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RICK McKAY

How Oil and Gas is Formed

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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.

What Exactly is Oil and Gas?

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.

How Do We Extract and Use It?

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!

Stoddards: Your Fuel, Oil and Bottled Gas Supplier in Stoke-on-Trent

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.

To find out more, please feel free to contact us today. You can find us at Greenhill garage, Cheadle, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs, ST10 1JF, call us on 01538 752 253 or email us at info@stoddards.co.uk.

The Many Different Uses of Fuel Oil

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In the modern age, the world depends on all sorts of energy to power our utilities, whether it’s fossil fuels, renewables or kinetic energy sources. Our energy needs have increased greatly since the Industrial Revolution and fossil fuels produce the amount we require to meet this growing demand. These fossil fuels include coal and natural gas, but, in this blog we’re going to explore the third – oil or fuel oil.

From what it is to how it is used, this blog will tell you everything you need to know about fuel oil, delving into the many different uses of fuel oil along with the benefits of using it.

What is fuel oil?

To start, what exactly is fuel oil? There are many different oils available, whether it’s for transportation or cooking, but fuel oil is essentially oil that is used as fuel in an engine or furnace. Different examples of fuel oil depend on the process of distillation whereby, usually, the oil starts as crude oil or refined petroleum. From this, these oils can transform into different fuel oils such as kerosene, lubricating oil, jet fuel and more, and these are then used to heat homes, power machines or transport goods.

Fuel oil is used for different things and is known by different names such as:

  • Diesel fuel
  • Kerosene
  • Furnace oil
  • Home heating oil
  • Industrial heating oil
  • Marine fuel

But what are the many different uses of fuel oil and how are they applied? Here, we explore where fuel oil can be used.

Domestic: Heating oil

When in the home during the winter, there may come a time that you feel you need to utilise your heating system and many people use heating oil to do this. Domestic heating oil is the most common form of fuel oil in domestic settings and there are two different types, commonly known as kerosene or home heating oil. Although this started as lamp oil in the 19th century, used to light up households and street lamps, kerosene was refined from crude oil and now is used to heat homes.

Wanting to keep a warm home during the colder months of the year is only natural and many households use heating oil systems to do this. If you’re looking to keep warm and cosy in the cold rather than suffer whilst wrapped in hundreds of blankets, heating oil burns at over 70 degrees Celsius, meaning it is hotter than other gas-based or electrical systems, ensuring that a household will heat up quickly and efficiently.

Commercial: Diesel fuel for fleets

As well as heating oil for homes, this same oil can also be sold commercially for businesses, whether it’s to heat a warehouse floor or a small city-based office. However, the most common use of fuel oil within commercial industries is diesel. Although you probably know what diesel is, this fuel is usually used in diesel engines, including machinery and vehicles.

From transporting goods to powering manufacturing machinery, commercial fuel is a crucial part of many business operations and without it, transport would be hindered and profits would suffer. National and international trade is the life-blood of many commercial industries, meaning that diesel fuel plays a huge part in getting our bread to our bakers, our veg to our grocers, our essentials to our supermarkets and our fashion to our clothing stores. For this trade to take off, fleets of vehicles are required to navigate the country, collecting and delivering a whole host of items; diesel fuel is used to keep these lorries moving and on-schedule for a success.

As well as vehicle fleets for trade, there are other commercial fleets that might require diesel fuel, such as removalists companies, car rentals, taxi services, public bus companies, emergency service departments, haulage companies and much more.

Agriculture and construction: Gas engine oil

Similar to commercial industries, agriculture relies heavily on vehicles to get the job done, from hay baling to harvesting. However, there is a different sort of fuel available in this industry, namely gas oil or ‘red diesel’.

Commonly used in construction and agricultural vehicles, gas oil is used to operate vehicles and machines such as excavators, cranes, tractors and combine harvesters. Essentially, this fuel is very similar to road diesel (‘white diesel’) but a red dye has been added to make it distinguishable by the VOSO and the police if it’s being misused. It can be used by standard road vehicles and you could face a heavy fine if caught doing so.

To help farming and construction industries along, gas oil is essential for running these vehicles. And, did you know that gas oil is also used by travelling fairs and carnivals to power their generators?

