How Oil is Made: Oil begins as plankton, which are tiny plants and animals located in bodies of water. When plankton dies, it falls to the bottom of the bodies of waters and is buried by sediments, clay, and mud. Over 10 to 100 millions of years, the plankton is layered to hundreds of feet, pressured and heated, becoming crude oil. Oil cannot be used in its original form, it is refined to become gasoline, jet fuel, propane, asphalt, and more. Oil is also used in plastics and polyester.
Oil: Oil is important for the innovations and advancements of the world. Oil is a lightweight, compact liquid which is easy to use and store. Oil is used for transport, heating, energy, chemical feedstock, and more. Oil is cheap and readily available, but harmful. Oil cost countries billions in order to stabilize it. Oil causes environmental harm of smog, oil spill, CO2 emissions, and more. Oil is an important transportation source, accounting for 97% of transportation fuel. Oil has influence in the economy, high prices can cripple an economy, low prices mean good economy, and very low prices leads to recession.
Unconventional Sources of Oil: Oil is commonly found through large reservoirs. Oil is in rocks, with billions of connected pores. A straight well is drilled, pressure from layers squeezes the oil, and the oil is sent up the surface. Now that many reservoirs have been found, new unconventional sources are beginning used to find oil. This new source is from rock, with very microscopic pores. Horizontal drilling is used to get oil from these rocks. Another unconventional source is oil shale, which is plankton that has transformed into kerogen (precursor to oil). Oil shale is heated to become oil. Another source is oil sands, it is mined and heated, allowing the oil to be released. Most oil sands are melted underground, through a process which pumps in steam, pumps outs oil and water. The environmental issue is it uses lots of water and heat (heat from natural gas), and emissions are made when doing so. This process is more expensive and produces 5 to 20 times more CO2 emissions than conventional processes.