Oil is classified as a fossil fuel and is mostly extracted from the bottoms of oceans and lakes. Oil is formed by prehistoric organisms whose remains have settled and layers of sediment then covers them. The pressure is increased over time and so does the temperature, during this process the chemical composition changes and the organisms transform into oil. There are several advantages and disadvantages of oil as an energy source. Some of the pros and cons of oil are listed below.
Advantages of Oil
Oil is used as an energy source and has been for many years. There are many advantages of oil and that is the reason that major drilling still occurs today.
- Oil is easily combustible. It produces a large amount of energy upon combustion and this in turn aids in the generation of electricity and other forms of energy.
- It is easily transported and distributed throughout the world. It is carried via railroad and oil tanker.
- It is readily accessible and relatively economical. Oil is still the energy source of choice in many places for this reason.
- Oil has the ability to generate large amounts of electricity in one place.
- Power stations that use oil as a primary energy source are extremely efficient.
- Oil fired power stations are able to be built most any place as long as it is accessible to have large quantities of oil delivered.
- Oil can be found worldwide. Many places around the global already drill for oil. Pipe systems are also used to carry oil from place to place.
- The oil industry has created thousands of jobs world wide. The oil industry is responsible for billions and billions of dollars each year.
Disadvantages of Oil
Oil as an energy source can be advantageous but it also has many disadvantages. There are many who would even argue that the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages and oil should be limited in its use as an energy source.
- The building of oil rigs can cause environmental disruption as well as damage.
- Oil spills both on land and at sea causes significant damage to the environment. Studies have shown that the effects of oil spills do not just affect the environment short term, but years and even decades later.
- Greenhouse gases are released when oil is burned. Many attribute the burning of oil as a cause of global warming.
- Workers who are employed on the oil rigs face dangerous working conditions due to extreme weather and the risk of explosions.
- The oil industry has been attributed to for environmental disruptions and the extinction or almost extinction of certain wildlife.
- Political scandals and cover-ups have been attributed to the oil industry.