Keeping Us in Oil
In 1922, there was lots of oil around. Some deposits were under so much pressure that the oil would shoot into the air in a gusher, it was so eager to escape its rocky confinement. Since then we’ve used up the easy to get to deposits, and it’s a lot harder to get oil now.
Why It Matters
- People consume a lot of oil and the amount is increasing because people in developing nations are using more.
- Conventional petroleum deposits are found in reservoir rocks that are porous and permeable. The oil flows easily into the well so that it can be extracted.
- We can now extract oil from deposits that were thought to be used up and from types of deposits that weren’t considered usable not long ago.
- Crude oil production in the U.S. grew by more than 1 million barrels a day in 2012 because of the extraction of tight oil.
With the link below, learn more about oil development. Then answer the following questions.
- SciShow, The How, Why and How Much of Oil (video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBBGKx65Ygg
- What is peak oil? Has peak oil been reached? Why or why not?
- How do petroleum and natural gas deposits form?
- What geophysical techniques are used to find petroleum deposits and how do they work?
- What is tight oil? Describe the process used to extract tight oil from rock.
- What is heavy oil? How is heavy oil extracted?
- Unless an international body calls a halt to this process (after all, these fossil fuels cause climate to warm), what will happen over time?