24th March 2013
Crude Oil use
What can we do to use crude oil efficiently but reduce the negative effects it has on the environment? For over three hundred million years, right before our existence, Oil has been around. Right from when the earth was covered in big, huge trees and extensive vegetation; crude oil has been around and can be found in Pools of deposits inside the sedimentary rocks beneath the earth surface, after all crude oil is decayed vegetable matter. There is a saying, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Using oil is very toxic to both human and animals; it causes air pollution due to its incomplete combustion and the main source of this is exhaust pipes in cars. If spilled into the ocean, it can kill millions of fishes and damage the surrounding environment. It causes acid rain because of its high temperatures that reacts with the nitrogen in the air. We are looking for ways to end our environmental problems but still partake in activities that contribute to these problems. Reducing the amount of crude oil we consume on a day-to-day basis can potentially lower the danger we might face in the future. Analysts and scientist have calculated that in a couple of decades we would run out of oil. The price of oil is rising every year and doesn’t seem to be lowering anytime soon. America is dependent on the Middle East for about 80% of its oil imports. This gives the Middle East control of the oil market and very well determines the price of oil in America and in other countries that heavily depend on them for oil supply. There is an estimated 1.3 trillion barrels of oil left in the planets core oil fields, which would only sustain us for about another 40 years or more if we were fortunate. In 2040, the level of oil production would be as low as 15 million barrels per day, which is not good because by then the world’s population is going to be double the amount today, which means that the demand for resources will double as well, and the world is going to be more industrious than it is today, meaning we would be heavily and almost completely dependent on crude oil. If you compare the price of gas per barrel today to the price in 1998, you would discover that in such a short time, the price has sky rocketed. Back then, a barrel cost about $1.16, in 2007 it cost $64 and today is going for an increasing $134. A further increase in price would affect everything from car production to train prices to bus ticket prices because people would rather use a cheaper form of transportation than spend more money on maintaining a motor vehicle. Oil price has risen over 4% in the last month (June 2012) and approaching almost $140 a barrel (Steve Hargreaves). “The knock-on effects are many, including a rise in the cost of fuel oil affecting manufacturing and fuel for transport, impacting shipping, aviation and road travel. Oil price increases also effect the commodity cost of stable food stuffs such as wheat and rice – the fuel for vehicles used in harvesting and transporting them doubling in price in the past year” (Institute of Mechanical engineers). Furthermore, oil is a non-renewable source of energy, meaning that once it runs out we would have to wait millions of years to get even a pinch of it back. If this continues, the future generations between that time periods would find life a bit difficult. On the bright side, this might be good for them because this will inspire technological advancements and discovering of better energy forms. There is no way possible of getting more oil once it runs out. These days oil extraction is becoming more difficult because most fields are being depleted and this would lead to an increase in the price of oil due to the scarcity (Fossil Fuel Resources). The burning of oil causes large amounts of smoke to be released into the air. This smoke is filled with dangerous gases like hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon...
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