July 25 - 31, 20

Petroleum is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons, whose composition varies according to its place of occurrence. It can occur in solid, liquid, and gaseous state. In the solid form, it is called asphalt, in liquid it is known as crude oil and in gaseous form it is known as natural gas.

Origin of petroleum: Nothing definite can be said about the origin of petroleum but it seems that man is acquainted with its use from the very early days. Chinese used petroleum as a fuel as early as 200 BC. The word petroleum is derived from the Latin word Petra meaning rock and Oleum meaning oil. It is also called earth oil, mineral oil, or crude oil. There are two theories about the formation of petroleum in the earth crust.

Inorganic Theory: According to this theory, down under the surface of the earth steam produced from water at high temperature reacted with the large deposits of metallic carbides under high pressure and produced petroleum. This theory did not gain popularity.

Organic Theory: According to this theory, petroleum was formed by the action of bacteria, heat, and pressure on the dead bodies of sea animals and plants buried between the cracks of earth during earthquake. Due to the huge deposits of rock on it, the oil and gas could not come out and collected in larger amounts underground.

Petroleum is a big source of energy and the whole world these days meet its energy requirements principally from this source.

Crude oil is a natural product and obtained by drilling deep into the earth, deep sea and offshore sea through varieties of machineries. After refining the crude petroleum, we obtain more than twenty different products and some of these are: motor gasoline, kerosene, high speed diesel oil, furnace oil, solvent oil, processed oil, lubricant oil, grease, petroleum jelly, wax, naphta, bituminous, coal-tar etc. All of these products are used generally in vehicles of different types such as cars, trucks, rail, buses, motorcycles, airplanes, industries, household, road-carpeting, building constructions, etc.

The discovery of oilfields in the Middle East in the early 20th century spurred a century of new technologies, created new patterns of society and consumption and changed the global balance of power.

The richest deposits yet discovered in the world are located in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Russia, Canada, Nigeria, Mexico, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Qatar, UAE, Angola, Norway, Algeria, Angola etc.


Saudi Arabia (78,900,000), United States (11,100,000), Iran (4,150,000), Mexico (3,784,000), China (3,710,000), Canada (3,092,000), Norway (2,978,000), European Union (2,876,000), Venezuela (2,802,000), Kuwait (2,669,000), Nigeria (2,630,000), UAE (2,540,000), Algeria (2,090,000), Iraq (2,000,000), United Kingdom (1,861,000), Libya (1,720,000), Brazil (1,590,000), Kazakhstan (1,338,000), Angola (1,260,000), Qatar (1,111,000), Indonesia (1,070,000), India (834,000) and Pakistan (68,220).

The world possesses tens of thousands of operating oilfields, but only 116 of them produce more than 1000,000 barrels per day and they account for 50 per cent of global output. A handful of them was discovered more than a quarter of a century ago and most are showing signs of diminished capacity.

Indeed, some of the world's largest fields including Ghawar in Saudi Arabia, Burgan in Kuwait, Cantarell in Mexico and Samotlor in Russia appear to be in decline or about to become so. The decline of these giant fields is point of concern. The US specifically produces only 8 per cent of the world's oil but consumes 25 per cent of it.


United States (18,000,000), European Union (13,680,000), China (8,200,000), Japan (4,363,000), India (2,980,000), Russia (2,740,000), Brazil (2,460,000), Germany (2,437,000), Saudi Arabia (2,430,000), South Korea (2,185,000), Canada (2,151,000), Mexico (2,078,000), France (1,875,000), Iran (1,700,000), United Kingdom (1,669,000), Italy (1,537,000), Spain (1,482,000), Indonesia (1,115,000), Australia (946,000), Netherlands (922,000), Taiwan (910,000), Singapore (878,000), Venezuela (740,000), and Iraq (687,000).

Oil Sector in Pakistan: The oil sector has been identified as an engine of growth by the government and its unprecedented growth is expected to further promote investment activities in the country. Pakistan possesses significant oil reserves, which qualify it as one of the leading producers in the world. According to one estimate, presently the total oil reserve potential in the country is 28 billion barrels and consumption in different sector is nearly 20 million tons/year. The country imports more than 19 million tons of petroleum annually. The crude oil refining capacity is about 12.82 million tons per year.

Natural gas: One of the major energy sources in the world today is natural gas. The popularity of natural gas as a source of energy has increased over the years leading to increase in its consumption. Consumption of natural gas is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.

The maximum consumption of natural gas takes place in the industrial sector. It is also used as a fuel in the production of electric power.

Some of the major consumers of natural gas in the world are USA, Russia, UK, Germany Iran, Canada and Japan. Similarly, some of the major producers of natural gas in the world are USA, Canada , Algeria, UK, Norway, Iran and Indonesia.