The benefits of using fuel oil

With different energy options out there, why do so many people opt for fuel oil as a means to generate heat, electricity or movement? Here are some of the top benefits of using fuel oil:

  • Cost effective – when it comes to domestic oil prices, heating oil is considered one of the cheapest options for heating a home. As many homeowners tend to own their own tank, this means they also save money on rental fees and are free to stock up on oil when it suits them and their budget. Finally, heating oil is also cheaper than mains gas, LPG, renewables or electric systems. But more than this, general fuel oil, such as diesel, tends to be cheaper than it’s counterparts.
  • Safe – fuel oil doesn’t have the same level of risk as it is non-explosive and will only ignite in an advanced furnace system meaning, if there is a leak, it won’t explode when exposed to a naked flame. With this in mind, this factor makes heating oil particularly popular with many households around the UK as it ensures peace of mind.
  • Efficient – although fossil fuels and oils are considered damaging to the environment and we should be aiming to cut down where possible, most fuel oils are actually a very efficient energy source. For example, heating oil systems perform at 90% efficiency meaning that every pound spent, 90 pence of this will be used to heat your home. This is compared to gas-based heating systems (70%) or electrical systems (30%). Diesel oil is also more efficient compared to petrol and equates to higher fuel efficiency. With this in mind, a fuel oil system can give you a decent return on your investment.
  • Warmer – if you’re using your oil for heating purposes, an oil heat flame burns at 70 degrees Celsius meaning that it heats up a home a lot quicker than an electrical or gas-based system would.
  • Popular – because of popularity, fuel oils will be in demand for a long time to come. From heating homes to running their business fleet, domestic, commercial, agricultural, construction, industrial and marine sectors will continue to need fuel oil for years to come.

Stoddards – Reliable fuel suppliers for domestic, commercial and agricultural industries

With so many applications and uses for fuel oils, from kerosene to diesel, there’s nothing that can’t be achieved. Whether you’re in need of fuel oil for domestic, commercial or agricultural purposes, Stoddards in Stoke-on-Trent can help. We are a professional and reliable fuel company who can provide high-quality fuel options for your home or business – for more information, get in touch with us today.

The Advantages of Using a Fuel and Gas Supplier

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Getting fuel delivered is necessary for a variety of reasons, and you’ll be thankful to know there are a range  of options to suit your lifestyle. Whether you use fuel or gas for indoor applications (such as cooking or portable gas heaters) or outdoors (for anything ranging from barbecues, patio gas heaters, camping gas stoves or a caravan), using the services of a gas supplier gives you the benefits of liquid petroleum gas – wherever you are. With this in mind, below we will outline some of the main benefits of using a fuel and gas supply service.

Online services

If you have access to the internet, you’ll be happy to know that the majority of fuel suppliers will have their own website in which you can directly order fuel as well as a check to see if you are eligible for delivery. All of this makes checking your bills, ordering refills, and making payments simple. You don’t have to wait for the local shop to open to purchase your gas or or any other types of fuel. You can make an order online and you’ll have a company representative at your door ready to replace your gas tank in no time at all.

Delivery services

Perhaps the most obvious, for various reasons, people may not want to drive a vehicle around at certain times of the day due to traffic, which in most parts of the country can get highly congested. Not to mention the fact that no one wants to be stuck for long periods on their way to get fuel. The most convenient part of using an energy supplier is that they offer you a delivery service. All you need to do is,go online,  access your account and then you can order gas, it really is that simple! This will allow you to get gas ordered to your home as soon as possible.

Emergency delivery services

Dealing with an energy supplier who has an emergency delivery service is ideal for anyone who has concerns regarding being caught short in a situation without gas. This is particularly relevant if you live in a rural area with difficult access or do not have transportation yourself.

A good fuel supplier will have a varied fleet of tankers able to handle all kinds of weather and road conditions and restricted access will not be a problem. on-site storage capabilities allow them to act fast.

Whether for your home or business, here at Stoddards we stock and deliver a range of butane and propane bottled gas throughout Cheadle, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. We proudly offer an efficient and reliable service, tailoring our butane and propane bottled gas deliveries to suit your requirements. For more information regarding our services, contact us directly – we’re always happy to help.

