Where does petroleum oil come from?
1. Oil comes from algae
“The conventional wisdom is that oil descends from algae from eons ago. Lots and lots of algae. Unimaginable mounds of dead algae in quantities no longer found on this planet, pressed, and cooked into hydrocarbon liquids.”
2. Oil is abiogenic (non-organic)
“Others, notably the Russians, have an alternative theory that oil comes from non-biological carbon compounds deep in this planet, like the methane oceans we find on other planets.”
3. Oil is produced by bacteria
“An emerging third theory is that bacteria living within rocks produce oil. In this theory there is a biological component (the bacteria) which constitute the oil-generating process, but the originating material in not degraded organic material, but rather geological carbon gases.”
Kevin says “In any case I am betting on bacteria as the creators of oil simply because I’ve learned to never bet against bacteria.”
It would be important to know the origin of oil really only if you wanted to duplicate its properties synthetically. Doing that might eliminate one country’s dependence on another and eliminate some trade imbalance issues, but would do nothing to address the climate issues created by its use – in fact it would likely worsen them. A cheap, synthetically produced alternative would enable people to drive more, and more people to drive.