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Petroleum Significance for the Modern World

Petroleum is a major economical industry that constantly grows larger and contributes significantly to the growth of the world’s economy. The role of oil and gas has severely increased recently in the world energy markets due to an internal development potential of these products. Petroleum is a matter of current interest of natural sciences and modern economy because it concerns several major fields and is an efficient energy source that has many practical applications.

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First of all, oil as an energy source is involved in many industrial fields for various purposes, which is why it is actively investigated. For instance, United States produce almost 10 barrels of oil per day (Figure 1). According to Eder et al. (2017), usage of oil is associated with high-tech sector, engineering and processing industries (Figure 2). Therefore, there is a high general demand for petroleum, and it plays a significant role in macroeconomy. Varjani et al. (2020) claim that oil industry makes major contributions to economic growth of developing countries, such as India. For the reasons mentioned above, it is a matter of increased interest for the industry to develop enhanced oil recovery methods, since the conventional ones leave approximately 60-70% of oil reserves unavailable (Fink, 2021). Thereby, the industrial sphere of the entire world aims to extract petroleum and seek new techniques of the oil recovery.

The United States oil production
Figure 1: The United States oil production

Moreover, petroleum is a matter of significant scientific interest due to its economic importance. There are many researches regarding this issue from different scientific fields, such as geology and chemistry. Modern studies address various aspects of petroleum as a substance and seek more effective ways to examine it. For instance, Volk & George (2019) state that “the complex nature of petroleum generally requires direct access to the fluid for a more complete understanding of geochemical aspects” (p. 99). Thence, many researchers from various scientific fields are interested petroleum and contribute to its investigation.

Oil distillation
Figure 2: Oil distillation

Finally, the most complex problem regarding petroleum is wastewater. Petroleum refineries remove non-hydrocarbon substances from the oil and break it down into its components to blend into useful products, which leads to producing large volumes of wastewater (Aljuboury, 2017). According to Varjani (2017), “petroleum hydrocarbon pollutants are recalcitrant compounds and are classified as priority pollutants” (p. 277). This is why the oil refining industry faces serious challenges (Norouzi and Talebi, 2020). For corresponding purposes, there is a special process called bioremediation that involves breaking down the environmental pollutants to clean a polluted sit (Varjani, 2017). However, “bioremediation of crude oil polluted sites is often limited due to poor biodiversity of indigenous microflora and/or scarcity of native specialized microbes” (Varjani, 2017, p. 278). Therefore, petroleum wastewater remains one of the most significant and controversial problems regarding the oil production.

Summing up, scientific, economic, and industrial fields are interested in examining petroleum because it has definite significance as a research subject and a practical energy source. There are several reasons that explain the importance of petroleum and justify the interest that has formed in the modern world. Firstly, many various industrial fields, such as high-tech, engineering, and processing industries, use petroleum for their purposes, therefore they constantly seek new ways to extract the substance and apply it in their activity. Furthermore, economic significance of petroleum causes corresponding interest in the field of natural sciences, which leads to major exploration and emergence of many studies done by different scientists. Finally, petroleum is a matter of severe concern due to a significant ecological problem – wastewater, which causes many disputes in the society. Therefore, petroleum appears to be a considerable issue that has contributed much to the world science and economy.

References

Aljuboury, D. A. D. A., Palaniandy, P., Abdul Aziz, H. B., & Feroz, S. A. D. A. (2017). Treatment of petroleum wastewater by conventional and new technologies – A review. Glob. Nest J, 19, 439-452.

Eder, L. V., Filimonova, I. V., Provornaya, I. V., & Nemov, V. Y. (2017). The current state of the petroleum industry and the problems of the development of the Russian economy. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 84(1), 1-5.

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Fink, J. (2021). Petroleum engineer’s guide to oil field chemicals and fluids. Gulf Professional Publishing.

Norouzi, N., & Talebi, S. (2020). An overview on the green petroleum production. Chemical Review and Letters, 3(1), 38-52.

Varjani, S. J. (2017). Microbial degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons. Bioresource technology, 223, 277-286.

Varjani, S. J., Joshi, R., Srivastava, V. K., Ngo, H. H., & Guo, W. (2020). Treatment of wastewater from petroleum industry: current practices and perspectives. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 27(22), 1-23.

Volk, H., & George, S. C. (2019). Using petroleum inclusions to trace petroleum systems – A review. Organic Geochemistry, 129, 99-123.

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