Unit 3: Fossil Fuels - Oil

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  • Oil
    • Formation
      • Plant/animal matter buried
      • Anaerobic conditions prevent decomposition
      • Heat and pressure created liquid
    • Extraction
      • Flows through permeable rock to collect in porous rock pores
      • Pressure forces oil to the surface with drilling
      • Primary recovery - using natural pressure (20%)
      • Secondary recovery - pumping natural gas/water (40%)
      • Tertiary recovery - using solvents, steam or detergent to make oil less viscous (60%)
    • Uses
      • Liquid vehicle fuels
      • Polymerisation
    • Characteristics
      • High energy density
      • Finite resource
      • Most industries reliant on imported oil
      • The higher the level of technology, the higher the yield
      • Contributes to climate change and oil pollution


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