The oil , of the Latin will petra stone and oleum oil (that is to say “stone oil”), is a Roche carbonaceous liquid, or mineral oil. Fossil energy, its exploitation is one of the pillars of the contemporary economy industrial, because it provides it quasi totality of the Carburant S liquids. Oil is also often called black gold in reference to its Couleur Noir E and to its high cost.
A viscous rock
FormationOil is a product of passed geological of an area, resulting from the succession of three rather exceptional circumstances:
- the accumulation of organic matter;
- its maturation.
- trapping of hydrocarbons.
As an oil reservoir is involved in the plate tectonics, the history can not stop there. It can be hidden more deeply and be pyrolyzed again, giving a natural gas layer - one then speaks about secondary gas thermogenic , in opposition to the primary gas thermogenic formed directly by pyrolysis of the kerogen. The layer can also flee, and oil to migrate again, towards surface or another trap.
It is necessary thus true coincidence to carry out to creation of reservoir oil (or gas), which explains on the one hand that only a negligible part of the organic matter formed during the geological eras was transformed into fossil energy and, on the other hand, why these invaluable resources are distributed in a very disparate way in the world.
Accumulation of organic matter
In general, the Biosphère recycles the near total of waste which it produces. However, a small minority of the “dead” matter forms a deposit, i.e. it settles and is hidden with mineral matter, and consequently crossed Biosphère. This phenomenon relates to particular environments, such as the confined places (Lagune S, deltas…), especially in tropical medium and during periods of intense climate warming (like the Silurien, the Jurassic and the Cretaceous ), where the deposit of organic refuses exceeds the capacity of “ recyclage ” of the local ecosystem. It is during these periods that these Sédiment S rich person out of organic matters (especially of the Lipides) accumulates.
Maturation of the organic matter
As new layers of sediments settle with the top of this layer rich in matter organic, the “ rock-mother ” or “ rock-source ”, sees its conditions of Température and Pression to increase. The organic matter is transformed initially into Kérogène, a “dry extract” disseminated in the rock in the form of small grumeaux. If the temperature becomes sufficient (the threshold is with at least 50°C, generally more according to nature of the rock and the kerogen), and if the medium is Réducteur (low in Oxygène, in the contrary case the kerogen will be simply oxidized), the kerogen will be pyrolyzed in an extremely slow way.
The produced kerogen of the oil and/or the Natural gas, which are matters richer in hydrogen, according to its composition and the conditions of hiding. If the pressure becomes sufficient these fluids escape, what is called primary migration. In general, the rock source has several tens, even hundreds of million years when this migration occurs. The kerogen itself remains in place, impoverished out of hydrogen.
Trapping of hydrocarbons
As for the Hydrocarbon S expelled, lighter than water, they escape in general to surface where they are oxidized, or biodégradés (this last case gives bituminous Sables), but a tiny quantity is trapped: it is found in a permeable zone (generally Sable, Carbonate S or Dolomite S) which one calls the “ rock-réservoir ”, and cannot escape because of an impermeable layer (made up of Argile, Schiste and Gypse), the “ rock piège ” forming a structure traps.
There exist several types of traps. The largest layers are in general placed in traps anticlines. One finds also traps on Faille or mixed anticline-fault, of the traps formed by the crossing of the layers by a saline Dôme, or create by a coral Récif fossilized.
See also: Classification of liquid hydrocarbons, Analysis of an crude oil
One distinguishes oils according to their origin and thus of their composition. The mixture of hydrocarbons resulting from this long process includes/understands more or less long linear chains, as well as cyclic chains Naphténique S or Aromatique S. It is possible to distinguish the various types of oil according to their Densité, them Fluidité, their content of Soufre and other impurities (Vanadium, mercury and salt S) and their content of various hydrocarbon classes. Oil is then Paraffinique, Naphténique or Aromatique. It is also possible to sometimes classify them according to their source (Persian Gulf, the North Sea, Venezuela, Nigeria), because oil resulting from close layers often has close properties.
There exist hundreds of crudes all over the world. Some are useful like standard to establish the average costs of oil coming from a given area. The most known crudes are the Arabian Light (gross of reference of the the Middle East), the Brent (gross of reference European) and the West Texas Intermediate (WTI, gross of reference American).
