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What Are the Advantages & Disadvantages of Conventional Oil?

by Tom Lutzenberger

Conventional oil, also known as mineral oil, works as an automotive lubricant produced from fossil fuels. Such resources work well for combustion-type engines, but they have a limited availability and frequently can't be reused. Since the beginning of the 20th century, conventional oil has been readily available. However, in modern times, society's focus is on the scarcity of these resources in the future, which will force a reliance on combustion vehicles to be re-evaluated.

Basic Benefits

Conventional oil provides reliable performance as a lubricant, and when refined, provides valuable gasoline products as well. This fossil fuel (a mineral developed from compressed organic matter buried for centuries underground) provides a powerful energy resource when heat is applied. As a result, conventional oil provides a manageable fuel for producing heat, combustion and cooking capability.

Easy to Find Today

Oil is fairly easy to produce. Once an oil field is found, mining operations simply need to drill down to tap into the natural oil reservoir below. Then, with the natural pressure the oil is under due to earth's weight, it flows easily out of the drilled escape. When controlled, the oil can be pumped and packaged into millions of barrels for transportation for years. Drill points exist worldwide in the U.S., the Middle East, Brazil and Asia.

Dependence

Because conventional oil has become such an integral resource for transportation and industrial production, the lack of it represents a serious problem for a community and a country. The U.S. today is highly dependent on foreign oil, so it works to protect such interests to maintain flow into the U.S.

Environmental Damage

Oil cannot be broken down to a level that just rots away and disappears such as organic waste. Even when it is used up, it still represents a toxic liquid or sludge. In some cases, oil can be recycled with filtering to be used again. However, in many situations, such processes are expensive and difficult. If disposed of the wrong way, oil can poison the ground and water underground. Eventually, heavily polluted areas must be professionally cleaned at high expense.

About the Author

Since 2009 Tom Lutzenberger has written for various websites, covering topics ranging from finance to automotive history. Lutzenberger works in public finance and policy and consults on a variety of analytical services. His education includes a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science from Saint Mary's College and a Master of Business Administration in finance and marketing from California State University, Sacramento.

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