Fossil Fuel

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Oil Facts

By Category: Oil

There are approximately 80 years of confirmed oil stocks remaining.

Oil is a non-renewable energy source.

The greatest increase in oil demand is in developing nations such as India and China, due to industrial demands and increasing use of the motor car.

Just under 80% of the world’s oil reserves are controlled by OPEC – the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and most are located in the Middle East. Other non-OPEC oil producers include the UK, Russia, United States and China.

Saudi Arabia holds the world’s largest crude oil reserves, with around 26%.

Oil is measured in barrels, with one barrel being equal to 159 litres (42 US gallons) – a legacy from early 19th century storage of oil in wooden barrels of a standard size.

Just under 50% of each barrel of crude oil ends up as petrol once refined with the bulk of the remainder made up of diesel, heating oil, jet fuels, LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) and heavy fuel oils.

Oil is one of the world’s most versatile substances and can be refined into numerous different compounds, each capable of being manufactured into many others.

Without oil most of the household goods that we take for granted would not exist.

The US economy benefits from the majority of oil trades being conducted in US Dollars, though this is progressively changing with OPEC and other producers beginning to use Euros, Yen and Sterling. This change is exerting further pressure on an already stalling US economy.

The Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 resulted in the spillage of around 11 million gallons of oil (ca. 250,000 barrels or 40,000 metric tonnes) and is regarded as one of the world’s biggest ecological disasters.

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