Oil & Natural Gas Uses
Crude oil is pumped from the ground and transported by pipes or tankers to oil refineries. Refining involves a complex series of processes for manufacturing petroleum products out of crude oil. While refining begins as distillation (heating and separating), oil refineries use additional processes and equipment in order to produce a variety of products for consumer use. The production of heavier, lower value products are created from residual fuel oil, the same oil used to power large ships. What are called middle distillates are used to produce jet fuel, kerosene, home heating oil and diesel fuel, and lighter, higher value products include liquid petroleum gases and gasoline. Please see this attached graphic on a variety of oil uses.
Raw natural gas from wells consists mostly of methane but may also contain byproducts such as natural gas liquids (NGL) and impurities. NGLs are separated from the natural gas either at processing facilities near the natural gas field or at natural gas plants. These byproducts, once removed, are used in a number of ways. For example, propane can be used for cooking on gas grills.
Natural gas is mainly transported through extensive networks of pipeline. It is often used for residential, commercial, industrial power generation. It also provides an energy source for space heating, for heating water, drying clothes, and for cooking. The industrial sector also uses natural gas as a processed heating source, as a fuel for generating steam, and in the production of petrochemicals and fertilizers. The electric industry uses natural gas to produce electricity. It is also used as an alternative fuel for transportation. Please see this attached graphic on a variety of natural gas uses.