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Crude oil contains hundreds of different types of hydrocarbons all mixed together.

To make Crude Oil useful you have to separate the different types of hydrocarbons. This way to separate hydrocarbons is called the Oil Refining which starts with a distillation process. Crude oil is heated and the different chains are pulled out by their vaporization temperatures.

Petroleum Gas- Used for cooking, make plastics and for heating. Gasoline- Motor Fuel

Lubricating Oil- Used for Motor Oil


Residuals- Wax, Asphalt, etc.

The extraction of petroleum is the process by which usable petroleum is extracted and removed from the earth to be processed.

The oil well is created by drilling a hole into the earth with an oil rig. A steel pipe (casing) is placed in the hole, to provide structural integrity to the newly drilled wellbore. Holes are then made in the base of the well to enable oil to pass into the bore. Finally a collection of valves called a "Christmas Tree" is fitted to the top, the valves regulating pressures and controlling flows.

During the primary recovery stage, reservoir drive comes from a number of natural mechanisms. These include: natural water displacing oil downward into the well, expansion of the natural gas at the top of the reservoir, expansion of gas initially dissolved in the crude oil, and gravity drainage resulting from the movement of oil within the reservoir from the upper to the lower parts where the wells are located

The pressure will fall, and at some point there will be insufficient underground pressure to force the oil to the surface. After natural reservoir drive diminishes, secondary recovery methods are applied. They rely on the supply of external energy into the reservoir in the form of injecting fluids to increase reservoir pressure, hence replacing or increasing the natural reservoir drive with an artificial drive. Sometimes pumps, such as beam pumps and electrical submersible pumps are used to bring the oil to the surface.

Tertiary, or enhanced oil recovery methods increase the mobility of the oil in order to increase extraction. Thermally enhanced oil recovery methods are tertiary recovery techniques that heat the oil, thus reducing its viscosity and making it easier to extract. Steam injection is the most common form and is often done with a cogeneration plant. In this type of cogeneration plant, a gas turbine is used to generate electricity and the waste heat is used to produce steam, which is then injected into the reservoir.