Why is there so much oil in the Middle East?

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crude oil coming out of pipe

There isn’t necessarily more oil in the Middle East; it’s just the most cost-effective place to extract oil from due to it having ideal conditions for oil formation. With your permission, a company probably could extract oil from your backyard; however, the cost of doing so would prevent it from being able to sell it at a reasonable price.

Millions of years ago, most of the Middle East was covered by what scientists call the Tethys Ocean (aka Tethys Sea). Rivers flowing into the ocean gave rise to trillions of microscopic organisms and other marine plants and animals. The corpses of these organisms on the ocean floor is where oil (and natural gas) comes from. This is why they are called fossil fuels. Get it?

Over millions of years, this decomposing organic material became covered by miles of new organic matter and also the sand and salt flowing in from the rivers and streams. Yes, salt flows into the ocean from freshwater rivers and streams. Anyway, these layers became more and more packed as newer layers formed on top of the previous layers. The pressure and heat from these upper layers change the buried organic matter into a sludgy substance of hydrocarbons and other compounds that constitute what we know as crude oil. Theoretically, as long as marine life keeps dying, oil will keep being created.

This is greatly oversimplified, but you should get the idea.

INTERESTING FACTS
  1. Chinese engineers used bamboo pipes to drill over 700 feet below the surface to extract the earliest drops of oil in 600 BC.
  2. The first successful oil well in North America is located in Oil Springs, Ontario, Canada, in 1858.
  3. A barrel of oil is equivalent to 42 gallons or 159 liters.
  4. Products such as clothing, bandaids, and detergents contain oil by-products.
INTERESTING VIDEO

INTERESTING REFERENCES
  1. LiveScience.com – The Mysterious Origin and Supply of Oil
  2. Offshore-Mag.com – MIDDLE EAST GEOLOGY Why the Middle East fields may produce oil forever
  3. IndiaPublicMedia.org – Why Does The Middle East Have Such An Abundance Of Fossil Fuels?
  4. AdventuresinEnergy.com – How Are Oil/Natural Gas Formed?
  5. ThoughtCo.com – Oil Comes from Dinosaurs – Fact or Fiction?
  6. TCICapital.com – INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT CRUDE OIL

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