According to its source, the crude can contain dissolved gas, sulphuretted salt water, sulfur and products (Thiol S (mercaptans) especially). It has a too complex composition to be described in details. It is necessary to distinguish three categories of crude simply:
- with Paraffinic prevalence : the linear hydrocarbons are most abundant, these crudes are most required because they directly give a great proportion of light products like the gasoline and the gas oil;
- with Naphtenic prevalence : many hydrocarbons to several cycles;
- with aromatic prevalence : the hydrocarbons presenting only one unsaturated cycle are most abundant.
That there exist crudes ready to make Bitume, it should be also announced are of the very heavy crudes of type Boscan, Tia Juana, Bachaquero or Safaniyah. The two principal criteria to classify the hundreds of different crudes which exist are gravity (density) and the sulfur content, since lightest and the least sulfurous (which with the highest commercial value) which is condensate, until heaviest and with most sulfurous which contains bitumen 90% approximately: it is a crude of Italy.
Preindustrial useThe use of oil goes back to the Antiquité, but the provisioning was limited to the outcrop natural of oil, and the oil found accidentally by digging wells to find drinking water or brine. These sources were weak and irregular. Civilizations Mésopotamie did not make use of it like produces pharmaceutical, Cosmétique and like Combustible for the oil lamps. The Égyptiens employed asphalts for the momification.
With the the Middle Ages, it was used by the Byzantine , then the Vénitiens, in the preparation of the “Greek fire” to set fire to and run the enemy ships. The Amerindian S, on their side, used oil to caulk the boats and for its supposed medicinal virtues. At the beginning of the 19th century, there was a specific use of oil, especially in the United States. It was sold like remedy “ miracle ”, or was useful in lamps and like Lubrifiant.
1859-1901: birth of an industry
Contrary to a widespread idea (especially in the United States), Edwin Drake did not drill the first Oil well this year. However, it seems to have been the first to produce oil since a well specifically drilled to this end and, at all events, it caused the birth of oil industry. The idea was simple: since the oil which one found on the surface seemed to flee since underground reserves, one was to be able to produce some much more while digging to reach directly those. It thus drilled its well in Pennsylvania, in an area known for the oil outcrops, and produced the first barrels of the modern era. The United States produced 274 tons in 1859 of them. The previous year, the only producer was the Romania with 200 tons.
He followed a “ gold rush noir ” in various areas of the world: Alberta, California, Transylvania, Poland and Azerbaïdjan. The wells of this time, dug in tanks close to surface announced by outcrops, produced little, of about the barrel/a day. The market remained confined with the traditional applications, oil paraffin at the head. In 1857, the town of Bucharest becomes the first in the world lit with oil. Let us note that by providing a liquid fuel much less expensive than the oil of Baleine employed up to that point, oil probably saved this species of the total extinction.
In 1885, the American chemist Benjamin Silliam Jr. (1816-1885), resuming former work, found a certain number of natural products by Distillation of oil: Tar S, lubricants, Naphtha, Solvent S for paintings as well as the gasoline which, regarded at the time as produces minor, was used like Détachant. The oil market knew enormous fluctuations of price at that time, each new layer saturating the market for some time. John Davison Rockefeller managed to establish a situation of monopoly on the American refining, which will be broken by a law Antitrust.
Drilled in 1901, the first puit in the layer of Spindletop in Texas inaugurated one new era. Dug in a deep tank and not indicated by outcrops, it produced 80 kbbls/j after its boring. About the same time, the Engine spark-ignition spreads, creating a new request for the liquid fuels. The production increases in a constant way until the Second world war.
Oil reservoirs of big size, like East Texas or Kirkuk, were so prolific that principal concern was then of knowing how to run out the production. Oil became a major energy source, as well as coal. During the two world wars, the supply oil of the belligerents was a major stake.
Oil industry developed then in an increased number of countries, but remained largely dominated by the American production which, in 1945, accounts for 60% more of the world figure of 7 Mbbls/j. Nevertheless, being the reserves, an increased share is at the Middle East. For example, Burgan is discovered in 1938.
