Running head: PETROLEUM ENGINEERING
Petroleum is one of the components whose products are widely used all over the world.
Some of its waste by-products are used in various ways after being recycled. Petroleum, also
called crude oil, is a liquid which is yellow to black in color, naturally occurring and it is found
in the geological formations. It is found underneath the earth’s surface. It’s usually refined to
obtain different types of fuels. Petroleum components are separated through a method called
fractional distillation, which means separating various mixtures of liquids which have different
boiling points through distillation. It contains hydrocarbons having different molecular weights
and various organic components. Its name covers both unprocessed crude oil which occurs
naturally, and products of petroleum which are composed of crude oil that is refined. It is found
underneath the earth’s surface in the geological formations.
Formation of petroleum takes place when certain minerals like Sulphur combine with
various hydrocarbons. Petroleum is a fossil fuel which was formed from the ancient organic
materials, which include dead animals and small sea plants, which were fossilized. Those
materials include algae and zooplankton. Large quantities of these remains settled at the bottom
of the seas or lakes, where they were buried in anoxic conditions after mixing with the sediments
(sand and silt). In the process of decomposition, some tiny bacteria cleaned certain chemical
remains like oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus. As more layers settled, a lot of heat and pressure
forms in the lower regions, where they made those organic matters to change into kerogen,
which is a waxy material found in different oil shales all over the world (Philp, 1985). Later,
when there is more heat, through a process called Catagenesis, they change into liquid form and
gaseous hydrocarbons. Petroleum formation occurs in different forms mainly the reactions of
endotherm, from the hydrocarbon pyrolysis. These reactions take place in high pressure and
temperatures. Geologists call the temperature range in which oil is formed as oil window.
Where the temperatures are below minimum, oil is trapped as kerogen, which is thicker
and darker. Where temperature is above the maximum, through a process called thermal
cracking, oil is converted into natural gas. As the formation of shell occurs, oil is forced out from
its original place of formation, where the raw petroleum moves to a reservoir rock, where it
remains trapped until it can be accessed. Some oils maybe formed at some extreme depths where
they may migrate and get trapped at the shallow level...