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The power of the global economy relies heavily on energy, which implies that it makes the modern society to run. There are two different sources of energy namely renewable and non-renewable sources. The non-renewable sources can be depleted over the time whereas the non-renewable are there to stay. This paper addresses the way in which oil is formed, where its major reserves are located, its extraction process, the way in which it is used to produce energy, and its influence on the environment.
Oil forms from the accumulation of dead organic materials at sea bed, riverbeds or swamps mixed with mud and sand. Sediments mount above the organic applying heat and pressure. This changes the mixture to kerogen, a dark and waxy material, which cracks forming lighter and smaller molecules consisting of carbon and hydrogen. Petroleum or natural gas forms depending on the density of these molecules (Armsworthy et al, 2005). Oil formation might take hundreds of thousands of years implying that its renewability is impractical.
The Middle East, the USA and North Sea off the coast of the UK are some of the major oil reserves in the globe. After the recognition that an oil reserve is accomplished, an oil well is drilled using an oilrig, after what the steel pipe is inserted down the well to maintain its uprightness. Oil is passed to the pipe through holes provided at the base with the aid of pressure regulated by valves fixed at the top. The oil obtained from the top forms the crude oil which is taken to refineries industries for processing (Kaltschmitt et al, 2007).
Oil mining results in construction of infrastructure in formerly serene wilderness disturbing the desert peace and displacing humans exposing them to diseases. Scott & Miller (2011) assert that these infrastructure contaminates the formerly clean environment. Transportation process involves tankers, which sometimes result in oil spills that hamper the aquatic environment. Oil is burned to produce steam for whirling turbines to produce electricity. However, this pollutes the eco-system by subjecting nitrogen oxides and sulphurous gases into the atmosphere. Oil combustion has accelerated the current level of global warming. These gases also pose a health hazard to human beings (Scientific American Magazine, 2007).
In conclusion, oil remains the most reliable source of energy in many nations. This is due to its cheap acquisition means. However, the threat to its depletion has lead to immense research on exploration of new and environmental friendly sources of energy such as nuclear energy. The environmental concern by many governments and international organizations drives the shift from non-renewable sources of energy.