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No. 79: Jan-Feb 1992

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Black gold -- again

The Siljan Ring and T. Gold are back in the news again. A few years ago, at Gold's instigation, private investors and the Swedish govenment put up money to drill for oil and gas at the Siljan Ring, some 200 kilometers northwest of Stockholm. This granitic region is a meteor-created, shattered scar on the earth's crust. It is in just such a spot that Gold expects to find abiogenic petroleum and methane seeping upward from deep inside the earth, where they have resided since the earth was formed. Con-ventional petroleum geologists have roundly ridiculed the Siljan Ring project; after all, everyone knows that oil and gas derive from buried organic matter.

Three years ago, at a depth of 6.7 kilometers, the "misguided" Swedish drillers pumped 12 tons of oily sludge from the granite rock. "Just drilling fluids and diesel-oil pumped down from the surface," laughed the experts. This autumn (1991), more oil was struck in a new hole only 2.8 kilometers deep. This time, only water was used to lubricate the drill. How are the skeptics going to explain this? Well, about 20 kilometers away, there are sedimentary rocks; perhaps the oil seeped into the granite from there. Rejecting this interpretation, the drillers are going deeper in hopes of finding primordial methane. (Aldhous, Peter; "Black Gold Causes a Stir," Nature, 353:593, 199l. Anonymous; "Black Gold," The Economist, p. 101, October 19, 1991. Cr. T. Brown)

Reference. T. Gold's iconoclastic ideas are the origin of oil and methane are reviewed in ESC13 and ESC16 in our catalog: Anomalies in Geology. To order, visit: here.

From Science Frontiers #79, JAN-FEB 1992. 1992-2000 William R. Corliss