Resolving the Petroleum Paradox

  • Thomas Gold


The prevailing theory among Western scientists is that petroleum derives from the buried and chemically transformed remains of once-living cells. To contend, as I do, that complex hydrocarbons were primordial constituents of solar system debris out of which the planets formed, and that these hydrocarbons remain in an unoxidized state within the earth’s crust and upper mantle even today, is thus a radically contrarious view of petroleum formation. But the problem remains: If complex hydrocarbons found within the earth’s crust are not the reworked remains of surface life, why then does petroleum contain the signature of life?


Coal Seam Coal Deposit Black Coal Coal Formation Hydrocarbon Fluid 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

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  • Thomas Gold

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