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Petroleum: Fueling the Economy
Saturday, April 24, 2010@ 1:13 AM
Author: admin

Energy is what moves the world. And many energy resources have been relied upon for ages, to make our lives convenient and comfortable. Petroleum is one such energy resource.  Found deep inside the earth, it is formed when organic materials of specific composition are subject to high heat and pressure for millions of years. The main constituents of petroleum are crude oil and natural gas. Natural gas is growing in familiarity and is also processed and refined to form a better fuel alternative.

Petroleum, being a major source of energy with its by-products used as automobile fuel and as an important constituent in many chemicals, is considered a major building block for the economy as well. Therefore the petroleum industry, generating bulk-volume products by way of gasoline and fuel oil, is of paramount significance when issues related to energy or ecology are at the center of current public and world affairs.

The petroleum industry is classified into the exploration(exploring different oil/petroleum reservoirs as rich sources for the fuel) , extraction(drilling out the core constituents, as a whole, singleton source of petroleum), refining(purification so as to remove the impurities and increase the utility value for petroleum and its components – oil, natural gas), transportation (transporting the product through tankers or pipelines to its different destinations) and finally, marketing the products.

Apart from the conventional sources of petroleum, due to the rising demand and the soaring oil prices, modern offshore drilling techniques are being employed. Offshore drilling involves drilling a well underwater to tap potential oil and gas resources. Though this kind of oil extraction is done on a large scale along the coastal regions, it is also applicable to drilling in lakes and seas.

The petroleum industry spawns a multitude of small industry sectors catering to the major processes and sub-processes involved in its production. Apart from fueling the core transportation industry that links the opposite ends of the earth, it has also seeped into every home as an indispensable resource generating cooking gas or power. Thus, the industry also generates and sustains employment for workers of all sectors of the economy. For instance, in the way of transporting petroleum products, new pipeline jobs come as potent job opportunity. Extraction processes involve specialized engineers and highly trained technicians equipped with the knowledge of drilling and oil extraction as well.

As a global non-renewable energy source with widespread usage and utility, petroleum is a hot topic of discussion and debates, as its depletion fuels an ongoing energy controversy and triggers the search for alternative sources of renewable energy.

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