1945-1973: abundanceThe economic strong growth that the countries developed between 1950 knew and the middle of 1970 could be carried out only at the price of a very strong increase in the consumption of energy. Indeed, this consumption passed from 1,7 billion Mtoe (ton oil equivalent) in 1950 to 5,2 billion Mtoe in 1970, that is to say a tripling in 20 years. During this period, cheap oil détrôna gradually the coal; feeding the powerplants and industry, causing an economic crisis of reconversion in the coal basins. In same time, it allowed the Green revolution. The world population increased 60 % during these 28 years, while the production of oil was multiplied per Sept.
At that time, oil was still “ facile ”: the layers were easily, and few important producing areas were declining. Immense layers easy to exploit, little déplétés, were able to offer additional production. From the technico-economic point of view, like consequence of this strong increase in consumption, one attended a development of the means of transport (maritime transport and by Oléoduc) involving a major reduction in the costs. Only concern remained the risk of saturation of the market. The prices being clearly directed with the fall, the countries having the vastest reserves constituted, in 1960, the Organization of the oil-producing countries (OPEC), organism in charge to coordinate the interests of the Member States and whose action, relatively limited to the beginning, became dominating thereafter.
In 1953, the United States reflects in place of the restrictions on the oil importation in order to stimulate the national production. The closing of the Suez Canal of 1967 to 1975 involved an extraordinary increase in the unit capacity of the maritime transport. Thus one built in years 1970 of the supertankers of: 550000 tons.
About 1970, one started to realize that an exponential growth of the production cannot be maintained indefinitely, and certain producer countries are reflected to reason on the long run, thinking that by limiting the production, they could prolong it. They became aware to be able to them vis-a-vis the consumer countries and with the oil companies. Important negotiations took place with Teheran, then with Tripoli in 1971, where the countries of OPEC obtained companies a substantial revalorization their incomes and insurances of new increases. The price of the light Arab ( Arabian Light ), gross of reference, was only of 3,02 USD running the barrel.
With the nationalization of the Aramco (1971), OPEC gave the kickoff of the claims aiming at securing a strong participation in the oil companies. These claims were followed effects by agreements of participation signed with the countries of the Persian Gulf. In addition, the American production reaches its peak in 1971.
1973-1985: oil crises
In February 1971, the Algérie announced with the general surprise the nationalization hydrocarbons, it was followed by the Iraq in 1972, then by the Libya in 1973, which nationalized in its turn 5 Anglo-American oil companies. In October 1973 burst the Guerre of Kippour. The Arab countries, already dissatisfied with the devaluation of the American dollar which was used to pay their oil (the convertibility out of gold of the dollar having been removed), issued an oil embargo. The oil price leaps from 3 to 13 USD. A crisis even more serious take place in 1979, caused by the Iranian Revolution. The price culminated with 40 dollars in 1981. The worldwide production passed from 66 Mbbls/j in 1979 to 56 in 1983, the level of 1979 was found only in 1993 - and it was it never if one divides by the population.
See also: Second oil crisis, First oil crisis
In this context, the countries non-members of OPEC launched out in a fast development of prospection and drilling in new areas, like bay of Campeche, the the North Sea, the Siberia and the Alaska. The efforts as regards nuclear energy were intensified, as well as the saving energy. The use of coal and natural gas for electricity was increased. The growth of the worldwide economy marked a crushing argument. The political repercussions were important. The oil crises had impacts varied in the daily life: reduction of the cubic capacity of the cars, summer-time, etc
1986-2001: the return to abundance?
A new period of relatively low price as from 1986 is due to the conjunction of several phenomena. On the one hand, the countries of the Gulf increase their production massively. It is partly about a plan agreed upon with the United States with an aim of “ couler ” the Soviet economy, for which oil represents a source of important currencies. The countries of the Gulf, contrary to the the USSR, have low production costs, and can thus support a fall in the price of the barrel. This plan functioned, and is a very important cause, though ignored, Soviet collapse. This fall resulted in the loss of several barrel million per day between 1990 and 1995, but was compensated by a decrease in the demand of the same countries.
In addition, the oil of the new areas explored in answer to the oil crises is exploited intensively, the reserves becoming exhausted at intervals much faster than that of the areas “ traditionnelles ”. The North Sea became an oil-bearing area, but with its high production costs and the low prices of the barrel on the worldwide market, it did not generate the anticipated profits. But especially, the economic growth remaining weak in the majority of the countries, the request does not increase much.
