Formation and mining of oil

Formation and mining of oil

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Credit: GARY HINCKS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Formation and mining of oil. Cutaway artwork sequence showing the formation of oil (left three panels) and its mining (panel at right). Oil is a fossil fuel, rich in hydrocarbons, which forms over millions of years from organic remains. It is thought that the process starts when large amounts of plankton debris forms a mud on the seabed rich in organic material (upper left). Over millions of years, layers of sediment build up on top of this organic layer, compressing it and heating it until it turns into oil (centre left). The oil is lighter than the surrounding rocks and filters upwards as the layers buckle under tectonic forces (centre right), accumulating in a reservoir from where a drilling platform mines it (lower right).

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Keywords: artwork, biogenic theory, carbon, compression, cutaway, drilling, drilling platform, earth science, formation, forming, fossil fuel, fossil fuels, geologic time, geological, geology, heat, helicopter, historical, history, hydrocarbon, hydrocarbons, illustration, industrial, industry, layer, layers, marine, millions of years, mineral, mineralogy, mining, ocean, oil, oil tanker, organic, physical geography, plankton, prehistoric, prehistory, rock, sea, sediment, sedimentary, sediments, sequence, time, underground, underwater

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