Petroleum industry

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The oil industry is a type of industry which brings petroleum to a market. Petroleum is often considered the lifeblood of nearly all other industries, if not industrialized civilization itself and thus is a highly prominent and critical concern for many nations. Oil accounts for a large percentage of the world’s energy consumption, ranging from a low of 32% for Europe, Eurasia, and the Asia Pacific region, up to a high of 53% for the Middle East. Other geographic regions’ consumption patterns are as follows: South and Central America (44%), Africa (41%), and North America (40%). The world at large consumes 30 billion barrels (4.8 km³) of oil per year, and the top oil consumers largely consist of developed nations. In fact, 25% of the oil consumed in 2005 went to the United States alone.

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[edit] History

Oil in general has been used since early human history to keep fires ablaze, and also for warfare. Its importance in the world economy evolved slowly. Wood and coal were used for heating and cooking, while whale oil was used for lighting. Whale oil however, burned to produce a black, smelly, thick residue known as tar or rock oil.

The Industrial Revolution generated an increasing need for energy which was fuelled mainly by coal. However, it was discovered that kerosene could be extracted from crude oil and used as a light and heating fuel. Petroleum was in great demand by the end of the 1800s, and its use spread.

[edit] Infrastructure

The petroleum industry can be divided into two broad groups: upstream producers (exploration, development and production of crude oil or natural gas)and downstream transporters (tanker, Pipeline transport), refiners, retailers, and consumers. Oil companies are generally categorized as "supermajors" (BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Shell), "majors," and "independents" or "jobbers." Most upstream work in the oil field or on an oil well is contracted out to drilling contractors and oil field service companies.

[edit] Impact

Petroleum is a non-renewable natural resource and the industry is faced with the spectre of the inevitable eventual depletion of the world's oil supply. By the very definition of non-renewable resources, oil exploration alone will not stave off future shortages of the resource. Resource economists argue that oil prices will rise as demand increases relative to supply, and that this will spur further exploration and development. However, this process will not increase the amount of oil in the ground, but will rather temporarily prolong production as higher prices make it economical to extract oil that was previously not economically recoverable. The Hubbert peak theory, also known as peak oil, is an influential theory concerning the long-term rate of conventional oil production and depletion. Oil is a Fossil fuel. When fossil fuels are burnt this releases Carbon dioxide, (CO2) into the Earth's atmosphere and adds to Global warming.

[edit] References

[edit] External links

[edit] See also

nl:Olie-industrie no:Oljeindustri nn:Petroleumsverksemd

Petroleum industry

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