Oil and natural gas are the two driving forces for much of our industrial development over the years and are two of the most expensive commodities on Earth. We spend billions drilling for oil and gas for our farms, factories and vehicles and having been doing so for years and years. However, where does it all come from and how is it made? Here we discuss how oil and gas come to be and the process of extracting it.
Both natural oil and gas are formed from the fossilised remains of prehistoric creatures and plants from hundreds of millions of years ago. These prehistoric creatures and plants were covered by layer upon layer of silt and sand at the bottom of the oceans and, without oxygen and under immense pressures and temperature, the organic material was not able to decompose which turned it into what’s known as ‘source rock’. This ‘cooking’ process turned the matter into gas and oil over aeons within the source rock.
Over incredibly long periods of time, the gas and oil within the rocks moved up through pores and cracks in the rocks up towards the surface from deep within the Earth. Some of this oil and gas escapes through the ground, but much of it remains in ‘reservoirs’ of rock which contain the oil and gas and can be mined.
Oil has been mined for centuries and, until the 1900s, was largely based on luck. There were some vegetation signifiers that indicate that there is oil below, but science has caught up and geologists can now accurately identify where oil is likely to be. We then drill down to the area where the oil is and hope to strike!
Here at Stoddards, we’ve been supplying fuel, gas and oil for a number of years. As leading fuel suppliers in the area, we have helped a huge number of local businesses in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and Cheadle with their fuel and oil supply.