Crude Oil, Natural Gas

Definition: What is “crude oil” and “natural gas”?

Crude oil and natural gas are formed in similar ways!

Crude oil

Crude oil is a fossil energy carrier in the earth’s crust that is millions of years old. A mixture of substances, crude oil mainly consists of hydrocarbons. Crude oil was formed through the conversion of organic substances such as plants and animals (plankton) under the influence of pressure and heat.

Crude oil extracted from reservoirs in carrier rock is also known as raw oil. Crude oil extraction is performed onshore (on land) as well as offshore by drilling on the bottom of the ocean.

Crude oil is an important raw material used for numerous applications. In addition to the use of crude oil as an energy source for means of transport such as motor vehicles, ships and aircraft, it is also used for machines, the generation of electricity as well as numerous chemical products and chemical processes.

According to estimates, approximately 90 million barrels of crude oil are consumed daily around the world – this corresponds to daily crude oil consumption of more than 14 billion litres!

Natural gas

Natural gas and crude oil are formed in similar ways! This is why natural gas deposits and crude oil deposits frequently occur together.

Natural gas is formed from ocean fossils in the absence of air at high temperatures and under high pressure. Natural gas is a combustible gas, mainly consisting of highly inflammable methane. Other components may be: ethane, propane, butane and ethene.

Natural gas is mainly used for heating and as a heat source in buildings and factories. Other applications include the generation of electricity, the use of petroleum oil in motor vehicles and in chemical processes such as the production of hydrogen.

Use of crude oil:

  • Fuel for vehicles
  • Generation of electricity
  • Heating
  • Chemical processes