An Unknown Source of Petroleum

What's the source of petroleum? Drill a lot of  holes in the ground.  Find petroleum in some.  Pump the petroleum out.  The production of the well diminishes.  Back to step one.  But that's not always the way it happens.

Off the coast of Louisiana, Eugene Island 330 produced about 15,000 barrels of oil per day after its discovery in 1973.  By 1989, production had dropped to 4000 barrels per day.  That's normal enough, but the production has recently increased to 13,000 barrels per day, and the oil seems to be of an older geologic age than the oil that was pumped earlier.

It is conjectured that the oil is being replenished from somewhere that may lie miles below the surface.  Might the same be happening in the Middle East, where oil reserves have doubled in the last twenty years in spite of the frenetic rate of removal?

(Information from: The Wall Street Journal 16 April, 1999)

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