In today’s world, the energy requirements for various activities are obtained from sources such as solar, water and wind energy. While these three natural resources play a major part in the world’s energy requirements, the majority of the world is still driven by that one liquid that seems to find its importance in almost all strata of technology; Petroleum.
From the running of a car to the working of a generator, petroleum is used widely in almost all applications in countries around the globe.
Petroleum is a thick, dark brown or greenish liquid obtained from the earth’s crust and is also called crude oil. It consists of complex mixtures of various hydrocarbons.
Petroleum is mainly used for producing fuel oil, an important “primary energy” source. Petroleum is also used as a raw material for many chemical products and plastics and is hence called “mother of all commodities”.
10 facts about petroleum are given below.
1) Crude oil is measured in barrels.
A barrel is equivalent to 42 U.S. gallons or 158.9873litres .One barrel of oil accounts for about 19.15 gallons of gasoline, 9.21 gallons of diesel, 3.82 gallons of jet fuel, 1.75 gallons of heating oil and about 7.3 gallons for other petrochemical products like tar, asphalt, bitumen, etc.
2) Most of the oil is used in transportation industry.
Approximately 50% of all the oil consumed in the U.S. is for the transportation industry.
3) OPEC (Organization of Petroleum exporting countries) hold over three-quarters of the world’s proven oil reserves.
OPEC was founded in Baghdad, Iraq, with the signing of an agreement in September 1960 by five countries namely Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Currently, the organization has twelve members: Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.
4) Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil producer.
It has the largest amount of reserves (267 billion barrels). Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar oil field contains about 85 billion barrels of oil (the world’s largest).
5) The U.S. has the 11th largest national oil reserves in the world.
Its oil reserves is at 21 billion barrels. Oil was first successfully drilled in the U.S. in Titusville, Pennsylvania, in 1859.The states of Texas, Louisiana and California account for over half of all domestic refining capacity. Texas is the leading state in crude oil production with over 5 billion barrels in reserves. The United States have over 200,000 miles of oil pipelines within its borders.
6) The largest oil field in the U.S is Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.
This extends to about 213,453 acres and originally contained 25 billion barrels of oil.
7) The U.S has 4% of the world’s population but uses 25% of the world’s oil
The U.S is the biggest consumer of oil at over 19.5 million barrels a day and Oil consumed in the U.S by driving is nearly two times that consumed by drivers in China and India combined. New York has the lowest per-capita energy consumption of any state.
8) Oil spills account for only about 5% of the oil entering the oceans.
The largest oil spill in history, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, spilled 4.2 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
9) It is estimated that approximately 80% of all oil spills are caused by human error.
10) Oil has been used by people for over 5,000 years.
It was used as a medicine for treating ailments such as gout and frostbite.