'Small' significance

A grain of sand. Not very significant, you say? Well, put it inside downhole pumping equipment or any other precision instrument-or in your eye-and its importance increases dramatically. As Einstein said, "Everything is relative."Some of the most diminutive elements on the planet, in fact, actually are among the most sizeable because of the relativity factor. And the quantity factor. Multiply the tiniest of microorganisms a quadrillion-fold and you have a powerful force. Ask any doctor. Or biochemist. Or oilman. Oilman?Geological theoryThe organic theory of petroleum formation holds that oil and gas are formed from the breakdown of microscopic organic matter-algae-like plants, animals, or...

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