MASSIVE new oil reserve discovered

News broke today of the discovery of an oil field that contains more oil than has ever yet been found on Earth.

The problem is that it’s not on Earth. But it’s sort in the neighborhood…

According the European Space Agency:

“Saturn’s orange moon Titan has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, according to new Cassini data. The hydrocarbons rain from the sky, collecting in vast deposits that form lakes and dunes.
 
The new findings from the study led by Ralph Lorenz, Cassini radar team member from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, USA, are reported in the 29 January 2008 issue of the Geophysical Research Letters.

‘Titan is just covered in carbon-bearing material—it’s a giant factory of organic chemicals,’ said Lorenz. ‘This vast carbon inventory is an important window into the geology and climate history of Titan.’ “

Stupid law of gravity. Drat. If we could just repeal it for a few years, we’d have more than enough oil for the future.

Read the rest here.

Author: Nick Knisely

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...

6 thoughts on “MASSIVE new oil reserve discovered”

  1. Except for that whole global warming thing. Start pumping millions of tons of extra-planetary carbon into the atmosphere and the problem is much bigger than it is today.

  2. Hey – I’ll be if we figure out the technology to transport the ocean of hydrocarbons on the surface of Titan back to Terra, the issue of cleanly burning them will be easily tractable.
    Grin.
    (Of course you’re right – thinking about getting our present energy needs supplied so that we can continue in a fossil fuel based energy economy is to continue to live in denial of the enormous environmental costs it brings.)

  3. Gravity? Not a problem at all! Once you break out of Titan’s and Saturn’s gravity wells, it’s an easy coast “downhill” (sunward).
    The details of breaking out, and of deceleration for landing on Earth without burning up the hydrocarbons during atmospheric entry, are left as an exercise for the reader.

  4. Something I just thought of: The hydrocarbons may be more valuable as feedstocks for local chemical plants than as fuel. Transporting the finished products earthward might someday be cost-effective, at least more so than doing so with the hydrocarbons themselves.

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