According to an estimate by Oil & Gas Journal, the natural gas reserves at the beginning of 2007 were 6,183 trillion cubic feet. This was 71 trillion cubic feet higher than the reserves at the beginning of 2006. Major upward revisions to estimates of natural oil reserves took place in 1) Kazakhstan - 35 trillion cubic feet, 2) Turkmenistan - 29 trillion cubic feet, 3) China - 27 trillion cubic feet, 4) United States of America - 12 trillion cubic feet, 5) Netherlands - 12 trillion cubic feet, 6) Trinidad and Tobago - 7 trillion cubic feet ,7) Argentina - 3 trillion cubic feet, 8) Nigeria - 3 trillion cubic feet, 9) United Kingdom - 2 trillion cubic feet, 10) Saudi Arabia - 2 trillion cubic feet, 11) Norway - 2 trillion cubic feet, 12) Italy - 2 trillion cubic feet.

Gas which is associated with liquid petroleum is known as natural gas. Gas is a vital component of the world's supply of energy. It is one of the cleanest, safest, and most useful of all energy sources. It is colorless, shapeless, and odorless in its pure form. It is combustible and when burned and it gives off a great deal of energy.

Natural gas is clean burning and emits lower levels of potentially harmful by-products into the atmosphere.

We require energy constantly to heat our homes in winter, cook our food, and generate our electricity. This need for energy has elevated natural gas to such a level of importance in our society, and in our lives. Natural gas is a combustible mixture of hydrocarbon gases. While natural gas is formed primarily of methane, it can also include ethane, propane, butane, and pentane.

Natural gas has many uses, residentially, commercially, and industrially. Found in reservoirs underneath the earth, natural gas is commonly associated with oil deposits.

Production and distribution companies commonly measure natural gas in thousands of cubic feet (Mcf), Million Million of cubic feet (MMcf), or Trillions of cubic feet (Tcf).

Natural gas is a fossil fuel. Like oil and coal, it is essentially the remains of plants and animals and microorganisms that lived millions and millions of years ago.

Natural gas in Pakistan: Pakistan has significant volumes of gas and oil. The gas and oil are the two major components of Pakistan's energy mix and contributing more than 75 per cent of energy requirement of the country. A big deposit of natural gas estimated to about 9.625 trillion cubic feet was discovered at Sui in Balochistan in 1952. Pakistan Petroleum Limited discovered some more deposits of natural gas at Zan in 1954, Och in 1955, Khairpur in1957, Magarani in 1958 and Khan Kot in 1959. It also discovered natural gas from Dhodak and Radho in district Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab and from Pir Koh in Mari Bughti in Balochistan. Other gas fields are Adkhi , Badin, Bhit, Khasan, Kandanwari, Kandkhot field, Khan field, Mari, Miano, Mizra, Sawan, Zamzama, Zarghun, Sinjhoro, Golarchi and Mubarak areas.

The Sui gas field accounts for 26 per cent of the country's gas production and the daily production is around 660 million cubic feet. The country's two gas distribution companies are in the north, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) which distributes gases in Punjab, Khyber PK and AJK and in south, Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd (SSGPL).

The biggest consumer of gas is the power sector which uses it for generating electricity. Nearly 42 per cent of the gas fuel is used in the power sector. Industry uses another 19 per cent. The next big consumer is the fertilizer industry which uses 16 per cent as feedstock for producing urea. Household consumption is only 16 per cent followed by commercial uses of 7 per cent and others to 3 per cent.

Our current gas total resources potential are 32 TCFT. At present, the Sui Gas Fields produces around 800 Mcft of gas daily from 90 wells. The country has over 10,000 km. of gas transmission lines and 80,000 kilometers of gas distribution lines. Gas domestic consumers are over 3.8 million and gas commercial consumers are more than 80,000.

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) are the mixture of hydrocarbons gases used as a fuel in heating appliances, fuelling vehicles etc. About 90 per cent of LPG is produced locally.

CNG provides a smoke-free and cheaper gas to vehicles. The cars owners have fixed CNG kits in their vehicles to reduce their fuel expenses.

Pakistan has the world's highest number of vehicles running on CNG. Presently, the number of vehicles using this gas are over 2 million and the number of CNG stations are over 3,000. Argentina and Brazil, Iran and India are at second, third, fourth and fifth places in using CNG kits in their vehicles.

The commercial requirement of energy in the country has doubled over the last decades with the demand for natural gas growing over 10 per cent annually.

Conclusion: The world is running out of oil and gas. Fossil fuels by their nature are limited and eventually diminish. The fighter jet, tanks and automobiles all designed to run on oil, if oil is drying up then apart from oil prices explosion, such technologies would become redundant.