Oil has been the subject of debate due to its environmental impact. We’ll go over the benefits and drawbacks of oil to help you make an informed decision about whether or not to use it.
Oil is a flammable liquid found underground that has served a variety of purposes throughout history. It is now mostly utilized as a motor fuel and as a component in a variety of products. The oil business is an important aspect of the American economy. It is responsible for billions of dollars in revenue and employs millions of people.
However, in recent years, the oil industry has been chastised for its environmental impact. Critics claim that the oil sector is to blame for global warming and other negative environmental repercussions. Supporters contend that these effects are exaggerated and that the oil sector benefits society in several ways.
This debate will undoubtedly continue, but it is critical to comprehend both sides of the issue. We use it in a variety of ways. Its principal functions are to create electricity, heat our homes, and produce fuel for our automobiles. But what are the main advantages plus disadvantages of oil? This article delves deeper into the various benefits and drawbacks of oil.
Let’s now have a look at some of the benefits of the oil.
1. Oil Is Affordably Obtainable
Despite the fact that oil is a limited resource, it is nonetheless widely available. Along with coal and natural gas, it is one of the most widely used sources of energy. Oil extraction, transportation, and refining are all supported by a worldwide infrastructure. Because oil is so readily available, it is a low-cost option for meeting global energy demands.
2. Oil Has A Wide Range Of Applications
Oil is extremely versatile and has a wide range of applications. It can be used to generate energy in an oil power plant. Refined oil can be used to generate transportation fuels such as gasoline and diesel. Oil can be found in a variety of materials, including asphalt, polymers, and synthetic materials such as clothing. While solar and wind energy is helping to minimize our reliance on oil, we will almost certainly always use it in some form.
3. Oil Is Inexpensive
Oil-derived energy is inexpensive and very simple to transfer over great distances. This makes it simple to serve rural and remote places with energy when other options aren’t available. Oil is reasonably easy to carry because it is still a liquid, despite the fact that it is a flammable resource with some danger.
Oil is now cheaper than it has ever been, thanks to technological advancements in the sector over the years. Extracting and refining oil today is significantly less expensive than in the past.
4. Oil Is Simple To Store
Anyone can store oil in barrels or tanks once it has been collected from the ground. This permits us to keep oil stocks on hand at all times. The oil can then be used as and when required. This is not an option for most renewable energy sources. We can’t keep the wind or the light; we can only use them while they’re accessible. As a result, wind turbines can only create electricity when there is enough wind. Solar panels, on the other hand, only work in daylight. Although batteries can be used to store renewable energy for later use, this is a costly option.
5. Oil Energy Is Reliable
Oil may be utilized as a steady source of energy since it can be stored. Large tanks or pipelines can be used to feed oil power plants. These can ensure a steady supply of oil for the plant’s continuous functioning. Wind turbines and solar panels, as previously said, only work when there is wind, while solar panels only work when there is daylight.
6. The Oil Industry Provides Employment
In 2018, the United States’ oil and gas business employed 880,681 people. According to the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association, this is the case. For only one country, this is a significant amount of jobs. On a worldwide scale, one can only imagine how this would pile up. These occupations pay well, and there are thousands of them available, but they come at a price.
7. It Has A High Energy Density
All fossil fuels have different energy densities, but oil has one of the greatest. It has a capacity of roughly 41 MJ/kg, which is higher than coal (which has a capacity of between 26 and 33 MJ/kg). This means that for every unit of oil consumed, you obtain a lot of energy, making it one of the most efficient energy sources available to humanity.
8. Oil Is Less Polluting Than Coal
Oil is less comparatively polluting than coal (but not as clean as renewable sources of energy like solar). In today’s world, oil is also less expensive to turn into energy and utilize. This has been the best yet huge help to the environment, as it is not only less expensive but also better for the environment.
Here are some of the drawbacks of oil today.
1. Toxic Gases Are Produced By Oil Energy
When oil is used to generate energy, it emits a variety of gases. Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are two examples. Some of these can be harmful to our health and the environment. Oil-based energy also emits greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming. One of the primary disadvantages of oil energy is this.
2. Oil Leaks Could Happen
Drilling and transporting oil is a dangerous business. There is a risk of oil leakage during drilling. This may result in land pollution near oil derricks and oil slicks from offshore rigs. Transporting oil has significantly more dangers.
Modern supertankers can deliver more than 2 million barrels of oil in a single trip. Large oil slicks can emerge when oil tankers are breached. These have the potential to harm marine life, wildlife, and coastal habitats.
3. Oil Fumes are Harmful to Human Health
People suffer from a variety of health problems as a result of the gases emitted by oil refineries. Some may seem minor, such as weariness and allergies, but there have been more serious occurrences of arrhythmia that have resulted in patients being put into a coma. It’s worth emphasizing that it’s not as bad as radiation illness.
4. Oil Is A Nonrenewable Resource
Oil is a nonrenewable resource, which means it will run out eventually. It’s made up of remains of ancient flora and animals. It can take tens of millions of years for this process to finish. The fact that oil cannot be replenished in a short period of time is a significant disadvantage. Renewable resources offer a significant edge over fossil fuels in this area. They can be used over and over again without depleting.
5. It Poses A Risk Of Conflict
Oil is such a valuable commodity that it can lead to conflict between countries. This can happen when two governments claim ownership of the same oil field. This can even lead to war in extreme situations. It can also lead to conflicts between oil firms and the communities in which it is discovered.
This might be due to a variety of variables, including the environment, access concerns, and even ownership rights. The process of claiming an oil field is fraught with legal wrangling.
6. Oil Exploration Is A Lengthy Process
Another disadvantage is that It may take a long time to locate oil. Companies that look for oil can invest millions of dollars. When they do strike oil, though, they stand to make a significant profit.
7. Oil Drilling Is Dangerous
Working on oil rigs is a risky business. Working in an oilfield is, in fact, one of the riskiest jobs you can have. The extraction of oil comes with a slew of problems. Most of us recall the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in 2010.
Not only did this result in the greatest marine oil spill in history, but it also resulted in the deaths of 11 people. A total of 17 persons were hurt. While such incidents are rare, oil workers are susceptible to injury and death on a regular basis.
8. Harmful Products
Aside from the chemicals and pollutants that oil can emit into the atmosphere, some of the goods that oil can be used to make can also be harmful to the environment. We’ve all witnessed the damage that plastic can cause to the world’s oceans and aquatic life, and oil is used to make these products.
Not only that, but plastic can become poisonous over time, posing a threat to the ecosystem. Plastic is useful, but it is also hazardous because it takes a long time to disintegrate and break down organically.