Stef Hareema (YEC Engineer) Argues Radiometric Dating is not Necessary for Fossil Fuel Discovery

I’m no geologist but I found quite a bit wrong with this. Seemingly no understanding for Basin Modeling or the industry at large.

Via the Oilfield Review:

“The best way to reduce investment risk in oil and
gas exploration is to ascertain the presence, types
and volumes of hydrocarbons in a prospective
structure before drilling. Seismic interpretation
can delineate closed structures and identify potential subsurface traps, but it does not reliably
predict trap content. Drilling on a closed structure, even near a producing oil or gas field, holds
no guarantee that similar fluids will be found.
Profitable exploration requires a methodology to
predict the likelihood of success given the available data and associated uncertainties”

“Predicting the present by modeling the past is
a powerful tool for oil and gas industry professionals. Although BPSM may not be able to predict
every oil and gas accumulation, it is designed to
help companies find more hydrocarbons and avoid
costly drilling mistakes in the future.”

"Using biomarkers in the oil samples, reinterpreted sequence stratigraphy and proprietary kinetic parameters, Mobil geologists performed BPSM, which predicted that most of the Miocene source rock in the area of interest would be within the present-day oil window and would be currently generating hydrocarbons. Use of the model resulted in major oil discoveries by Mobil and its partner Unocal in the deepwater Makassar Straits, with some wells producing 10,000 bbl/d [1,600 m3 /d] of oil from areas previously considered nonprospective. The study also changed the way the industry views deepwater deltaic petroleum systems worldwide.“

Via 7.09 - Formation and Geochemistry of Oil and Gas

“Basin modeling, in one form or another, has been an integral part of petroleum exploration studies since the 1970s. Geochemical parameters have played a role in the development of these models as they have become more sophisticated. The major role of basin models is to reconstruct the history of sedimentary basins in an effort to predict how the processes of generation, expulsion, migration, trapping, and preservation control the volumetrics, quality, and distribution of oil and gas in a basin.”

Thanks to @Mr_Wilford For the sources!

Thoughts Geophys folks?


Hmm, so @GutsickGibbon is done with one group of YECs, and has turned to debunking another group of YECS…compulsion or calling?

Wait, it’s the same group of YEC creationists! :wink:


Hey I am not doing ANY response videos :triumph:. Just thought you guys might get a kick out of some of the claims! Particularly since Standing has a more prominent YEC guest. I am premiering non YEC busting content tonight actually! it’s on that July paper on ARHGAP11B and it’s introduction to some developing marmosets.


Well that’s cool. Did you pick up the discussion about it here?

1 Like

Much obliged.

I don’t think it needs to be stated, but when the geologic literature says “we use x, and it’s a powerful tool”, and yecs say “no you don’t >:(” then it’s the yecs who are wrong. Laymen don’t get to tell professionals what their job entails.

Id love to get the take of @faded_Glory on this, given he used to work as a petrolium geologist.

1 Like

NO That sounds super cool though!

I thought the implications for the evolution of language were really neat, albeit really REALLY preliminary.

I guess at least it’s not ‘oil is being constantly generated by natural geologic processes and is not ancient’, which I have also seen proposed…

Well, oil and gas are of course constantly generated by natural geologic processes (nothing wrong with a bit of uniformitarianism!), but at rates that are far too low to commercially tap into. We have to wait for Nature to take its time to generate and accumulate enough of it in one place where a well can be drilled into it and produce enough to pay for itself (and hopefully for the shareholders).


You are quite correct about the importance of Basin Modelling in hydrocarbon exploration.

Exploration wells are costly things, usually in the order of tens to hundreds of millions of dollars apiece. Success is far from guaranteed with the global wildcat success ratio hovering around the 50%, and if a well fails to find commercial quantities of hydrocarbons the money is completely gone without any returns.

It is not surprising then that management (and untimately, shareholders) expect the companies to throw the scientific book at their prospects. I am talking about true wildcats here, wells drilled to test a new play. Obviously there are less risky exploration wells, the kind that further explores a basin and a play that has already been proven to be productive. But the game changers, the play openers, will need to be supported by as much science as we can muster.

Basin Modelling has been a major focus of study and software development for decades now. I have worked in two major oil and gas companies, and both of them required a Basin Model to be completed and presented before a play-opener well proposal would pass technical sign-off, let alone full approval. No Basin Model, no well. As simple as that.


And it looks like some professionals commented on the video to say how astounded they were at the basic errors these guys made. Nice.


The science is there but the dates are misplaced. This is funny because you could do basin modelling simply based on a graduated 1-12 level stratigraphy. You absolutely do not have to 1. know dates, or 2. assign dates. Dates are completely beside the point. In the oilfield, radiometric dating is no more important that stratigraphy ID and location or no more important than fossil indexes. It’s all circular in regards to “real” dates anyway.

The important thing is to get a proper and in-order lithological “stacking”. Then…do your modelling, roll the dice, and…DRILL…and PRAY.

I can’t make head or tail out of what you are saying here, and I’ve worked in oil and gas exploration for over 30 years. I don’t think you have the faintest idea about what we do and how we do it.


Simply put, I am claiming you do not need dates to do your work. You could simply do it based on a graduated stratigraphy, say 1 thru 12 or 13, to do your modelling.

I’d call it masochism! :wink:

Your claim is both incomprehensible and baseless. What on Earth do you mean by “graduated stratigraphy, say 1 thru 12 or 13”?

The idea that you are telling me what we need to do our work is frankly ludicrous. What is it with people who think they can make categoric pronouncements on subjects they very clearly know nothing about? Don’t you have any self-awareness?


How have you relied on the radiometric dates of rock in your search for oil?

We use the absolute geological time scale to model the timing of hydrocarbon generation in relation to the trap formation. That is one particular detail, but an essential one.

In a much wider and much more fundamental sense of course, we use the overall model of the Earth’s history as we understand it today, at a wide range of scales, to give us understanding of the overall framework in which our prospects exist. We aim to model the entire hydrocarbon system - the development of the basin, the development of its sedimentary rock types over time, the burial history, the heat flow history, compaction and diagenesis, the deformation history for trap formation, the structural history to understand the timing, extent and pervasiveness of folding, faulting and fracturing (all in their own way critical for trapping, sealing and potential leakage), the pore pressure development over time (not only important for trap integrity but essential for safe well design) - and a whole lot more.

Using the absolute time scale and all such accepted geological principles, we integrate as much data as we have to try and arrive at the fullest understanding of the geological, geochemical and geophysical history of the basin, of the play, and of our specific prospect so that we can make the most informed estimate possible of the various risks of the prospect (reservoir, trap, source) and combine these into one overall prospect risk.

That risk then goes into the prospect economics, together with the range of expected success volumes plus on the other side the well and development costs, to yield the Expected Monetary Value of the prospect. Only if that is positive and meets the Company’s screening criteria can the well be approved.

The entire process is subject to constant peer review and challenge. Without a vetted and agreed model this process can’t even start let alone be completed.

I have never seen anything at all in so-called ‘Flood Geology’ that would give anyone the first handle on how to build such models under such assumptions. You could never arrive at considered and informed prospect risks, and therefore you cannot calculate a robust risked volume range. Without that, you can’t do economics, and without positive economics you will not get funding for your well.

Basing Hydrocarbon Exploration of Flood Geology cannot be done, and is not done. Period.


Even there, oil companies are interested in the geological history to model the expected fractionation and grades of hydrocarbon to project their reserves, right?

Welcome to the world of biologists!


What’s the latest stock price for Noah’s Oil Production and Exploration (NYSE code NOPE)