MERN- Oil and natural gas as energy sources

Oil and naturel gas as energy sources

Petroleum and Natural Gas Information

Oil and natural gas as energy sources

In the late 19th century, nobody expected oil would become such an important energy source when the German Nikolaus Otto first used it to fuel the internal combustion engine. Oil, which is made up of carbon and hydrogen, is now the world’s main energy source.

Hydrocarbons Form Rocks

Oil and natural gas come from the accumulation of organic materials, generally plankton and other microscopic organisms in an aquatic environment. This is why prospecting for oil and gas begins with a search for sedimentary basins.

Over time, the sediments and organic materials in these basins accumulate to form a layer up to several kilometres thick. In order for an oil or gas deposit to form, the organic materials must undergo a process that obeys the following stages:

  • The organic material must first be buried under kilometres of sand and mud.
  • Then, transformed into oil and gas by the pressure and heat of the earth.
  • The oil or gas then migrates from the parent rock – the rock in which it was formed (generally mudrock) – to the reservoir rock where it can be conserved (a porous rock, generally sandstone or limestone).
  • Lastly, the reservoir must be overlain by an impermeable rock that blocks the oil or gas from migrating upward.


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