What is Petroleum? What is Crude Oil ? What is Oil and Gas? -

Learn about petroleum, crude oil or oil and gas. Find and list petroleum products, oil and gas equipment and machinery, oil and gas services, oil and gas businesses.

Crude oil, petroleum, oil and gas

Crude oil, petroleum, oil and gas

Facts About Petroleum, Crude Oil or Oil and Gas

There are somethings  you should know about petroleum, crude oil or oil and gas.

The terms petroleum, crude oil or oil and gas  are synonymous and so they  are used interchangeably. Their usage by different people on different context do not deviate from  what they mean. So when individuals or people say petroleum, such individuals or people refer to crude oil and oil & gas.

Petroleum is a viscous (thick and sticky), flammable and yellow-to-black liquid  substance found naturally beneath the earth. It is called mineral oil, rock oil, fossil oil  and in some instances liquid black gold because of its economic value and importance and so it serves as the economic backbone of countries that have it in good qualities and large quantities. When petroleum is discovered (explored) at a particular site it  is obtained by drilling (oil drilling) and thereafter can be used or sold unprocessed or sold after it is processed (refined) into different types of products commonly called fuels (petroleum products). By the process of distillation (fractional distillation), crude oil can be separated or refined into different consumer products like petrol (gasoline- a transparent, petroleum-derived liquid that is used primarily as a fuel in internal combustion), kerosene, asphalt, lubricating oils, paraffin wax and other chemical reagents that are required in addition to other raw materials in  the manufacture of plastics  and drugs ( in pharmaceutical industries). Bitumen (asphalt ) is the thickest form of petroleum. Bitumen, asphalt and tarmac (tar) are used for paving road by road construction companies for road construction.  As a matter of fact, crude oil is used as raw material for many derivative products. The importance of  the oil and gas industry cannot be overemphasized as it full business opportunities as well create jobs for people.

In the petroleum industry, there is what is called integrated oil and gas companies. These are companies or businesses  in the oil and gas sector that carry out discovering (exploring), obtaining, producing, refining, and distribution of oil and gas. Integrated oil and gas  companies  combine both  upstream and downstream services  as far the oil and gas industry is involved. This is unlike when oil and gas companies  are specialized in either the downstream or upstream oil and gas operation.

Over the years, due to scientific findings obtained through series of chemical analysis (organic chemistry precisely) has shown that petroleum is made up of organic compounds containing the major elements hydrogen and carbon. These organic compounds made up of to hydrogen and carbon are  called hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons have different molecular weights. Petroleum is a fossil fuel  formed as a result of  the decomposition of large quantities of dead organisms like zooplankton and alga (which are subjected to intense heat and pressure) that are buried underneath sedimentary rocks.

History of Crude Oil, History of Petroleum, History of Oil and Gas

History have it  that James Young in 1847  invented the distillation process of kerosene (a petroleum product also called dual purpose kerosene-DPK) from crude oil. Then  in 1859 Edwin Drake sank the first known oil well in Pennsylvania. World War I encouraged the mass  production of crude oil and natural gas and from that time  petroleum and petroleum products became sort-after products or commodities that have  high market demand just like gold and diamonds which people were  and still  trading locally and internationally. Statistics show that the  transportation industry  ( land, air and water transport)  is responsible for using 70%. This is because they all have combustion engines.

Types of Crude Oil or  Classification of Crude Oil

There are four (4) types of crude oil or crude oil can be classified into four (4). These are heavy crude, light crude, sweet crude and sour crude.

Difference Between Heavy Crude Oil and Light Crude Oil 

There are differences between heavy crude and light crude. Based on molecular composition, viscosity and ease of flow there are two types of crude oil. These are heavy crude oil and light crude oil. Heavy crude oil or extra heavy crude is the type of crude oil that is highly viscous and so it cannot flow easily under normal conditions from the reservoir to  production wells. This is because the heavy crude have higher  density or specific gravity in contrast to light crude. This means  that light crude oil is less viscous and flow easily from the reservoir to the production wells as well as have lower gravity, density and lighter molecular composition when compared with heavy crude. Production, transportation, and refining of heavy crude oil present special challenges compared to light crude oil. It is important to know that there are more reservoir of heavy crude oil than light crude oil. Moreover,  high sulfur (sulphur) content for some sources of heavy crude oil now makes light crude oil to be more expensive than heavy crude oil. Heavy oil has higher boiling point and molecular weight than light oil.