Concerns on the supply oil grow blurred. The efforts energy efficiency new energies are slackened. The Catastrophe of Tchernobyl also contributes to reduce the nuclear programs. The investments in the oil die are also reduced, and the Western oil companies post not very flattering assessments. The price oscillates between 10 and 20 dollars until 2001, except a peak at the time of the war of Kuwait. It will pass even under the 10 dollars in 1998, under the double effect of a resumption of the Iraqi production and of a financial crisis in Asia.
Since 2002: concern
From 2002, the oil price knew a fast rise. This one took all the analysts by surprise, the more so as it occurred without major political reason, contrary to the shocks of the years 1970. So temporary parameters (hurricanes, rupture of Pipeline S, incidents political, situation with the Venezuela) intervened, the basic reasons are mainly:
- the rise of the request, in particular of the China, whose consumption increased of more than 2 Mbbls/j in four years, result of the access of a fraction however weak of its population to the Consumer society.
- the fast exhaustion of the reserves of certain areas, like the the North Sea, which were exploited very intensively. For example, the British production decreased by 40 % between 2000 and 2006, while the production Australia did not decrease by half.
- too weak investments of the previous decade (due to the weak oil price in the Nineties). Currently, all the elements of the oil chain (Derrick S, layers, pipelines, tankers, refineries) old and are used with 100 % of their capacity.
- incapacity of the countries of the Gulf to increase their production sufficiently, because of the ageing of their large layers, whose majority have been exploited for 40 years or more.
These difficulties were partially compensated, until 2004, by a spectacular rebound of the Russian production but this one increases much less since 2005. In this context, one again seeks to save oil, but the 15 years of delay taken in the field are felt. The nonconventional Pétrole is the subject of increased investments, and the military strategy of the great powers takes oil in account more and more. The investment is started again, but oil exploration offers returns on investment much weaker than formerly. OPEC does not have any more production capacity in reserve, and thus lost its price control.
The principal parameters for the estimate of the oil request in the medium and long term are five: economic growth; evolution on behalf of oil in mix energetics; changes in the effectiveness of the use of oil (radiant intensity per unit of GDP); oil prices; climatic conditions. Other elements impact the short-term request: the price of concurrent energies (mainly gas and coal); the taxation on the oil products; the foreign exchange rate of the dollar; the rate of charter of the tankers; the speculation; the number of days worked in the month; strikes in industries very consuming oil, etc…
Running 2006, the prices were slightly packed around 60 dollars. They set out again with the rise in 2007, reaching historical records with 80 dollars (September 12th) then 90 (October 19th).
Black goldThe units usually used to quantify the volume of oil are Mbbls or Gbbls for the reserves, Mbbls/j for the production, “bbls” meaning “blue barrels”, the prefixes “M” and “G” respectively meaning million and billion (méga and giga). A Baril represents 42  exactly; Gallon S, is 158,987 Liter S. This unit, although universally used for oil, is not a legal unit, even in the United States. As example, the largest known tank of oil, Ghawar, contains approximately 70 Gbbls extractable and the worldwide production is of 81 Mbbls, i.e. 12,9 billion liters, by day.
See also: oil Areas (details and charts by continent)
The principal producer countries are (by decreasing order of production in 2005, with quantities in Mbbls/j including the crude, the liquids of natural gas and nonconventional oil (see the article: Classification of liquid hydrocarbons), but not the profit of refining):
- Saudi Arabia: 9,57
- Russia: 9,44
- the United States: 7,27
- Iran: 3,91
- Mexico: 3,76
- China: 3,63
- Canada: 3,03
- Norway: 2,97
- Venezuela: 2,64
- : 2,51
- Nigeria: 2,5
- : 2,5
- Angola: 1,8
- : 1,8
- : 1,7
- the United Kingdom: 1,7
- : 1.65
- Libya: 1,4
The principal exporting countries are (by decreasing order of export in 2005):
- Saudi Arabia: 7,38
- Russia: 6,64
- Norway: 2,74
- Iran: 2,34
- : 2,18
- Venezuela: 2,12
- Nigeria: 2,09
- : 2,09
- Mexico: 1,66
- : 1.63
- Libya: 1,38
The worldwide production is of approximately 80 Mbbls/j, of which 34 come from the Member States of OPEC.
