What is petroleum?
- Petroleum is a natural, flammable liquid composed of hydrocarbons and organic compounds.
- Petroleum is derived from ancient biomass (living organisms) from fossilized organic materials.
- “Petroleum” can refer to both crude oil and natural gas.
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What do we use petroleum for?
- Petroleum energy in the form of oil accounts for in between 30%-40% of world energy use.
- In addition to coal, Oil and gas account for 3/4ths of world energy use.
- Crude oil is refined into gasoline and diesel, which are used to power most cars
- Some oil is used to make natural gas, which is used for power plants and to power homes
- Petroleum is used to make plastics such as PP and PET.
- Asphalt, synthetic rubber, and different herbicides and pesticides are all created from petroleum.
- Because Petroleum is heterogeneous, it is separated at oil refineries and distilled or treated with other chemical processes to be used in a variety of petroleum products.
- Petroleum is most often distilled into fuels such as Ethane,Diesel, Gasoline, Jet fuel, Kerosene, and Liquefied Petroleum Gas.
- Petroleum is also used as a component of Alkenes(which can be manufactured into plastics), Lubricants, Wax, Sulfur, Asphalt,
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What are the advantages?
- Price of oil is low compared to other energy sources
- Infrastructure for oil use is already in place
- Most vehicles run on petroleum
- Easily transportable

What are the disadvantages?
- Petroleum is a fossil fuel and therefore is non-renewable. It is impossible to know for sure, but most estimates project world oil production to peak within the next 3 decades. After this, oil production will eventually begin to decline, although demand is projected to stay the same or increase.
- The burning of fossil fuels releases CO2, contributing to global warming, as well as nitrogen and sulfur.
• PEAK OIL - Peak Oil refers to the point in time when the world’s oil production reaches its max leading to the terminal decline in the rate of oil production. The theory of peak oil was first proposed in 1956 and estimated th epeak would occur between 1965-1970 based on the rate of extraction and growth at the time. The rate however began to decline in response to concerns of over-depletion and thus the estimations for peak oil have been pushed further back, with current optimistic estimations assuming the peak to occur around 2020.

OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries)
- international cartel of 12 countries who are primarily exporters of petroleum.
- OPEC pursues the stabilization of international oil prices.
- OPEC nations account for 2/3 of the world’s oil reserves and 33.3% of world oil production.
- OPEC can influence world oil prices for political reasons, such as in 1973 when the Arab members of OPEC initiated a worldwide oil crisis in response to the Yom Kippur War.
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Where do we get it from?