Difference Between Sweet Crude Oil and Sour Crude Oil

Sweet crude oil is different from sour crude oil. The difference between sweet crude and sour crude can be seen in the amount of sulphur they contain. Sweet crude oil is crude oil with lower content of sulphur while sour crude oil is crude oil that has higher content of sulphur than light crude. The density of crude oil is determined by the length of the hydrocarbons contained by such crude. Also the ratio of carbon to hydrogen in the hydrocarbon is also a determinant in the classification of crude oil. This implies that heavy crude oil (which has higher density than light crude oil)  have longer hydrocarbon chains as well as higher ratio of carbon to hydrogen in the hydrocarbon that made it up. Contrarily, light crude oil ( which has lower density than heavy crude oil) have shorter hydrocarbon chains as well as higher ratio of hydrogen to carbon that made it up.

Some Products That Can Be Made From Petroleum; Petroleum By-Products

According to Ranken Energy, a partial list of products that can be made from petroleum are :

Solvents Diesel fuel Motor Oil Bearing Grease
Ink Floor Wax Ballpoint Pens Football Cleats
Upholstery Sweaters Boats Insecticides
Bicycle Tires Sports Car Bodies Nail Polish Fishing lures
Dresses Tires Golf Bags Perfumes
Cassettes Dishwasher parts Tool Boxes Shoe Polish
Motorcycle Helmet Caulking Petroleum Jelly Transparent Tape
CD Player Faucet Washers Antiseptics Clothesline
Curtains Food Preservatives Basketballs Soap
Vitamin Capsules Antihistamines Purses Shoes
Dashboards Cortisone Deodorant Footballs
Putty Dyes Panty Hose Refrigerant
Percolators Life Jackets Rubbing Alcohol Linings
Skis TV Cabinets Shag Rugs Electrician’s Tape
Tool Racks Car Battery Cases Epoxy Paint
Mops Slacks Insect Repellent Oil Filters
Umbrellas Yarn Fertilizers Hair Coloring
Roofing Toilet Seats Fishing Rods Lipstick
Denture Adhesive Linoleum Ice Cube Trays Synthetic Rubber
Speakers Plastic Wood Electric Blankets Glycerin
Tennis Rackets Rubber Cement Fishing Boots Dice
Nylon Rope Candles Trash Bags House Paint
Water Pipes Hand Lotion Roller Skates Surf Boards
Shampoo Wheels Paint Rollers Shower Curtains
Guitar Strings Luggage Aspirin Safety Glasses
Antifreeze Football Helmets Awnings Eyeglasses
Clothes Toothbrushes Ice Chests Footballs
Combs CD’s & DVD’s Paint Brushes Detergents
Vaporizers Balloons Sun Glasses Tents
Heart Valves Crayons Parachutes Telephones
Enamel Pillows Dishes Cameras
Anesthetics Artificial Turf Artificial limbs Bandages
Dentures Model Cars Folding Doors Hair Curlers
Cold cream Movie film Soft Contact lenses Drinking Cups
Fan Belts Car Enamel Shaving Cream Ammonia
Refrigerators Golf Balls Toothpaste Gasoline

It is worthy of note that from the above partial list of some products that can be obtained from petroleum, it is obvious that crude oil is a very important natural resource  for economic development of countries that have it in  quantities and qualities. Petroleum is of importance to petrochemical industries, agricultural industries, food industries, pharmaceutical industries, transport industries, technology industries, to mention but a few.  Apart from the job creation capacity of the oil and gas industry, the petroleum industry is full of  direct and indirect business opportunities or investment opportunities for local and international investors or oil and gas business startups with good research and business plan.

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