Source: Statistics of the government of the United States
See also: Economy of oil in the Arctic
Consumer countriesIn 2005, the principal consumer countries are, in Mbbls/j:
- the United States: 20 (estimate 2003)
- China: 7
- Japan: 5,4
- Russia: 2,8
- : 2,6
- Germany: 2,6
- India: 2,5
- Canada: 2,2
- Mexico: 2,0
- France: 2,0
A few remarkable quantities by groups of country:
- European Union: 14,7, which is relatively little for the economic importance of this zone.
- OPEC: 7,4, which represents an enormous consumption compared with the size of the saving in these countries, being explained by extremely low prices on the interior markets. The extreme case is that of the Venezuela, where the gasoline is sold 4 centimes of euro the liter.
- Africa: 2,8, is less than 3,5% of worldwide consumption.
Exploration and production of oil
See also: Oil industry, nonconventional Oil
Oil industry separates schematically in “ amont ” (Exploration, production) and in “ aval ” (refining, distribution).
Exploration, i.e. the search for layers and the production are often associated: the States grant to the companies concessions, for which these last assume the cost of exploration, in exchange of what they exploit (for a certain duration) the found layers. The financial mechanisms are varied: long-term loans, participation in the Capital , financing via loans made near national banks, etc
Exploration starts with the geological knowledge of the area, then passes by the detailed study of the geological structures (mainly by imagery Sismique, even if the Magnétométrie and the Gravitométrie can be used) and the realization of well. One speaks about exploration “ frontière ” when the area does not have a proven reserve yet, the risk is then very high but the entrance fee is weak, and the return can be important.
The production, or rather the extraction of oil, can be a complex operation: to maximize the final production, it is necessary to manage a tank made up of various liquids to the very different chemical properties (Densité, Fluidité, temperature of Combustion and Toxicité, inter alia). During the life of a layer, one increases the number of wells of production to reach the pockets remained unexploited. In general, one injects water and/or gas in the layer, via of the wells distinct from those which extract oil. A bad strategy of exploitation (bad site of the wells, unsuited injection, too fast production) can decrease in an irreversible way the extractable quantity of oil. For example, the border between the layer of oil and the tablecloth of a sulfur liquid charged can be broken by simple mixing, thus contaminating oil.
During last decades, exploration and the production are done in increasing proportion in Offshore: the Onshore, easier of access, was exploited the first. The law of Ricardo applies very well to oil, and, in general, the return on investment tends to decrease: the layers increasingly small, are dispersed, and difficult to exploit. There are of course exceptions, as in countries where exploration was paralyzed a long time for political reasons.
See also: Refining of oil, Petrochemistry
The refining consisted simply, at the origin, in the Distillation of oil, to separate the more or less heavy Hydrocarbure S. Distillation under atmospheric pressure was seen supplemented of a flash distillation, which makes it possible to go further in the separation of heavy hydrocarbons. To the wire of time, many processes were added, with an aim of maximizing the production of the most advantageous cuts (gasoline and Gasoil, inter alia) and of decreasing that of heavy fuel, like making the fuels cleaner to employment (less sulfur, particles and heavy metals). These processes, which in particular include/understand the Reformage, de-asphalting, the viscoréduction, desulphurization, the hydrocraquage, use much energy (in the form of heat and of hydrogen).
These processes continue to multiply, the refiners having to satisfy increasingly severe requests on the quality of the products (because of evolution of the structure of the market and the environmental standards) whereas the quality of crude oils tends to decrease, oils heavier and richer suffers from it representing a share increased from the production. Another big change is the valorization improved of gases (LPG) and of the solids (petroleum cokes, asphalts) coproduits by the refining.
The refineries are in general considerable infrastructures, treating tens, even hundreds of thousands of barrels per day. In France, there exist thirteen refineries, of which six (accounting for 55% of the capacity) are controlled by Total.
One also often includes in industry oil downstream, in addition to the production of the fuels, the conversion of some of the products into derived like the plastics.
