Real Estate

Oil – Its uses and benefits

Petroleum or crude oil is a natural liquid found in formations on Earth and consists of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons (primarily alkanes) of various lengths. Oil literally means rock oil; oil that comes from the rock. Petroleum or crude oil is a natural hydrocarbon-based liquid that is sometimes present in porous rocks below the earth’s surface. Oil is formed by the slow alteration of organic remains over time. It consists of a mixture of liquid hydrocarbon compounds and varies widely in composition, color, density, and viscosity. This liquid after distillation produces a variety of combustible fuels, petrochemicals and lubricants. Compounds and mixtures of compounds separated from crude oil by distillation include gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, fuel oil, some types of alcohol, benzene, heavy naphtha, various grades of lubricating oils, and residues. Petroleum is usually classified according to the predominance of paraffinic or asphaltic compounds and, consequently, is said to have a paraffinic base, an intermediate base or an asphaltic base.

Oil wells are drilled as deep as six miles into the Earth to search for oil. Drilling these wells can cost millions of dollars, but the drilling is done because oil is a valuable natural resource. Although the main use of oil is as a fuel (gasoline, jet fuel, heating oil) and oil and natural gas are often used to generate electricity, there are many other uses as well.

These are some of the ways oil is used in our daily lives. All plastic is made from petroleum and is used almost everywhere, in cars, houses, toys, computers, and clothing. Asphalt used in road construction is a petroleum product, as is the synthetic rubber used in tires. Paraffin wax comes from petroleum, as do fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, detergents, phonograph records, photographic film, furniture, packaging materials, surfboards, paints, and man-made fibers used in clothing, upholstery, and carpet backing. Helium, sulfur, and other valuable materials are produced in oil wells along with the oil itself. Petroleum is mainly used as a source of fuel and lubricating oils. It is only when these supplies are restricted or threatened that the average person begins to realize their importance.

The top three oil-producing countries are Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States. About 80% of the world’s easily accessible reserves are in the Middle East, with 62.5% coming from the five Arab countries: Saudi Arabia (12.5%), the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Qatar and Kuwait. Millions of people around the world are employed to find or produce oil, ship and refine it, and manufacture and market the many oils and waxes that are made from it.

Although there are many alternatives to petroleum fuels, a cost-benefit analysis shows that petroleum is superior in almost all areas. Hydrogen, ethanol, hybrid and biomass technologies hold promise for cars and may soon increase efficiency and reduce emissions; but many of these technologies have yet to prove profitable enough for providers or attractive enough for consumers. Oil retains a key advantage because the price of oil remains low compared to forms of energy with lower environmental impacts, such as wind and solar power. Unlike hydrogen or even natural gas, oil is easily transportable and there is a large infrastructure to support its use.

There are many factors why oil prices are rising, but oil is still a necessity. These reasons are the lack of available capacity along the production oil supply chain, refinery upgrades and transportation infrastructure; increased demand in emerging economies; apparent insensitivity of consumers to the price signal; uncertainties related to weather (hurricanes) or politics (Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Nigeria); and increased activity in commodity markets. It is not very useful to blame a single player in the game. This could pose a danger to the world’s economy and business.

Thus, the benefits of oil have brought enumerable benefits to human civilization: quality of life, dynamic prosperity, and a source of income for energy traders.

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