Petroleum, along with oil and coal, is classified as a fossil fuel.
Fossil fuels are formed when sea plants and animals die, and the remains
become buried under several thousand feet of silt, sand or mud. Fossil
fuels take millions of years to form and therefore petroleum is also
considered to be a non-renewable energy source.
Petroleum is formed by hydrocarbons (a hydrocarbon is a compound made up
of carbon and hydrogen) with the addition of certain other substances,
primarily sulphur. Petroleum in its natural form when first collected is
usually named crude oil, and can be clear, green or black and may be
either thin like gasoline or thick like tar.
In 1859 Edwin Drake sank the first known oil well, this was in
Pennsylvania. Since this time oil and petroleum production figure grew
Most people tend to believe that petroleum is mostly used to power
internal combustion engines in the form of gasoline or petrol. Although
our autombiles and other forms of transport do consume the highest
quantity of petroleum it is used for a vast array of applications.
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