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Pros And Cons Of Oil

Haiden Holmes

Mar 21, 2022 17:39


What Is Oil?

Oil is one of the most important commodities in the world, with a significant role in many major sectors such as chemicals, transportation, power, petrochemicals, and so on. Because of its high energy density and ease of availability, oil has become nearly entirely dependent on humans for the majority of its demands. Almost all of the world's automobiles operate on gasoline, which is generated from crude oil. Despite fresh proof that burning oil causes significant pollution and global warming, little has been done to limit its use. In truth, billions of barrels of oil are used each year to power automobiles, ships, and trains, among other things. Some countries utilize oil to generate electricity as well, however this is becoming less common as oil costs have risen dramatically in recent years.

For a long time, officials have bemoaned the country's enormous reliance on oil, but nothing has been done to diminish it. Oil lobbyists led by major industrial giants such as Exxon, Chevron, and BP have successfully killed legislation that would cut subsidies to the fossil fuel sector. After causing a tremendous uproar, the BP oil spill has faded from public memory, and the oil industry is back to business as usual. It appears like the only option to minimize oil use is if the world runs out of oil and the prices become prohibitively expensive for most people to consume.

Oil is contemporary civilization's lifeblood. For more than a century, technologies have been designed around the capabilities of this fossil fuel. It has aided us in becoming a successful and developed society with better and safer lifestyles than ever before.

These advantages have not come cheaply. Oil energy is one of the most polluting forms of energy use available to contemporary technology. This has resulted in emissions into the atmosphere, prompting various requests to decrease or abolish them due to the possible warming effect.

Crude oil is refined through distillation to produce a variety of consumer products such as gasoline (petrol), diesel, kerosene (plane fuel), asphalt (bitumen, a highly viscous black and sticky liquid used in road construction), and a variety of chemical reagents used to produce plastics and pharmaceutical products.


Petroleum is utilized in the production of a wide range of commodities, and it is estimated that humanity uses almost 100 million barrels of oil per year.

It is true that oil has greatly aided mankind in becoming a thriving and developed society with greatly improved living and safety conditions, but because technology has been built around fossil fuels for more than a century, it is difficult today to understand that fossil fuels (including oil) cannot be considered the energy sources of the future, primarily due to the fact that they heavily pollute the environment.

Oil emits less greenhouse gasses than coal but is dirtier than natural gas, implying that oil, like coal, will have a short life in humanity's future (a few more decades).

History Of Oil

Crude oil is a fossil fuel that evolved from prehistoric plant and animal creatures over time. When these plants and animals were alive, they utilized and stored solar energy as carbon molecules. When they died, they sank to the bottom of the oceans and lakes, where they were covered by silt. More layers of silt and other species settled over time, and the weight of the sediment crushed (squished) the material. With the increase in pressure came an increase in temperature, and the combination of pressure and high temperature aided in the transformation of dead creatures into oil.

Some of the crude oil escapes via earthen breaches, but other pockets remain underground. Today, we drill into these areas to obtain our oil supply.

Pros of Oil 

1. Oil Laid the Foundation for Renewable Energy.

We may now explore alternative forms of clean energy, such as solar and wind, because of the technical improvements made by oil over the years. The oil business has created the groundwork for ongoing efforts to discover a renewable energy source. This may be ascribed to the fact that our generation recognized that we were utilizing a nonrenewable source of energy and needed to discover alternatives for the long-term survival of our species. Researchers and authorities recognized the need of developing a clean energy source that would be sustainable for future generations. As a result, there is ongoing research and development into identifying and developing these clean energy sources. We may owe Oil to the creation of wind turbines and solar panel arrays, in addition to the finite quantity of Oil that we have (which prompted the demand for alternative energy sources). 

2. Oil is Cheap.

Oil-derived energy is inexpensive and relatively straightforward to transfer across great distances. This makes it simple to offer electricity to rural and isolated places where other sources of energy may not be available. Despite the fact that it is a combustible resource with some risk, oil is relatively straightforward to carry because it is still a liquid. Oil is now cheaper than it has ever been, thanks to technical developments in the sector over the years. Oil is far less expensive to obtain and process today than it was previously. This is owing to technical advancements that allow us to extract oil utilizing offshore oil rigs and oil drilling in tar sands. Because we have refined the method of extracting and refining oil into usable goods via trial and error.

