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|FINITE RESOURCES - CRUDE OIL AND NATURAL GAS|
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|Oil and natural gas has a very important role in our lives and the plays an equally important role in industry and the world economy. Oil and natural gas, provide us with a range of essential fuels and materials. However, crude oil and natural gas are finite resources, as they will eventually run out, they are sustainable and some regard them as being environmentally udamaging.|
|BUT WHERE DOES OIL AND NATURAL GAS COME FROM?|
|Three to four hundred million years ago, marine plants, fish and animals died and their remains dropped to the bottom of the sea. Over time more remains built up and were covered by sand and silt.|
|Over the following hundreds of millions of years, the compacting pressure from the build up of further sand and heat, transformed the fish, plant and animal remains into oil and natural gas.|
|Today we extract oil and gas from rock formations, where it is trapped. Sometimes the oil and gas deposits are deep down in the earths crust, making it very difficult to bring to the surface.|
|ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANATGES OF FINITE ENERGY
RESOURCES - OIL AND NATURAL GAS
|1. Tried and tested technology exists, that can be used to extract oil and natural gas from rock formations.
2. It is currently cost effective to extract and refine oil and natural gas.
3. Oil is used to manufacture a range of fuels and chemicals and even plastics.
4. The refining of raw natural gas provides us with others important gases.
5. Economic modernists suggest that the technology already exists, to minimise the risk of environmental disasters.
6. Large scale environmental disasters are rare.
7. The oil and gas industry employs large numbers of workers in the UK.
8. The oil and gas industry invests in the development of new technology and engineering.
9. Oil and gas fired power stations provide a large proportion of the UKs electricity.
10. Extracting oil and gas from our own reserves, reduces our dependence on foreign imports. If we rely too heavily on imports, and the imports are interrupted (war, politics etc...) then we will be short of the energy that we need.
11. Natural gas is used by manufacturing industry, in processes that require high temperatures, such as glass manufacture. Burning gas is the only way to achieve very high temperatures.
12. New reserves of oil and gas have being found and new extraction technology means that, old oil reserves can be exploited further. Oil and natural gas will last longer than currently expected.
13. Most of our transport system relies directly on fuels derived from oil, or indirectly on the electricity produced by these fossil fuels. Changing over to other environmentally fuels, will take decades. We will be relying on oil and natural gas for many years to come.
14. Oil and gas have a high energy density. This means that small volumes of oil / gas produce large amounts of energy.
15. Oil and gas have been a reliable source of energy for many decades.
16. Oil and natural gas are major contributors the world economy.
|1. Environmental damage is caused by the extraction of oil and natural gas. This includes oil spills on a large to small scale. There are many examples of this, including the Deepwater Horizon disaster April 20th, 2010 and the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, March 24th, 1989. Both did immense environmental and economic damage.
2. Working in the oil and natural gas industry is a relatively hazardous occupation.
3. Carbon fuels create pollution on a large scale and are blamed for global warming and climate change. Burning these fuels, releases carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and other dangerous substances.
4. Oil and natural gas will eventually run out. We must change over to sustainable energy forms, sooner rather than later.
5. Pollution from burning carbon fuels is a health risk and is often blamed for illnesses and deaths.
6. As oil and natural gas reserves become depleted, the price will rise and keep rising, making energy from these resources very expensive.
7. Materials such as plastics, derived from oil, are damaging the environment on a global scale, polluting our seas and oceans.
8. The supply of natural gas and oil, is used as a political weapon, by some governments.
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