Oil from dinosaurs

I have often heard that oil comes from the decaying matter of dead dinosaurs. Is this true? And if so, why isn’t there more oil in the US where dinos seem to have run rampant millions of years ago, and why is there so much in the middle east where it seems unlikely that dinos would have lived?

Nope. No oil from dinosaurs.

There have been several threads on similar topics recently and I am sure our resident oil expert (we have one though their name escapes me) will be along shortly to help.

First, the predominat theory is that oil comes from biological matter, but any matter. Could be dinos, could be lichens.

Second, the world looks very different than it did in the time of the dinos and I believe that many did, in fact, live in that area (which at times has been much more hospitable).

Third, there is a minority theory that oild doesn’t even come from plants and animals in the first place, but is a naturally occuring phenomenon independent of life. That should tide you over.

Where to start. Oil comes from decayed organic matter of all sorts, not just dinosaurs. I would expect the bulk to be from plants as they would account for the greatest mass of living matter.

The middle east was not always a desert, and certainly was not back when the oil there was laid down.

What is now the Middle East was far from being devoid of dinosaurs. Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Iran, Afghanistan, Israel and Egypt have all yielded dinosaur fossils, for example.

Too bad, because it nullifies this satirical “vegan guide to life” I posted on the internet last year…

**First of all , STOP using your computer. Your computer is manufactured from plastic, a petroleum product. Petroleum is made from dead dinosaurs. Furthermore, the components of your computer were manufactured, in large part, by humans. Most of those humans probably eat meat, so by using your computer you’re supporting laborers who are using your money to buy more meat to eat.

As for the parts of your computer manufactured by robotics or automated machinery: all those gears, belts and springs need to be lubricated by something. More often than not, it’s white lithium grease, a PETROLEUM product (dead dinosaur city!) Otherwise, it might be silica-based, in which case it would come from the shells of dead shellfish harvested fresh off the beach. SAY NO to grease!

Same goes for your car. In fact, even more so, because your car burns gasoline. What is gasoline? You know what—it’s the life blood of creatures cruelly murdered so that you can drive down to the convenience store and buy a pack of corn nuts.

Speaking of corn, the combines used to harvest this crop, along with most other crops like wheat and barley, have rotating blades that slice and dice field mice and innocent rabbits with glee. Therefore, do not use anything with wheat or corn, or any other grain.

How do you live then? Easy. Build a cabin out of reeds from a cool mountain stream. Need something to eat? Pick a ripe, juicy piece of grass right out of the ground. Need a drink? There’s a mountain stream in your backyard. More refreshing than bottled water, I might add.

There ya go. The vegan guide to life.**

There is some evidence that petroleum originates from the remains of dinosaurs. The element vanadium is present in the blood and tissues of all animals. Oil-fired power plants are a source of vanadium…when the smokestaks and boliers are cleaned out, the residue collected contains an appreciable amount of vanadium, so much so that the residue is worth quite a bit of money.
Vegetable matter contains little,if any vanadium.

yes, but there are many varieties of simple sea life that concentrate vanadium. so dinosaurs are maybe a low probability source for oil.

I am not an oil geologist but have some knowledge of crude oil origin from some time spent in oil refining. Crude oils can be broadly classified by kerogen type. The kerogen type is determined by the original source of the organic carbon. Most crude oils are type I or II. From memory Middle Eastern crudes are typically type II, and the original source of carbon is marine micro-organisms.
Type III kerogen formations are primarily sourced from vegetation and are associated with gas and coal fields rather than oil.

Just popping by to ask a question. Does the prevailing theory on fossil fuels mention anything about the other things that have to happen to biological matter, (your dinosaurs or trees or grass or whatever,) before it becomes oil, (natural gas, coal, etcetera??)

I assumed that amounts of organic matter had to become trapped away from the sun and the air, and put under pressure from geological processes.

That might explain why there’s not that much oil in places where a lot of dinos were running around. :slight_smile:

Your thesis appears to be that the element vanadium somehow gets into animals without passing through the plants that they eat. Interesting.

So does vanadium appear in fossil fuel? Yes:

Is vanadium absent from plants? No:

I’ve spent the past twenty years working for a mid-sized oilfield service company, and teach various oil and gas-related courses to our own and client personnel.

  1. The vast majority of scientists in this field agree that nearly all oil and gas is of organic origin.

  2. By far the majority of biomass that ever existed has been in the form of single-celled marine animals. These tiny creatures contain carbon compounds that have been shown to gradually convert to hydrocarbon compounds similar to crude oil under heat and pressure (such as lengthy burial). The vast majority of oil and gas fields are found in, or adjacent to, sediments of marine origin. This strongly suggests that the single-celled marine organisms mentioned above are the main source of the complex hydrocarbons found in crude oil.

  3. The remains of dinosaurs may indeed have been a source of some tiny fraction of the crude oil worldwide, but the proportion of dinosaur remains to the mass of simple marine organisms is extremely small. I don’t have a definitive number handy but it is surely less than 1%.

  4. The canard about crude oilcoming mainly from dinosaur remains appears to have mainly started with the old Sinclair Oil Company, which heavily promoted the erroneous connection in its advertising (featuring their mascot "Dino’ and referring to 'dino-power in their gasoline), and with the fact that a considerable amount of hydrocarbon source material was laid down in sediments from the same geologic era as when dinosaurs existed.

Hope this helps.