrocarbons are formed deep underground by geological processes and not just below the surface by biological decay, there is increasing evidence that he may have been on to something.

…..Gold argued that all hydrocarbons are formed in the intense pressure and high heat near the Earth’s mantle, around 100 miles under the ground. If he was right, it means the finite limits of the resources that power our cities and our factories and our vehicles have been vastly overstated.

Here’s the “current event” part:

And the evidence so far suggests that methane, at least, can be produced independent of biological materials.

How’s this for a suggestion:

One photo released Tuesday showed a large body of liquid – possibly liquid methane – jutting into what appeared to be rough, frozen terrain, with the probe appearing to be just meters (yards) from the shoreline.

That article from is talking about liquid methane on Titan, a moon of Saturn.  Needless to say, at this point, we are not aware of any biological materials on Titan.  Furthermore:

“If it’s not a sea, it appears to be a lake of tar-like material,” said John Zarnecky, principal investigator for the Huygens’ Surface Science Package, which is taking data from the surface of Titan.

On Titan, with no known biological material, there is tar and methane, the precursors to usable oil.

I think Gold may be on to something.