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An oil atlas

Proven Top countries, in billions of barrels, 2009 What are proven reserves?
267
reserves 178 Estimated amounts of crude oil that can
136 115 104 reasonably be recovered from known reservoirs
99 98
World total 60 44 36
Petroleum, whose name comes from the Latin “petra,” or rock, 21 16 15 13 12 11 9 7 6 3
1.3 trillion
and “oleum,” or oil, seeps naturally to the Earth’s surface along fault lines barrels Saudi Can. Iran Kuwait U.A.E. Libya U.S. Qatar Algeria Angola India
and cracks in rocks, where it pools. How oil forms and where it is found: Arabia Iraq Venezuela Russia Nigeria China Brazil Mexico Norway U.K.

Main oil and gas fields Western


As of 2007 Europe
Charts show percent Eurasia
Oil
of world total by 1%
7%
Gas region

North America
16% Much of N.A.
reserves are
located in oil
sands in Alberta,
Canada
Origins of fossil fuels
Most geologists believe oil Almost one-fifth
and natural gas derive from the of U.S. reserves – about Pacific Ocean
fossils of microscopic animals 4 billion barrels – found
and plants, such as algae in offshore fields in the Asia
and plankton, that lived in lakes Gulf of Mexico, most of 2.5%
and seas millions of years ago that in deep water
Middle
1 Tiny marine life died and fell East
Atlantic Ocean
to the sea and lake floors; 56%
over time, it was covered with Latin
layers of sand and mud, America Africa
forming a sedimentary basin 8.5%
9%
2 Over millions of years, Indian Ocean
accumulated layers of sediment
covered the decaying matter,
burying it deeper and deeper

3 Higher pressure and temperature


nearer the Earth’s center Water surface
transformed organic matter into
hydrocarbons, long chains of
carbon and hydrogen atoms Anatomy of deep-water reservoirs: The Gulf of Mexico
Since rivers can carry large amounts of sediment offshore, many
sedimentary basins formed near river deltas, such as the Mississippi Delta
4 Temperatures of 140 F to 212 F
(60 C to 100 C) led to formation Ocean floor Where river sediments and coastal waters meet, the river slows
of crude oil, which contains down and sediment drops to the ocean floor; lighter particles can
larger hydrocarbons, such as drift long distances before settling
hexane and octane Underwater Reservoirs Sandstone If sedimentary particles mix with organic debris, the process
• Temperatures above 302 F (150 C)
helped transform oil into natural gas,
reservoirs of forming hydrocarbons starts
© 2010 MCT
which has smaller hydrocarbon Some of these Salt in the Gulf of Mexico, some of the oil and gas that formed is trapped Graphic: Pat Carr,
molecules, such as methane, reservoirs are by salt, rock-like crystalline structures, forming oil/gas reservoirs Lee Hulteng

propane and butane located


thousands of
feet below the Land
ocean floor
A rock, a reservoir and a seal
Oil and gas are found in sedimentary rock; as they form,
they rise through layers of porous rock; much of the world’s Ocean
oil and gas disappears naturally through this process
Sometimes, oil and gas migration is blocked by a
layer of impermeable rock, which acts like a seal

Hydrocarbons become trapped


and accumulate in porous rock below,
Trapped oil forming a hydrocarbon reservoir
Reservoirs, once discovered,
can be turned into oil and gas fields Continental shelf
Abyssal plains Continental drop Beach extends
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Energy Training Resources, International Association of Oil Can be flat or mountainous, with deep canyons Steep drop ending in abyssal plains, from shore into
and Gas Producers, Americian Petroleum Institute, Jackson School of Geosciences at University of Texas and valleys; oil reservoirs found below this floor 1.8-3 miles (3-5 km) below sea level ocean