3. The Oil Industry Produces Jobs.

Because of the importance and extent of the oil sector, it employs millions of Americans. While these professions may pay well, there is a certain element of risk involved. These occupations pay well and there are many available, but there is a cost. Every day that someone works in the oil industry, whether delivering, drilling, or refining, they risk major bodily damage or not returning home at all. 

4. Oil Goes a Long Way.

A tiny amount of oil may provide a significant amount of usable energy. This is a significant benefit given how much oil we consume on a daily basis and the fact that it is not a renewable resource. Even though we utilize a lot of oil on a daily basis, it just goes to demonstrate how crucial it is to have a source of energy that can someday replace oil.

5. Oil is Cleaner than Coal.

Oil is less polluting than coal (but not as clean as renewable sources of energy like solar). In addition, in today's contemporary world, oil is less expensive to turn into energy and utilize. This has been a huge boon to our environment because it is not only cheaper but also better for the environment.

6. Not Renewable, but Reliable.

Although oil is not a renewable energy source, it is a dependable one. We do not rely on any other component of nature, unlike solar energy, to continue drilling, refining, and utilizing oil (as long as the oil reservoirs are not dry). Because power stations are not dependent on sunshine or wind speed, they may operate continuously. This means that as long as a power plant has oil, it can create electricity for us to utilize indefinitely.

7. Oil has High Energy Density.

This is one of the key reasons why other types of energy are virtually hard to use. A tiny amount of natural gas may be used to create a huge amount of energy required for machine operation. Because of this, car makers choose to use oil as an energy source.

8. Oil is Easily Available.

Almost everywhere in the globe, oil is freely available. It is easily accessible for use, thanks to the efficient transportation systems that are available almost everywhere. Ships, tankers, and pipelines are all examples of oil transportation channels. Other types of energy, such as electricity, are scarce, particularly in distant areas such as some portions of Africa.

9. Oil is Used in a Variety of Industries.

Oil is utilized in practically every industry. Oil energy is unlike any other product in that it is widely used in practically every sector. Almost all of the products you use have had some level of oil input at some point in their manufacturing process. As a result, oil is one of the most important inputs in practically all sectors throughout the world.

10. Oil is a Constant Power Source.

You will surely discover greater enjoyment in depending on a stable energy supply. Oil is one such source since it has been shown to be consistently reliable in generating energy at all times of the day. Most engines that run on oil energy have been constructed using mature technology to reduce the likelihood of failure. In comparison to other energy sources such as solar and wind, oil energy is thus highly dependable.

Cons of Oil

The cons of petroleum include:

1. Environmental Pollution

The majority of the time, the usage of petroleum as a source of energy includes burning. When petroleum products are burned, greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide, methane, hydrofluorocarbons, and others are released into the atmosphere.

Greenhouse gasses harm the environment because they have the potential to absorb infrared radiation released from the earth's surface, contributing to global warming.

2.Oil Spillage

Petroleum may also damage water bodies and have a negative impact on marine life. Oil is less thick than water and so floats on water, according to fundamental science.


If petroleum gets into bodies of water, it will float on top of the water, generating a layer that will obstruct aeration. Faulty tankers in the ocean/sea are one source of petroleum spills into bodies of water.

3. Has Toxic Byproducts

When we extract petroleum as a raw material, the crude oil should be refined. This is due to the fact that it is often found as a combination of hydrocarbons, traces of sulfuric acid, and other chemicals.

Toxic gasses, such as carbon monoxide, are released during the refining process, along with other dangerous compounds, such as plastic.

4. It is a Limited Resource

Petroleum, as a fossil fuel, is a limited resource in great demand across the world. As a result, as certain oil wells dry up, petroleum prices continue to rise. According to recent data, we have already depleted more than half of the world's oil reserves.