The transport of oil, so much the crude which the refined products, uses mainly the Pétrolier S and the Oléoduc S for the long distances and the large volumes. Transport by Railroad, barge out of fresh water and Camion are especially used for the distribution finales of the products. The transport of oil is with him only an important economic sector: thus, the tankers account for approximately 35% of the tonnage of the world merchant navy.
See also: Amorce=Voir or to create the article, List of oil companies
Oil industry is a pillar of the worldwide economy: on the ten larger privately held companies of planet, five are oil companies. Moreover, certain national companies largely exceed the size of these private majors . Indeed, there exist several kinds of oil companies:
- large multinational private companies and vertically integrated (i.e. concentrating the activities of exploration, production, refining, and distribution), called “ majors ”, such as BP, Shell, Total and Lukoil.
- the refiners , which hold only the downstream (refineries and possibly service station).
- the independent , which do nothing but seek and produce crude to sell it with refiners. Some are companies very important and acting on several continents, like Anadarko, others are much smaller, with to the extreme of the family companies operating only a well or two (with the Texas in particular). In France, one can quote Pérenco and Maurel and PROM.
- the national companies, which are themselves rather various. Pemex and Aramco, for example, has a monopoly of the production in their country, and behaves like a body of the government. Others, like Petronas or Petrobras, seek an international expansion, and behave almost like “ majors ” although their capital is public. Let us note that in terms of production of oil, Aramco is equivalent to four times Exxon Mobil, first private company by the turnover. Lastly, certain small producer countries have a national company which actually has hardly industrial activity and has especially as a role to market the share of the production returning to the state.
See also: Distribution of oil
Oil is useful in all the energy fields, but it is in transport that its domination is clearest. Only the rail-bound transport is mainly electrified, for all the other means of transport, the alternatives are marginal and expensive, and have a limited growth potential. In 2002, according to the the IMF, 48% of the oil products are employed in this sector, and this share continues to increase.
The situation is different for the electrical production starting from oil, where its share has constantly decreased for more than 30 years, being with less 8 % in 2006. The coal, the Natural gas, the nuclear and the renewable energies were largely substituted there, except for particular cases (producer countries having cheap oil, islands and other difficult places of access). Moreover, the oil used in the electrical production is in majority of the fuel heavy, difficult to employ in other fields (except the marine) without major conversion.
The Agriculture represents only one modest fraction of the oil consumption, but it is perhaps this sector which creates the most vital dependence: without the Pesticide S and agricultural machinery, which are pressed on oil (the Engrais are made starting from natural gas), it would not be possible to have the current agricultural outputs, nor to nourish such a many world population. It is necessary to as know, as the more the request increases, the more there is investment in the search for oil. The request supports the investments and thus there are more unexploited grounds where oil is found.
Trade of oil and oil products
See also: Oil markets
The value of an crude oil depends on its source and its particular physicochemical characteristics which make it possible, after treatment, to generate a more or less great quantity of products with high commercial value. To simplify, one can say that more the crude is light (i.e. ready to provide, after treatment, a great quantity of products with strong commercial value) and less it contains Soufre, more it is expensive. To a lesser extent, the distance between the place where is sold oil and the importing areas also intervenes.
The actors of the market seeking to protect itself from the fluctuations of course, NYMEX introduces into 1978 the future contracts on the domestic Fioul ( heating oil ).
Impacts of oil
The development of oil industry provided the liquid fuels which allowed the second Industrial revolution and thus changed the course of the history considerably. In this direction, oil is truly a successor of the coal, which had made possible the first industrial revolution. Its use is also source of controversy, because its uses lead the man to degrade the environment, more or less directly.
Oil being the big business of planet in value (and volume), it modifies flows of currencies considerably. The large producer countries have receipts such as their governments have often a public surplus to place, which gives them an important financial weight. For example, towards 1998, the Russia had a national Debt very important and seemed close to the suspension of payment. Since, the rise of the oil price and that of its production enabled him to garner revenues from taxes such as the debt was practically refunded and that country with the third reserve of currencies in the world in 2006.
See also: Petrodollar
The fluctuations of the oil price have an direct impact on the household budget, therefore on consumption in the developed countries. They also influence, in variable proportion, the price of all the goods and services, because all are produced while using, at least indirectly, of oil.
