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Do We Need Crude Oil?

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Table of contents

  1. Abstract
  2. What Is Crude Oil?
  3. How Do We Get Crude Oil? (Malouf, 2019)
  4. What Do We Use Crude Oil For?
  5. Negative Impacts Crude Oil Has on The Environment
  6. Conclusion
  7. Bibliography


The purpose of this report is to highlight the many uses of crude oil, how we extract it, what will happen when we deplete our sources of crude oil and better renewable energies. Every day, we are slowly approaching the day when we will have completely run out of crude oil. This report outlines the factors we must consider when creating renewable energy and the consequences. The report concludes by summarizing all the stated arguments and answering the question, “Do We Need Crude Oil?”.

What Is Crude Oil?

Crude oil, which is also known as petroleum, can be found all around the world. It is a dark thick liquid that is found in reservoirs deep under the ground. Crude oil was formed millions of years ago when the world’s oceans were filled with plants and plankton. Once they had died, they fell to the bottom of the seas where after millions of years they were buried deep under the sand and dirt. Heat and pressure then turned the remains into the oil we now use. Crude oil is used around the world from producing plastic bags to the production of gasoline. Without it, there would be many advantages and disadvantages which this report will unveil.

How Do We Get Crude Oil? (Malouf, 2019)

Long before we can use crude oil for anything beneficial, it must be refined. The first process of refinement is called distillation. In this process, the crude oil is heated to a high temperature and fed into a distillation column. Inside the distillation column, the oil’s temperature continues to rise causing the crude oil to separate itself into different components. These components are called fractions, which are then captured separately. Each of these fractions are used for different types of petroleum products. The type of petroleum product depends on the temperature at which that specific fraction boils off the crude oil mixture.

Upstream Activities: involve exploring for crude oil deposits and the production of crude oil. Companies that would be operating in upstream activities would be companies who own the right to drill for oil such as ExxonMobil. Companies that also provide support services to drilling for oil would also be in the upstream activities.

Midstream Activities: involves the distribution of crude oil to refining companies, refining the oil into saleable products and then distributing these saleable products to wholesalers and retailers. Companies such as Magellan Pipeline and Tesoro would belong in the midstream activities.

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Downstream Activities: involve the sale of petroleum products. Petrol stations and other companies that provide petrol, diesel and gas would fall into this category. Companies that deliver heating oil and propane would also fall into the downstream activities. (, 2019)

What Do We Use Crude Oil For?

The use of crude oil has forever been increasing with the world using approximately 86 million barrels of crude oil per day. At the rate that it is being used, crude oil is estimated to run out in a mere 55 years. This means that by 2074, we will have completely run out of crude oil and be in need of efficient ways to power our vehicles, heat our homes, power our planes and many more. At the moment, the greatest use of crude oil is to power our

