Oil and its uses - Information for students

in Education2 years ago

The USA uses almost 20 million barrels of oil per day.  It sounds like yet another statistic but think about this... The USA makes up 5% of the world's population but uses more that 25% of the world's oil and is also responsible for more than a quarter of the whole planet's carbon emissions. 


It is easy to turn around and say that the USA is irresponsible with their usage of fossil fuel, but the reality is that a lot of us through out the world uses oil and depend on the byproducts of this 'black gold'.  For example, a barrel of oil can be used to be changed into petrol and diesel.


South Africa use less oil in comparison with the USA - about 530 000 barrels per day and the whole of Africa uses only 4% of the whole world's oil usage, but the main reason for this being that even though Africa makes up 15% of the world's population, it is also home to the most poor countries in the world and they will not have any use for petrol or some of the other byproducts.  

So we can say, the wealthier a country, the more fossil fuel will be used by that country.

The problem is not only that we pollute our planet, but that we also rather use non- renewable resources than renewable resources.  Countries like the USA must start importing oil since their is not enough oil left to meet their demands.  More than 60% of the oil needed is imported.

Can you remember the difference and examples of non-renewable and renewable resources?  


Some studies show that the USA's reserves will dry up within the next 40 years and it does not look much better for the rest of the world.

Oil based products are so part of our daily lives that in this late stage it is difficult for the world to change it's ways and to think about a world without these products.  Have a look at the list of products that contains oil.  Some you will not believe, or never thought that it has oil in it...

  • Man made fibres like polyester and nylon
  • Household cleaners like dish washing liquid, washing powders, polish and ammoniac
  • Additives to food like preservatives and colourings
  • soap, shampoo, conditioners, cream and deodarant
  • plastic products
  • milk and fruit juice cartons
  • fertilizers for crops and plants
  • plasters, vitamins and other medical supplies
  • diesel, petrol, paraffin, jet fuel and candles
  • motor oils and lubricants for engins
  • tar