Re: Mars suddenly becomes interesting
" If Mars had oil then that's a game-changer."
Funny you should say that... If there was once life on Mars, and if conditions persisted long enough to let it ..breed.. there would have been a lot of organic goo on the bottom of the then-seas. Which, if properly covered up and stewed by pretty much the same processes as here on earth, should have resulted in layers rich in the stuff we call "oil".
The problem there is that those layers would be a bit deeper down than the Rovers can dig for. And exposed on the surface nothing organic lasts long in the current martian climate, so even if something eroded out, and we'd get extremely lucky in hitting upon such a layer, the Rovers would still have to dig deeper than they currently can to reach potentially uncontaminated material. ( Which is also clearly stated in the article.)
Even when the article states there is no way of knowing whether the molecules detected were made by biochemical or physical-chemical means, it also states that there's quite a bit more of it, in amount and location, than expected. Which is a very hopeful thing, even when the experiments themselves aren't even equipped to prove a biochemical origin unequivocally. You'd need to be able to prove chirality-bias for that ( for something resembling earth-type life ), and the Rovers simply aren't equipped for it.
But once it's proven life once did exist on Mars..... There should be "oil".