The middle east is the largest oil-producing region in the world. It accounts for about a third of the total world production of oil.
The main producers of oil in this region include Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, and the United Arab emirates.
It is driven by the decomposition of marine or vegetative matter
The oil is usually trapped in the crest of the anticline with gas above the water below
Oil may also be extracted in its gaseous state as natural gas
This consists mainly of methane and ethane and is used for heating, lighting, and the chemical industry
In developed nations, natural gas is pumped through pipes for use in homes and industrial plants.
The following are advantages of oil production in the Middle East:
- Provision of energy and power. Petroleum provides the Middle East and the world at large with energy and power for various purposes, including the running of manufacturing plants, mining machinery, and vehicles.
- Oil production has been the major source of foreign exchange in the Middle East. The Middle East countries earn a lot of foreign exchange from exporting oil to the rest of the world. Foreign exchange earned increases the capital base for the development of other sectors such as trade and commerce.
- Oil production is the source of employment for the people in the Middle East. A good number of people in the Middle East have been employed in the petroleum production sector providing them with a source of income.
- Improvement of social services. The revenue earned from the oil industry is used to establish and strengthen social services and amenities such as schools, hospitals, sports, and garbage collection.
- Improvement of transport. The income generated from petroleum mining has enabled middle eastern countries to develop roads, railways, harbors, and airports. This has, in turn, improved transportation activities in the region.
OIL PROSPECTING AND DRILLING
- A survey of the geological structure of the area is carried out first, and then modern oil are sunk to the depth where oil is underground
- Once a drilling site is decided, a steel derrick will be erected and equipment for drilling brought in
- Steel tubes are inserted in the borehole and then oil is pumped out using pumps
- For emergency purposes they use aircrafts
- For local use they sue oil trucks and railway wagons
- It involves construction of pumping stations at intervals along the pipe line
- Sea transports, oil tankers which are large are used
- The cheapest and the most efficient method of transporting oil over land are by pipe line
- The pipe line serves on money, time and labor and operation is very simple
Mineral oil has many hydrocarbons and it has little use unless it is refined
OIL REFINERIES MAY BE LOCATED:
- At the port of export
- At the port of import
- In or near the oil fields. This is a temporary measure and applies only to small refineries.
THE THREE METHODS OF REFINING
- Fractional distillation is the most universal form of oil refining
- The mechanism splits the oil into various groups of hydrocarbons or fractions at very high temperatures
- As each fraction boils at different temperature, various groups of hydrocarbons are extracted at their own boiling point
- Lighter fractions like petrol, paraffin and benzene are evaporated and condensed first at the temperature below 30oC
- The heavier fractions like diesel, lubricating and fuel oils are condensed later at the temperatures between 30o C and 427o C
- At the end of the line is the residue made up of the heaviest fuel oils like Vaseline, wax and asphalt.
This is a process by which the heavier fractions are heated too much at a higher temperature until they break down or “crack” into the lighter fractions.
A process by which a catalyst such as powdered platinum is added to speed up the cracking process.
THE USES OF OIL
- As an indispensable motor fuel.
- As a lubricant. It is important in lubricating machine parts reduce friction
- As an important source of power.
OIL DISTRIBUTION AND PRODUCTION
- 60% of the world’s oil is in the middle east
- Among the Middle East producers are Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait and Iran
- In Africa we have countries like Libya, Algeria and Nigeria
- In America we have countries like USA, Canada, and Mexico
- The major producers are USSR, Iran and USA
- Venezuela accounts for only 4% of the world’s outputs