Although it is now a reliable source of energy, we cannot guarantee that it will endure indefinitely. It is a non-renewable energy source, which means that once extracted and used as a product, it can never be reused or replenished.

A large decline in petroleum supplies, for example, may lead to some unpleasant scenarios and economic battles. As a result, we must develop alternatives to complement and lessen our dependence on petroleum.

5. Used As A Tool For Political Gain

What begins as a blessing becomes a burden as a result of human avarice. We've all heard of people and governments using petroleum for political benefit. However, this is particularly common in nations where the petroleum sector is the sole source of income.

If a country over-relies on petroleum, ill-intentioned individuals may throw the country around by dominating the petroleum business for selfish reasons. The worst-affected area in the Middle East, but the good news is that they are diversifying their economy beyond petroleum.

6. Regular Maintenance on the Infrastructure

Oil extraction is, in fact, a simple process. It is important to remember, however, that the machinery, like any other piece of equipment, requires regular maintenance.

The equipment must be closely monitored, and maintenance must be undertaken to avoid accidents or oil spills. The upkeep is both interesting and challenging.

7. Growth in Terrorism and Violence

Oil is drilled in some of the world's most despotic dictatorships, including Saudi Arabia and African nations. This oil money ends up in the hands of despots who have built fortunes in the trillions of dollars. They fuel violence and the spread of terrorism because oil money is used to pay these groups. Osama Bin Laden is from one of Saudi Arabia's wealthiest families. However, the big Oil Money is also able to silence protesters.

Should We Use Oil Energy?

Over the last few decades, oil has been critical to the growth of our global economy.

Oil is one of the most important commodities in the world, and it is impossible to exist without it. This is due to the fact that it is utilized in practically all businesses that require energy input, such as the automobile industry, power generating, and a variety of other industries. Your automobile most likely runs on oil, and there are relatively few that run on alternate fuels. Although the usage of oil has several downsides, particularly for the environment, it is necessary for survival. Even in this day and age, many businesses and nations rely on oil.


However, because the usage of oil causes major difficulties, governments throughout the globe should speed the energy transition process in order to become less reliant on fossil fuels like oil.

The Crisis Of Oil Energy

An energy crisis is defined as any significant disruption (or price increase) in the supply of energy resources to an economy. The oil energy crisis is caused by the depletion of oil supplies and the rise in oil prices. Oil is plentiful in the current situation.

However, oil is a nonrenewable resource. So, if we continue to use oil at this rate, practically all of the oil will be exhausted in 40-50 years. As a result, we require more energy sources to compensate for this depletion. Consider the technical phrase "peak oil" to better comprehend the notion of an oil energy catastrophe.

The term "peak oil" refers to the point at which the maximum pace of world petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production begins to drop. When this peak oil stage is achieved, the globe is in the grip of a severe oil crisis. So, have a look at this graph of production vs. time. In this graph, production rises with time. At some point in time, the graph reaches its maximum output. This is referred to as peak oil. After reaching this stage, oil output begins to decline dramatically, eventually reducing to none.


The two primary causes of the issue are industrial expansion and population increase. The demand for oil is increasing as a result of these two factors. However, the amount of oil present is dwindling. As a result, it creates a bottleneck and contributes to the energy crisis.

This dilemma affects all nonrenewable energy sources, not just oil. So we must discover alternatives so that these nonrenewable energy can be available for a much longer period of time.

The oil energy crisis might be caused by a variety of factors. However, some of them are:

  • Over-consumption

  • Infrastructure devastation

  • Oil refinery bottlenecks

  • Fuel supply is hampered by port facilities.

  • Pipeline breakdowns and other events of this nature can temporarily halt the availability of oil. However, damage to the primary infrastructure (for example, a terrorist attack) may result in a crisis.

Final Thoughts

Oil production is critical to the advancement of many industrial operations. This will then be critical for any country's economic progress. Oil prices have fallen in recent years as a result of the discovery of new oil sources around the world, as well as the use of alternative energy sources to power vehicles. As a result, it has enabled many industries to thrive thanks to cheap oil sources.