Machinery Lubricants: What You Need To Know

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One of the most important things you can do in regards to keeping your machinery running and in top quality is to make sure it is properly lubricated.

You may be wondering to yourself,  what is machinery lubricant and how does it affect operations when it’s used? This blog will answer these questions and more by covering the fundamentals of lubrication. We will discuss how a lubricant works to remove friction, the physical and chemical properties of the lubricant, and the many functions of a lubricant.

Many people believe that a lubricant is simply used to make things “slippery.” While it is the primary function, there are more advantages to using the right lubricant.

What is a lubricant?

In order to avoid failures of this nature, we lubricate our machinery to minimize the resistance to movement, and as a result, minimize the amount of heat produced. The heat that is produced by the equipment is transferred to the oil so that it may be removed by a lube oil cooler.

There are a lot of considerations that must be applied when selecting the type of lubricant we need to use: viscosity, additives needed, properties, etc. Essentially, it is used to reduce friction.

What makes up a lubricant?

All lubricants start with a base oil. There are three types: mineral, synthetic, and vegetable. In industrial applications, we mostly deal with mineral and synthetic.

Testing lubricants

Lubricants reduce friction around any moving machine. A schedule of good lubrication maintenance extends the life of large machinery equipment and parts.

Lubrication is one of the first and most important of maintenance checks. Look for signs of excess oil or grease build-up on pistons, also look for leaks around oil seals.

Ensure to use the right lubricant. There are significant kinds of oil and grease for every component. Check the manufacturer’s guide for further guidance.

Getting the lubricants frequently checked is a good way to diagnose problems with large machinery. Experts analyze particles in the used oil. The makeup of any contaminants will indicate which part may be suffering from wear or breakdown.

Here at Stoddards,we’ve been stocking Morris machinery lubricants for well over 50 years. As Cheadle, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire reliable team of professionals, we keep your business, farm and leisure machinery and vehicles ticking over with our high-quality lubricants. From engine oil and tractor fluid to gear oil, we stock an extensive range of machinery lubricants six days a week with same or next day delivery across Cheshire and Derbyshire. Get in touch to find out more about what we can do for you.

The Benefits of Heating Oil

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With energy bills and environmental worries increasing year-on-year, some people are turning their attention to alternative ways to heat their homes. At Stoddards, we’re here to say that heating oil as many benefits and could be the solution you’re looking for when the trees aren’t as green and the cold winter fully arrives.

Switching to domestic heating oils, also known as kerosene, could be the answer as they are one of the cleanest, cheapest, safest and most reliable ways to heat a home in the UK. Here are three top benefits of using domestic heating oil.

Price

Heating oil is the cheapest option when it comes to heating a home. It’s also cheaper than all other heating options, including mains gas, LPG, renewables or electric systems. Many homeowners who use heating oil also own their own tank, meaning they don’t have to pay any rental fees and can stock up as and when they please, meaning this cuts costs. Coming into the summertime, it’s a good idea to stock up now when the prices are dropping and the demand is not so high too. As a heating oil consumer, you will also have the freedom to choose a different supplier each time when the price fluctuates. If you’re based in and around Stoke-on-Trent though, consider Stoddards for reliable heating oil and prices today.

Safety

An oil-based system is much safer than gas systems as it doesn’t have the same level of risk associated with it. Heating oil, or kerosene, is non-explosive and only ignites by an advanced system with an oil-burner or furnace. Any leaking oil won’t explode either, unlike leaking or exposed gas that comes in to contact with an exposed flame, so you can have peace of mind that you and your household are safe. Any issues with an oil-based system are easier to identify than that of invisible gas, meaning it can be fixed quickly and efficiently too.

Efficiency

Heating oil burns at over 70 degrees Celsius, making it hotter than electricity or gas systems, meaning that a home will heat up a lot quicker. Also, heating oil systems perform at 90% efficiency meaning that every pound spent, 90 pence of this will be used to heat your home. This is unlike gas systems that only operate at 75% and electric systems which come in at roughly 30%. A domestic heating oil system will give you a good return on your investment and heating.

At Stoddards, we are Stoke-on-Trent’s leading supplier of domestic heating oil. Whether you’re looking for a top-up oil service or need an emergency delivery of heating oil, we can help. Get in touch with us today for more information about our services and the products we supply.