Titan’s Oil Resources

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Paris – Scientists have discovered immense oil resources in Titan, which is a moon of Saturn. The oil reserve of Titan is estimated to be several hundred times greater than that of earth.

An artist’s imagination of Titan

An artist’s imagination of hydrocarbon pools, icy and rocky terrain on the surface of Saturn’s largest moon Titan.
Credits: Steven Hobbs

The immense reserve is detected at a location which is 1.2 billion kilometers i.e., approximately 750 million miles away from Earth, where average temperature itself will be minus 179 degrees Celsius.

Titan has several hundreds times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the available oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, said the European Space Agency (ESA).


In Titan, the ethane and methane falls from the sky in the form of rain, forming massive lakes and seas. It is believed that complex organic molecules called tholins are responsible for Titan’s oily dunes, said the ESA.

Titan is just enclosed in a carbon covered material. It is a giant factory of organic chemicals,” said scientist Ralph Lorenz.

Revealing the mystery of Titan’s carbon-chemistry may help to find out the answer for how Earth’s carbon-based life began, said the researchers.

The fall of hydrocarbons from the sky, in the form of rain and get stored in massive deposits that form lakes and dunes. But now scientists are quantifying the material using observations from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.

Titan has long been considered as a place that might be somewhat like Earth. “The inventory of immense oil resource is an important break through into the geology and climate history of Titan.” said scientist Ralph Lorenz.

The 20 percent of Titan’s surface has been mapped by Cassini with the help of its radar. According to the statement of NASA, scientists have observed several hundreds of lakes and seas; each of it is estimated to have more hydrocarbon than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth.

The total availability of natural gas on Earth is 130 billion tons. But the Titan’s lakes and seas individually have the equivalent of at least this much energy in the form of methane and ethane.

This estimation is made based on the pictures of the lakes located in the North Polar Region,” Lorenz said. “We assumed that the southern polar region might also be similar, but we really don’t yet know how much liquid is there.”

The radar of Cassini has observed the southern polar region only once, and only two small lakes were identified.

Scientists also estimated the depth of Titan’s lakes by making some general assumptions based on the lakes on Earth.

We know that the depth of some lakes are more than 10 meters or much deeper because they appear factually pitch-black to the radar,” said Ralph.

Titan Oil Resources

The volume of liquid present on the Titan’s surface is important because methane is a strong greenhouse gas. Titan will become much colder if the methane present on its surface gets expired. Scientists assume that the presence of methane in the Titan’s atmosphere might be due to the expulsion from volcanic eruptions.

Relevant Links: http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMCSUUHJCF_index_0.html

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  • harshads

    It is good news by looking at the prices of oil on earth are on the top of it.Now our scientist have found some signs of oil resources on Titan then we the question arises that how can we use this resources?and what will happen on the earth if we use more oil and create more pollution?
    So we must think about it carefully.

  • NobleBear

    What’s more interesting:

    “It is believed that complex organic molecules called tholins are responsible for Titan’s oily dunes”


  • kingpin

    Oil on earth is the remnant of ancient life. Mostly plants and trees but animals (like dinosaurs) too. If there truly is a lot of oil on Titan then this could be proof of extra-terrestrial life.

  • AttemptingReason


    harshads: There’s not necessarily a need to bring the hydrocarbons to Earth; if we wanted the energy, it would probably be cheaper to convert the fuel into an easier to transport and/or less polluting form before sending it to Earth.

    NobleBear: organic molecules can form through non-biological processes. All organic means is that they contain mainly carbon and hydrogen.

  • vivek_patel

    This is some news but then how beneficial does it become for us, earthlings, is a debatable question. As stated, the temperature over there is minus 179 degrees. Again you have the question of retrieving the oil and sending it back here or do we propose to start a human colony there. Err… this sounds too far fetched.

  • Akira123454

    I’m sure that one of these countries will either

    1. Go to Titan justto extract the oil resources.

    2. Make a inhabitable environment (space station) for this moon.

  • Alex Rodriguez

    This is good news. Now, we should try to send the space stations or other things to this moon, Titan and try to bring those oil here for our use. Thus we can avoid the future fights on the earth due to oil!! By the way, is the oil there is really the same oil that we use here, that’s a million dollar question.

  • Taft

    Bring the oil back from Titan?…. Are you all for real? You can all see the many many problems with that idea, right?

  • jeramiah461

    its not oil on titan. its liquid methane. oil is the decayed remnants of plants and animals. do some research before you write something buddy.

  • Ajayjadhav39

    that's nonsense first of all it's not oil but liquid methane,ethane ;liquid because of temperatures are about -179 celsius and pressure around 1.45 times that of earth

  • http://entertainment-lobby.blogspot.com Akif

    why can’t i see the images ;s