The discovery of crude oil reserves in a country is often perceived like a “ miracle ” for its economy. However, the surge of currencies is sometimes misused (see Dutch Syndrome), it can encourage the Corruption and the foreign interferences. The real effect is thus contrasted often more, especially for the poorest countries.
See also: Dependence with oil
Become essential to the daily life, oil has an important social impact. One saw sometimes violent riot S in certain countries following price increases. In 2006, certain French trade unions ask for the introduction of a “ check transport ” to help the employees who move much to face the price of the fuels.
In the developed countries, a rise of the oil price results in an increase in the established budget to the car, but in the poorest countries, it means less hot lighting and less food, because the Kérosène is often the only domestic energy source available.
In addition to oil is used in all the industries mechanized like energy basic, its chemical derivatives are used for manufacture of all kinds of foodstuff, that they are hygienic (Shampooing), of protection, container (plastic), fabrics, etc By doing this, oil became essential and consequently very sensitive strategically.
See also: Climate warming, Pollution
The most worrying environmental impact of oil is the emission of Carbon dioxide resulting from its use as Carburant. The combustion of the oil products releases in the atmosphere of other pollutants, like the Sulfur dioxide (SO2), but these can be controlled, in particular by the desulphurization of the fuels, or soots. It is estimated however that if oil is more polluting than the Natural gas, it would be it definitely less than the coal and the bituminous Sables.
The oil extraction itself is not without impact on the ecosystem S buildings even if, as in any industry, the risks can be minimized by careful practices. Nevertheless, certain fragile areas are closed with the exploitation of oil, because of fears for the ecosystems and the Biodiversité. Lastly, the escapes of oil and production can be sometimes disastrous, the most spectacular example being that of the oil slicks. The effects of the degasification S or even those more hidden as the abandonment of waste oils are not to neglect.
The modern society which still largely uses oil, generating energy of pollution, degrades, in a significant way, the environment of planet.
Sciences and technology
Oil exploration made necessary of great progress in Géologie, at least for the comprehension of the sedimentary basins. This science would thus have progressed much less quickly without the funding source represented by oil. Certain branches of the Chimie also benefitted from it. In the technological field, the most obvious contribution of oil industry is the improvement of the techniques of Forage, which benefits other fields like the geothermal energy.
They are the direct impacts of oil industry there, but indirectly oil, by providing the liquid fuels necessary, allowed the development of the Automobile and the Aviation. On the other hand, this relatively cheap energy source slowed down research for other energy resources.
See also: Geopolitical of oil
Oil is a data largely taken into account by the strategists Géopolitique S. Indeed, the dependence of the companies towards this product is such as a difficulty of provisioning (cost, reduction in the production…) can in oneself justify a conflict. In addition, a war which breaks supplies oil can thus force the implication of powers, which would have remained neutral if not. In addition, the supply oil of the belligerents has several times influenced on the fate of the weapons, as during the two world wars. Many countries have strategic reserves of oil and/or refined products, to provide for the needs for their armed forces in the event of conflict. The United States has a reserve so vast that it is also used to attenuate the economic impact of cuts of provisioning, like those due to the hurricanes.
Culture and symbolic system
Oil became a symbol of the richness and chance, largely supplanting the Or which had held this role a long time. The popular culture drew some from the stereotyped images, which one finds for example in the series Dallas, or in the expression “ kings of the pétrole ”. The private oil companies are they emblematic capitalist economic system, thus the authors of novels or films will often make use of it to hold the role of “malicious”. Contrary, the public oil companies of certain countries are an emblem of national independence and of economic power, one will be able to give of it like example the construction of the Tours Petronas.
See also: oil Peak
A predictive method was developed by the geologist Marion King Hubbert to determine the moment when the production of an oil-bearing field reaches its culminating point. In 1956, it had thus announced the oil Pic of the the United States of America in 1970.
According to the model of Hubbert, the production of a nonrenewable resource, provided that it is not disturbed too much by external events, follows a curve which resembles an exponential growth initially, then reaches a maximum and decreases.
This law applies to oil and about fifty country already passed their peak of production. Nevertheless, it is very difficult to estimate when this peak will take place on a world level: about 2010 for the ones, in several decades for the others.
