Petroleum – Advantages & Disadvantages

Petroleum is an important mineral resource. It is known as ‘liquid gold’ because not even the tiniest part of crude petroleum goes waste or remains unused. Petroleum is found in underground reservoirs in sedimentary rock formations like sandstone, shale, and limestone. Petrol, diesel. Kerosene, tar, Liquefied Petroleum Gas, lubricants, and paraffin wax are some products that are obtained during the refining process. Coal is also an important Conventional Source of Energy.

Advantages of Petroleum

  • It has a high density. One kg of oil can generate 10,000 kcal of energy.
  • It is liquid in form and can be transported through pipes or vehicles.
  • It is used as fuel. Its by-products that are used a fuel include diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene, and LPG.
  • Petroleum after refining is used for the production of various petrochemical products such as synthetic rubber, synthetic fiber, PVC phenol, gasoline, varnishes, lubricating oil, and paraffin wax.
  • It is also used for power generation.

Disadvantages of Petroleum

  • It is a non-renewable source of energy. Hence, its availability is limited. Because of ever-increasing demands, petroleum resources are fast depleting.
  • Extracting and burning petroleum generates greenhouse gases that contribute to environmental pollution and global warming.
  • Because of its limited supply and high demand, the cost is high.
  • It is highly inflammable and can cause a fire.
  • The spilling of oil in water not only pollutes the oceans but also leads to the death of a number of marine animals.

Oil Refineries

Crude oil is refined and processed in refineries to produce light distilleries like gasoline, LPG, and naphtha; middle distilleries like diesel and kerosene and heavy products such as bitumen, petroleum, and coke. The Reliance Petroleum Limited at Jamnagar in Gujarat was the first refinery in the private sector. Most of the refineries are located near the oilfield or near the coast to minimize the cost of transport.


  • Mumbai High is an offshore oil field located 176 km off Mumbai shore in the Arabian Sea. Mumbai High is called so because of the height of the syncline of the rock structure in which the oil has been struck.
  • It is the most productive oil field and has a reserve of 5 crore tonnes of oil.
  • Digboi oil field in upper Assam is the biggest oilfield in India.
  • In Gujarat, Cambay Basin is an important oil-bearing site. The other important oil-bearing sites in the state are Kalol, Koyali, Kosamba, Sanand, Anklaeshwar, and Navgaon.

Also, Read Conventional Sources of Energy

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