Drilling deep for fuel

Stores of natural gas created by high temperatures and pressures may nestle deep in Earth's mantle.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM September 24, 2004

Digging in dirt and rock is a big business. Oil and gas lie beneath Earth's surface in certain places, and these reservoirs are the planet's main sources of fuel.


Until now, all the digging has happened only in Earth's outer layer, called the crust. Oil and gas wells normally go no deeper than about 6 kilometers. A new study shows that natural gas, mainly methane, may also form in a much deeper layer called the mantle. This means that new sources of energy could lie at depths of 100 kilometer...

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