Crude Oil

Crude oil is a naturally occurring petroleum product composed of hydrocarbon deposits and other organic materials. A type of fossil fuel, crude oil is refined to produce usable products including gasoline, diesel, and various other forms of petrochemicals. It is a nonrenewable resource, which means that it can’t be replaced naturally at the rate we consume it and is, therefore, a limited resource.

Crude oil is typically obtained through drilling, where it is usually found alongside other resources, such as natural gas (which is lighter and therefore sits above the crude oil) and saline water (which is denser and sinks below).

Description

Crude oil is a naturally occurring petroleum product composed of hydrocarbon deposits and other organic materials. A type of fossil fuel, crude oil is refined to produce usable products including gasoline, diesel, and various other forms of petrochemicals. It is a nonrenewable resource, which means that it can’t be replaced naturally at the rate we consume it and is, therefore, a limited resource.

Crude oil is typically obtained through drilling, where it is usually found alongside other resources, such as natural gas (which is lighter and therefore sits above the crude oil) and saline water (which is denser and sinks below).

After its extraction, crude oil is refined and processed into a variety of forms, such as gasoline, kerosene, and asphalt, for sale to consumers.

Although it is often called “black gold,” crude oil has a range of viscosity and can vary in color from black to yellow depending on its hydrocarbon composition. Distillation, the process by which oil is heated and separated into different components, is the first stage in refining.

In the 21st century, many manufacturers have begun creating products that rely on alternative sources of energy, such as cars run by electricity, homes powered by solar panels, and communities powered by wind turbines.