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Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Coal

Fossil Fuels. Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Coal. Formation of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Energy came to the earth in the form of sunlight hundreds of millions of years ago. Radiant energy was then captured by algae through photosynthesis.

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Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Coal

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  1. Fossil Fuels Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Coal

  2. Formation of Petroleum and Natural Gas • Energy came to the earth in the form of sunlight hundreds of millions of years ago. • Radiant energy was then captured by algae through photosynthesis. • Dead algae and plankton accumulated at the bottom of the ancient seas.

  3. Formation Continued… • Accumulation continued, increasing the pressure and temperature on the underlying layers. • The result was a loss of oxygen and the formation of solid, liquid, and gaseous hydrocarbons. • The liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons moved upward through the porous rock until reaching an impermeable layer of rock.

  4. Formation of Oil and Natural Gas

  5. Oil Consumption • Petroleum is the most widely used fossil fuel. • It makes up over 38% of energy use in the U.S. • Over 98% of energy used in transportation comes from oil. • The U.S. per capita consumption of oil is 23.2 barrels. • 1 barrel = 42 gallons. • That equates to 974.4 gallons per person.

  6. World Oil Production

  7. U.S. Oil Production

  8. Oil Reserves • Total world production of petroleum in 1996 was 62 million barrels per day. • A study performed in 1993 revealed that there is 1.8 trillion barrels of oil that is economically recoverable. • At the highest expected production rates, there is an estimated 50 years of oil left.

  9. World Oil Distribution

  10. Concerns About Oil • The main problem with oil in the U.S. is that the price of gasoline is too low. • The price of gasoline in the U.S. is 3 times lower than most other industrialized countries. • Higher gasoline taxes would lower consumption, however it is unpopular.

  11. Natural Gas Consumption • Natural gas is the cleanest burning of the fossil fuels, comprised mostly of methane. • Accounts for 24% of energy used in U.S. • It is used most extensively in residential and commercial areas, accounting for about 70% of the energy used. • In recent years it has become the fuel of choice for new electric power plants.

  12. Natural Gas Production • Natural gas in the U.S. comes mainly from domestic production. • In 1995, the U.S. produced 19 tcf (trillion cubic feet) of the 21.9 tcf consumed in the country. • Through 1995, U.S. produced a total of 840 tcf.

  13. U.S. Natural Gas Production

  14. Natural Gas Reserves • Recent analysis estimates a total of 4933 tcf left in world reserves. • This is a substantial supply for the future, but transportation across oceans is costly. • The U.S. reserves have an estimated 1102 tcf remaining, which would last for 50 years at present consumption rate. However, consumption is expected to rise.

  15. World Reserves

  16. Coal Formation • Unlike oil and natural gas, coal formed from decaying plants in ancient swamps. • When the peat is exposed to high temperatures and pressures, it forms coal. • There are three main types of coal: anthracite, bituminous, and lignite.

  17. Anthracite • It is the oldest and hardest form of coal. • Its carbon content is up to 95%, which means it is also the cleanest burning of the coals. • Only 1% of minable coal in the U.S. is anthracite. • Almost all anthracite is found in Pennsylvania.

  18. Bituminous Coal • It is roughly 300 million years old, and comprised of 50% to 80% carbon. • Bituminous coal makes up 71% of the minable coal in the U.S. • It is located mainly in the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River Basin.

  19. Lignite • Was formed about 150 million years ago. • It is comprised of roughly 50% carbon. • Lignite makes up 28% of minable coal in the U.S. • Mainly located in the Rocky Mountain region and the southern U.S.

  20. Coal Consumption • The burning of coal makes up 22.3% of all energy use in the U.S. • Coal is used mainly in the generation of electricity, accounting for 57% of the energy used. • In 1995, 941 million tons of coal was consumed by the U.S.

  21. Coal Production • In 1995, 1.032 billion tons of coal was produced in the U.S. • In the past 30 years, the production of coal has increased considerably. • Were it not for environmental fears, coal production would have increased even more rapidly.

  22. Coal Reserves • There is about 1.5 trillion metric tons of coal left in the U.S. alone. • At current consumption rates, this amount would last roughly 1500 years. • However, it is unlikely that coal will still be an energy source that far into the future

  23. World Coal Reserves

  24. Fossil Fuels of the Future • Oil shale is formed by accumulating organic matter at the bottom of lakes that is mixed with mud. • The Green River Formation in the Rocky Mountains contains .6 to 2 trillion barrels of oil. • However, the removal process is expensive and it has a low energy density, which holds back the development of oil shale.

  25. Tar Sands • Contains tar-like hydrocarbon called bitumen. • Existing deposits can have a significant impact on the petroleum situation. • One deposit alone is estimated to have 300 billion barrels of oil. • The process is now profitable, and efforts are underway to begin major mining operations.

  26. Impact • The burning of any fossil fuel releases CO2 • Each year, about 5 billion metric tons of CO2 is released into the atmosphere. • This is cause of the increasing problem we face in global warming. • In addition to CO2, coal produces large amounts of SO2, which is a major contributor to acid rain.

  27. In Closing • From the information, it is evident that there is no immediate shortage of energy from fossil fuels. • If we continue burning fossil fuels at this rate the earth will be uninhabitable due to pollution and global warming long before we run out of them.

  28. The End

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