vehicles. We need petrol to get to school, work and wherever we want to go. Although using crude oil to power our vehicles is an easy way of transport, we will soon need a different way to power our vehicles. Tesla is the main example of a company using renewable energy to power their vehicles. Electricity is at the heart of every Tesla car. These vehicles are faster, more efficient and most importantly, run solely on electricity. The use of electric vehicles also lowers the world greenhouse gas emissions, which are significantly high and continuously negatively impacting our Earth through global warming. By 2030, it is estimated that 2 billion vehicles will operate on our roads. The ever-increasing use of vehicles on our roads will further increase greenhouse gas emissions and eventually, if a more efficient, renewable, and Earth friendly way to power vehicles is not found, global warming will speed up and all of our actions to try stop it will be in vain. Last year, all the world’s nations combined pumped approximately 38.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air. With increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and few companies doing anything to reduce these numbers, we are in desperate need of a new power source to power our vehicles or else global warming will be the end of our Earth. If only crude oil was used solely for the purpose of powering our vehicles global warming and many other problems would be much easier to resolve. Unfortunately, nothing is easy, and we must make drastic changes or else we will face the drastic consequences we have brought onto ourselves. Clearly, without the aid of other sources of power, we are still in need of crude oil. Crude oil is not only used for powering our cars, it is also used in other day to day items that we take for granted. One of these is heating. Crude oil is a material used in residential locations to provide heating, water heating, clothes drying and cooking. For example, refrigerators have molded interior panels, door liners and might even have foam insulators that are all manufactured using crude oil. Non-stick pots, pots that most people have in their household, have a coating that is created by using petroleum. Crude oil also plays an important role in the production of car hoses, wiring and many fluids that are required for our cars to operate. Crude oil is not only used to power our cars, evidently, we use crude oil for a variety of small, different purposes that all add up to make a big difference. Without these household items, cooking cleaning, washing clothes and many other routine tasks would be significantly harder to finish, convenience would not even exist. Crude oil is clearly needed for the production and transportation of millions of items used by millions of people all around the world. Crude oil also plays a role in the growth of food. Many foods require fertiliser to grow healthy since even if you were to start off with great garden soil filled with nutrients, as the crops grow, they absorb the nutrients and leave the soil less fertile. Unfortunately, fertiliser, alike many other basic items, requires petroleum. Therefore, we are in need of crude oil for the production of healthy crops. Crude oil is not only needed in the development stage of our food, it is also used in packaging, since most foods come in plastic containers, boxes and even gladwrap. Evidently, crude oil is also used in the items we use daily such as pots, cleaners and refrigerators. Furthermore, it is also used in growing and packaging food. Without crude oil w wouldn’t be able to have warm water, keep our food cold and easily cook meals. Crude oil is an essential in these aspects of our daily lives.

Without crude oil, crude oil miners and the crude oil mining industry would cease to continue. In Australia alone there are over twenty thousand people working in the oil industry. This means that as we deplete our crude oil, an entire industry will be forced to find new jobs and many of the men and women working in these industries will be potentially required to relocate. Without crude oil, whole economies will begin deteriorating until they have been completely destroyed. We use crude oil to get to work, transport goods and provide services. Not only will our economy be destroyed, our Navy, Air Force and many other military services will not be able to operate, leaving us defenceless against any future enemies that might have salvaged crude oil. Electricity would stop working in most locations within a week of depleted our sources of crude oil. This is due to the fact that the trains that deliver coal, which is vital in the generation of electricity, run on diesel. Cities would soon become uninhabitable. A whole cities’ food supply would run out within weeks and people will be forced to resort to growing their own food. Rural areas would soon be flocked by starving people in need of food, water and heat. If crude oil vanished, a great proportion of the world’s population would perish. The ones who will survive will be those living in extremely rural areas, completely isolated from the world. Clearly crude oil is essential for our survival.

Negative Impacts Crude Oil Has on The Environment

One of the greatest negative impact using crude oil has on our environment is oil spills. Oil spills usually occur in bodies of water such as our oceans and rivers. They are usually the result of careless mistakes, faulty equipment, natural disasters and illegal dumpers. The oil that is spilled into the ocean floats and spreads. As it spreads it becomes thinner and thinner until it resembles a rainbow. Oil spills are always harmful. They affect marine birds, mammals and fish. The oil destroys the insulating ability of fur-bearing mammals, such as sea otters, and the water repelling ability of a bird’s feathers thus exposing the animals to the harsh elements of the sea. Moreover, many birds ae poisoned by the oil since they ingest oil when cleaning themselves. Depending on the location and severity of the spill, from a few up to hundreds or thousands of birds and mammals are killed or left seriously injured. (Chelangat, 2019) (Magazine, 2019)


So realistically, right now, we are dependent on crude oil for various reasons. The main reason is our transport infrastructure. However, if we do not find a renewable energy to take the place of crude oil, we eventually be doomed. With our crude oil sources being depleted, what will happen once we run out will leave millions unemployed, whole economies completely ruined and will leave many countries in danger of loss of heat, electricity and hunger. Clearly crude oil is essential for our survival.


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Do We Need Crude Oil? (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 30, 2023, from
“Do We Need Crude Oil?” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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Do We Need Crude Oil? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Nov 30]. Available from:
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