Can Petroleum Be Made Artificially? – Most people think of transportation fuel when they think of crude oil and may think of heating or cooking when they think of natural gas. But oil, especially crude oil, natural gas and leased condensate, is used to make more than just gasoline.
More than 6,000 products a day are refined/or manufactured from natural gas liquids and crude oil, including electronics, paints, cosmetics, synthetic fabrics and pharmaceuticals. A 42 liter barrel of crude oil is typically used to make 19.4 liters of petrol, 11 liters of diesel and four liters of jet fuel. The rest is used in the production of chemicals, waxes, lubricants and asphalt, to name a few.
Can Petroleum Be Made Artificially?
Hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGLs), extracted from “wet” natural gas, are used in the production of chemicals and plastics, as well as asphalt and fuel used in road construction and maintenance. Ethane is one of the most common natural hydrocarbons. Ethane is heated to 1,500 degrees in a house called a “cracker.” The process “splits” the ethane into new molecules that form a substance called ethylene. The ethylene is transported, usually through pipes, to another location for a process called polymerization. This process converts ethylene from its gaseous form into a resin, which can be processed and transformed into a plastic product.
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Americans use about 20 million units of petroleum products per day, and the average American citizen uses three gallons of refined petroleum products per day. But not only petroleum products are widely used, but also essential. As the following Energy In Depth chart shows, petroleum products, including artificial heart valves, pacemakers, and various modern hospital devices, are widely used in the medical industry to save lives.
It is estimated that there are up to 90 products from oil and natural gas in the emergency service. Masks, gloves, scrubs, IV tubes, delivery trays, monitors and ventilators are made from petroleum products, and 80-90 percent of medicines are made from fuel. Special hygiene products such as soaps, cleaners, antiseptics and disinfectants used in healthcare facilities are derived from oil and natural gas.
A longtime nurse from southern Illinois recently sat down to discuss the importance of petroleum products in the delivery of health care.
And while “Keep it Earth” groups say that solar panels, wind turbines and electric cars will soon be obsolete, the truth is that these things would not be possible without oil! More than 70 percent of electric vehicles are made from petrochemicals. The US Geological Survey also estimates that 11-16 percent of wind turbines are made of resin, plastic or fiberglass. Oil is also used to power wind turbines. Solar panels are composed of ethylene, polyester, polyurethane and polyisobutylene components.
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As the International Energy Agency noted in 2018, “petrochemicals are important because of their widespread use in everyday products. They are also needed to produce many parts of the modern energy system, including solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, thermal insulation and electricity.” vehicles
These are just a few examples, but the claim of the “Keep it Earth” movement that we can end the oil and natural gas industry is not true. Watch the video below to see why we will need a lot of oil in the coming years. Oil reservoirs usually start out with high pressure to push crude into the well and sometimes into the ground through pipelines. However, since production is always accompanied by a decrease in reservoir pressure, “primary recovery” soon ceases. Also, many oil reservoirs come into production with too much pressure to push the oil down the well instead of up to the surface of the tubing. In these cases, some type of “artificial lift” must be installed. The most common setup uses a motorized pump at the bottom of the production line and a “traveling beam” (an arm that goes up and down like a saw) at the surface. A solid metal “suction strap” connects the piston rod to the pump piston. Another method, called gas injection, uses gas bubbles to lower the oil’s density, allowing reservoir pressure to push it to the surface. Generally, the gas is injected into the annulus between the casing and the production pipe and through a special valve at the end of the pipe. In the third type of artificial formation, the produced oil is forced down the well at high pressure to operate a pump at the bottom of the well (
With a hydraulic lift system, oil or water is drawn from a storage tank and sent to a pump. Fluid under pressure is distributed through one or more hydraulic heads. For reasons of cost-effectiveness, these artificial well systems are built to provide multiple heads in a single network, where multiple wells are located close to each other. As the pressurized fluid enters the wellhead and enters the pump down, the piston pump is removed which pushes the produced oil to the surface. Submersible hydraulic pumps offer advantages for tanks producing small volumes and low pressure systems.
In contrast, electric water pumps (ESP) and oil water separators (DOWS) have improved the life of primary production wells for high yield wells. ESPs are designed to use centrifugal force to lift oil to the surface from vertical or horizontal wells. ESP is useful because it can pump a lot of fuel. In older fields, when more water is produced, ESPs prefer to “prime” the well to allow maximum oil production. DOWS provides a way to eliminate the water management and disposal risks associated with primary oil production by separating the oil and gas from the produced water below the well. The oil and gas are then pumped to the surface and the water associated with the process is returned to an underground disposal area.
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With the above artificial compression methods, oil can be produced as long as there is enough pressure in the nearby reservoir to create flow in the well. However, it is inevitable that a point will be reached where commercial quantities are no longer flowing through the well. In most cases, less than a third of the original oil can be produced by pressing only the natural deposits. In some cases (for example, when the oil is relatively opaque and at shallow depth), primary production is not economically viable at all.
When a large portion of the crude oil in the reservoir cannot be recovered in the first place, there must be a way to provide additional energy. Most containers contain a gas mixture, like soda in a pressurized bottle, before the bubbles are released when the cap is opened. When the reservoir produces below reference conditions, solution gas is released, reducing the pressure in the reservoir. A “secondary recovery” is needed to revive or “boost” the reservoir. This is achieved by injecting gas or water into the reservoir to replace the produced liquid and thus maintain or increase the pressure. When a gas is injected, it is usually injected into the top of the reservoir, which normally collects combustible gas to form a gas plug. Gas injection can be an effective recovery method in reservoirs where oil can easily flow to the bottom by gravity. However, when this separation from gravity does not occur, we have to find another way.
A second recovery method is more common than flooding. After treatment to remove any material that might interfere with its circulation in the reservoir, water is injected through wells in the oil field. It then moves through the formation, pushing the oil into the remaining production wells. Wells used to inject water are usually located to best push the oil into the production wells. Water injection often increases fuel recovery up to twice what can be expected from mains alone. Some oil deposits (the East Texas field, for example) are associated with large, active reservoirs or conduits in similar patterns. In these cases, it is only necessary to inject water into the aquifer to maintain the reservoir pressure.
Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is designed to accelerate oil production from wells. Water flooding is a method of EOR, which injects water to increase reservoir pressure. Although flooding greatly improves the recovery of a reservoir, it leaves up to a third of the oil in place. Also, shallow oil-rich reservoirs do not respond well to flooding. Such difficulties have led the industry to seek improved ways to restore the oil supply. Because many of these methods focus on the oil left behind by injecting water, they are often referred to as “restoration.”
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An improved recovery method is based on the injection of natural gas at sufficient pressure or volume
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