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Lecture Topic: Petroleum

Figures 15.16 (in the sense of recognizing a carbon cycle that includes fossil organic
carbon), 15.17 (in the sense of recognizing human alteration of carbon cycle); 23.8,
23.14 (in comparison to petroleum)
Key Terms carbon cycle, fossil fuel, nonrenewable resource, oil trap
Carbon Cycle:
Coal is the result of
accumulation and burial
of terrestrial plant
material.

Oil is fossil fuel that is


formed from plankton
that is deposited in the sediments of oceans and lakes, and then buried deeply in the
Earth.
Organic matter deposited with sediments can be transformed into fossil fuels during
diagenesis.

Bacterial and chemical actions, aided by elevated temperatures, begin the long process of
transforming buried organic matter to petroleum
The Oil peak is at approximately 100 degrees.
Upon burial and exposure to
heat, the lighter molecular
weigh hydrocarbon compounds
are distilled off into the gas and
liquid phases of petroleum.

Oil and gas are less dense than


water and insoluble in water, so
the oil (or gas) phase separates from water in the pore space and begins to migrate
upward.

The beds of the sedimentary rock in which the


petroleum is formed are called the source
rocks. Oil and natural gas moved upward
through porous rock until a trap is encountered.
Migrating hydrocarbons can get trapped
by subsurface structures
Adjacent wells drilled to the same depths may have drastically different
production histories. Successful production depends upon an understanding of the
subsurface rock types and structures.

When we produce the crude oil, we send it


to refineries for further distillation into various products.