Monday, July 16, 2012

Fossil fuels

All fossil fuels are created by dead organisms. Oil is formed from organisms – mostly plankton – that died millions of years ago and settled on the ocean floor. This massive grave is slowly compressed by the weight of sediment and rock above eventually producing the thick black liquid we know as crude oil – arguably the most important resource on the Earth. Natural Gas is formed in this process and accumulates in resivoirs usually above oil. 

The first oil well opened in Pennsylvania in 1859 and was drilled to a great depth of 21meters. Today – as oil reservoirs dry up – oil companies can drill as much as 5000 meters to reach oil. Todays drills can drill in almost any direction as they are steerable allowing one well to drain a vast area of oil. Oil Rigs are the some of the world largest constructions and marvels of construction, costing billions to build.

Likewise, the world biggest ships are oil tankers of incomprehensible size. Natural Gas is extracted in much a similar way to oil as it is often found in the same locations. The oil industry is responsible for massive amounts of damage to the environment, including oil spills which devastate coastlines, killing fish and birds. Annual extraction of oil is almost 25 billion barrels a year!!!