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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CD232:

It is estimated that there are about 100 billion tons of offshore oil, and that about 5 million tons of oil seeps into the ocean each year. At this rate, it would take about 20,000 years to deplete that quantity. If oil is 50 million years old, a quantity 2500 times the present reservoirs would have been lost to seepage.


Morris, H. M. and G. E. Parker, 1982. What is Creation Science?


  1. The estimate of 100 billion tons probably refers to recoverable oil, which is a tiny fraction of the total. Most of the seepage probably does not come from recoverable oil deposits, which are generally capped by impermeable layers. Oil is formed spread out in the deep sediments. It then rises towards the surface -- some of it encounters an impermeable layer along the way, and is captured there, stable over geological time -- and some of it does not have anything impermeable on top, and seeps out. The former is the 100 Gt total, the latter is the 5 Mt per year.

Further Reading:

Dalrymple, G. B., 1984. How old is the earth? a reply to "scientific" creationism. In: Evolutionists Confront Creationists, F. Awbrey and W. M. Thwaites, eds., San Francisco: Pacific Division, AAAS, pp. 66-131.
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created 2003-8-13, modified 2004-9-21