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Also known as “black gold” , oil is one of nature’s most desired resources and, at the same time, rejected by the world’s societies. And it is that having sources of oil is not always a sign of wealth. There are many advantages and disadvantages of oil, which are mainly focused on economic advantages for those who exploit oil sources and environmental and social disadvantages for the regions that suffer such exploitation. There are many studies and analyzes that seek to know the availability of this fossil fuel in the world, some of which indicate that the “peak oil” has already been overcome and that it is running out more and more quickly.

In this complete AgroCorrn article you will find more information about black gold, you will discover how oil is formed and more details related to its extraction and characteristics.

What is oil

Oil is considered worldwide as one of the most used fossil fuels in our day to day. Despite its negative effects on the environment (both during its extraction and final deposition processes), the uses of oil by world societies are multiple, but summarizing them we can indicate that they are:

  • Fuel in the gasoline of vehicles, machinery and energy and thermal industries.
  • Production of plastics in materials and fabrics to give rise to objects of all kinds.

Now that we know what oil is used for , let’s see what the nature of this compound is, that is, its chemical composition. Oil is constituted, fundamentally, by carbon and hydrogen ( hydrocarbons ), which are stored at a high depth, having a characteristic oily liquid consistency. To better understand its uses and fuels of this type, we advise you to read this other post about What are fossil fuels and how they were formed .

In the next sections we will see more characteristics of oil, as well as its formation and extraction processes to know the details of this fossil fuel.

Oil formation

The origin of oil is one of the most surprising natural phenomena discovered by human beings. In summary, the oil formation process is as follows:

  1. For millions of years the decomposition of organic remains of living beings (both animals and plants) has been taking place, which were being deposited on the seabed and lake areas.
  2. These organic remains were buried under many meters of layers of earth and rocks.
  3. The pressure that these layers exert, was causing that the result of the decomposition in a medium without oxygen (anaerobic) was an oily, viscous liquid compound, of greater density than water and of a dark color: oil. In addition, natural gas also appears during this type of process .

Knowing how oil was formed has allowed us to discover more and more sources of oil around the world. In the next section we will see exactly where it is most likely to find this fossil hydrocarbon.

Where is the oil?

Did you know that oil was used in times of the Roman and Egyptian civilizations? However, at that time they did not have the machinery and technology necessary to access the oil reserves located deeper, sometimes being located up to 5,000 meters deep.

As we have seen in the previous sections, given the chemical composition and formation of oil, it is essential to have large sources of organic matter and water resources which are deep and subject to high pressure. In this way, the ideal places for the formation of oil are, firstly, in the deep ocean , followed by coastal areas , as well as at the mouths of rivers, lakes and lagoons .

Some examples of countries and regions of the planet where large oil sources have been discovered are:

  • Venezuela.
  • Saudi Arabia.
  • Canada.
  • Iran.
  • Russia.
  • Nigeria.
  • USA.
  • Brazil.

How the oil is extracted

The methods of oil extraction depend, fundamentally, on the location of the oil source, that is, whether in land or marine areas. Due to the pressure exerted by sediments and rocks on oil sources , this tends to be expelled towards the earth’s surface through channels and cracks once these rocks are perforated, which act as a warehouse in which the oil accumulated during millions of years.

Thus, to know the subject well, it is also necessary to take into account these processes about the oil extraction process:

  • Begin by having the appropriate machinery and technology that allows, on the one hand, to carry out topographic and drilling studies of the terrain and, on the other hand, to extract and store the oil in pipes and special storage systems.
  • This first oil is also called crude . This cannot be used directly, but needs to go through one or more refining processes (by fractional distillation), depending on the type of final oil that you want to obtain, such as liquefied petroleum gas resulting from mixing butane and propane. during oil refining.
  • Other types of oil are classified according to their density (light-medium-heavy-extra heavy) or according to their composition (paraffinic, naphthenic or mixed base).

Furthermore, by applying different temperatures during the oil refining process, various oil derivatives are obtained , such as:

  • Methane
  • Butane.
  • The gas.
  • Kerosene.
  • Fuel oil.
  • Paraffins.
  • The tars.

All these petroleum derivatives also have various industrial uses. If you are interested in learning more about this fossil fuel, you can enter the links to our articles about oil slicks and the environmental impact of oil and natural gas .

If you want to read more articles similar to How oil is formed , we recommend that you enter our category of Non-renewable energies .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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