In the first group, a certain number of researchers in geology and former experts geologists in oil prospection of the large producing companies gathered in association, ASPO, to denounce the overvaluation of estimated stocks of the producer countries. The reasons of such an overvaluation are multiple:
- for a producer country, it would act to attract the investors to build infrastructures of expensive extraction and transport;
- for a consumer country, it would act to force the producer countries to maintain a low price by agitating the threat of going to provide itself elsewhere;
- for the oil companies, it would act to reassure their investors on their security dealt in for the account and to negotiate the purchases of layers at low prices (if world reserves are high, a new layer is worth less expensive because it is less rare). Certain leaders of Shell, having overestimated recoverable stocks of the company, were thanked in 2004, involving at the time a door falls of the actions of the company.
The principal consequence of the overvaluation of stocks is a taking risk for the worldwide economy, which rests mainly on oil for its requirements in energy and which does not anticipate the shortage foreseeable with means or short term: a short-term crisis could destabilize at the same time economics and politics on the sphere. Many experts of ASPO announce a barrel with 100 USD in less than two years.
The detractors of this assumption, who see it like a Théorie of the plot, point out that several alarms with a forthcoming shortage follow one another since the Années 1950 and that, since, it still did not have there of such peak.
The question is not to know if the peak will take place, but simply when it takes place. A fork of dates ranging between 2020 and 2030 is more and more largely allowed, by the producer countries, the oil companies and the international authorities such as IEA.
The rapid industrial development of the China makes the subject even more pressing, while weighing on the request. Several producer countries recently knew interior controversies on the extent of their reserves.
If to evaluate the date of the peak of production is difficult, to anticipate its consequences on the worldwide economy is even more. There exists indeed of many solutions to replace varied quantities of oil, each one having its limits.
See also: Dependence with the pétrole#Réduction of the dependence
The impact of oil on the environment and the reduction envisaged in stocks oblige to consider, with more or less long run, the replacement of this energy by another which is more specific to obtain.
The various tracks are:
- - the renewable energies;
- - the nuclear energy.
Nevertheless, these energy sources are appropriate especially for the production of electricity. They can thus directly reduce the consumption of coal and Natural gas. On the other hand, they cannot directly replace the oil, which is used mainly with the production as liquid fuels. Chemical industry is with same, since the Second world war, to reproduce the whole of the chemicals resulting from oil by the Procédé Fischer-Tropsch, but for that it is necessary to have a cheap fuel. The South Africa produces more 160 oil kbbls/j containing coal, but the emissions of Gaz to greenhouse effect are enormous: the fuels produce some as much as the conventional oil fuels during their use, and other emissions are added during the production. A solution, expensive but effective, would be to couple with these processes the sequestration of CO2.
The Biocarburant S are the only renewable source of liquid fuels. They develop in numbers of countries, but cause concerns. They enter in competition with agriculture for the food and the natural environments for the occupation of the grounds. Their energetic efficiency is often criticized minor amounts of biocarburants can be produced starting from waste of agribusiness industry, in this case the assessment is much better. The production of biodiesel starting from algae attracts an interest growing: she claims neither fresh water, nor cultivable grounds and offers an output to the quite higher hectare and make it possible to recycle of industrial CO2.
For the other uses of oil (industrial, residential, tertiary), local solutions, very dependant on the context, can bring a reduction in the use of oil, but not a complete replacement. Certain industries generate coproduits which are potential energy sources and are not always used in an optimal way. As example, let us quote the industry of the Papier which could become autonomous in energy by more effectively developing the bark S and the black liquor or of the stations of reprocessing of the waste water which can car-feed at least partially thanks to the production of Biogaz.
For the heating, the most current alternatives are the natural gas and electricity. The use of electricity for the production of heat per Joule effect is thermodynamically ineffective, because electricity is generally produced starting from heat with a bad output. However, of the solutions based on the Geothermics, the heat pumps or the improvement of the insulation allow a profit of important output. Lastly, for heat at low temperature (like warm water domesticates), the use of oil can be assisted by solar energy.
Course of oil
- Deposit of oil
- not-renewable Energy
- API Index
- Oil slick
- oil Peak
- Greenhouse effect
- Energy in France
- oil Prefinancing
- Crude oil of synthesis
- Refining of oil
- the category gathering the oil companies
- Companies of oil broking: Glencore, International Soco
- Analysis of an crude oil
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