Fossil fuels, like coal, crude oil, and natural gas, are formed due to the natural decomposition of plant and animal bodies over the years. The whole world is dependent on fossil fuels as their primary energy source. As the consumption rate of all these fuels is very high, a question always tickles in the mind of everyone “is oil renewable or nonrenewable?”. In this article, we will explore the most obvious concern of mankind, “Is oil renewable or nonrenewable?”.
What is a Renewable Energy Resource?
Renewable energy resources are natural energy resources that are naturally replenished. They are sustainable sources of energy but flow-limited. Renewable resources can’t run out. They are also known as clean energy. Some examples of renewable resources are as follows:
- Wood and wood waste
- Landfill gas and biogas
- Tidal energy
- Municipal solid waste
What is a Non-renewable Energy Resource?
A non-renewable resource is finite. It can run out easily and cannot be readily replaced by natural means. The consumption rate is more as compared to its formation. There are four major types of non-renewable resources known to mankind. They are:
- natural gas,
- coal, and
- nuclear energy.
Among the above four, Oil, natural gas, and coal are collectively known as fossil fuels. It took millions of years for the formation of fossil fuels. Time, Pressure, and heat worked together to transform the animals and plants into petroleum, coal, and natural gas.
Is Oil Renewable or Nonrenewable?
As mentioned above, oil falls under the non-renewable category. Oil is used as the world’s primary fuel resource for transportation. From underground reservoirs, oil is continuously pumped out using natural or artificial lifts. After extraction, crude oil is processed in petroleum refineries to produce usable products like petrol, diesel, LPG, chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, plastics, pharmaceuticals, etc. As oil is continuously withdrawn from buried reservoirs, or shale and tar sands and consumed at a very high pace, they are not getting replenished at the same rate. Therefore, oil or crude oil is a non-renewable energy source.
Why is Oil Non-renewable?
Oil is a carbon-based fuel that took several thousand years to form beneath the earth. Currently, our usage of oil has increased to such an extent that we are using up the oil faster than it can be produced. So, each day, a gap is creating between the consumed oil and produced oil. This gap is increasing at a very fast pace. As estimated by scientists, the existing oil reserve will finish by the year 2067 if the oil is consumed at the current rate. So, it is clear that oil is a nonrenewable resource. This world only has 46 years of oil left before it runs out of crude oil.
What Oil is Renewable?
In our above discussion, we considered oil as crude oil that is a fossil fuel. There are other types of oils that are renewable. These oils are known as biofuels. Typical examples are vegetable oil, biodiesel, pyrolysis oil, etc. These can be produced at a higher rate than can be consumed. However, whether biofuels can replace crude oil entirely is under study.
What are the Advantages of Non-renewable energy sources?
Non-renewable energy sources provide various advantages like
- Highly efficient
- Easier to find and extract.
- Can generate a lot of energy.
- Easy to transport.
- Proven established technology.
- Easy set-up.
What are the Disadvantages of Non-renewable energy sources?
Even though non-renewable energy provides a lot of advantages, it has some drawbacks like
- Environmental pollution during the burning of fossil fuels.
- Global warming by carbon dioxide release.
- Public health issues leading to lung problems and asthma attacks.
- Oil spills cause disasters for the ocean and land and can be deadly for the animals that live there.
- Health risks to workers
Is Petroleum Renewable or Nonrenewable?
Petroleum means crude oil. The same crude oil is also popularly known as petroleum. Hence, petroleum is nonrenewable as the consumption rate is much much greater than the petroleum production rate under the earth.