How is the Petrol Obtained?

            Petrol is one of the most important natural oils in the world. Most cars, scooters, aero planes and automobiles- all consume petrol as fuel. It is also used to produce light and other forms of energies.

Crude oil being extracted from an oil-well

            Petrol is obtained from petroleum- a viscous dark-colored liquid found inside the earth. The word ‘petroleum’ is derived form the two Latin words ‘Petra’ and ‘oleum’ meaning rock and oil respectively. It is usually found in large pools beneath the earth’s surface. Petroleum is sometimes referred to as black gold because of its high utility and (rising) cost.

            Do you know how this oil is formed inside the earth? Millions of years ago, plants and animals got buried under the earth’s crust due to geological upheavals. Intense pressure and heat inside the earth converted the decomposed plats and animals into petroleum. Man has discovered massive petroleum deposits under the seabed too.

            The crude oil is drawn out of petroleum well. This crude oil consists of petrol, naphtha, kerosene, diesel, pitch etc. it is brought to refineries for refining and extraction of these products. The crude oil is heated in very big cylindrical vessels. The various constituents of the oil are separated as different fractions at different temperatures and taken out through pipes.

            This process is known as fractional distillation. Another refining process is cracking. In this process, heavy oils are heated under pressure to break down into petrol and gases. Various other products obtained form petroleum includes plastics, paints, drugs, explosives, cleaning fluids and detergents.

            Scientists have succeeded in synthesizing petrol by some artificial techniques also, but petrol prepared by this method is costlier than the natural one.

            Crude oil is found in many countries, but the gulf countries are its major producers. It is also found in USA and Russia. In India, it is mainly found in Assam, the Krishna-Godavari basin and Bombay high.