OpenEI:Projects/Improvements Oil and Gas

From Open Energy Information

This page is used to coordinate plans for creating content for the Oil and Gas Gateway.

Oil | Energy Basics

Oil, also known as petroleum or crude oil, is the preserved remains of prehistoric zooplankton and algae that settled to the bottoms of seas and lakes millions of years ago. Under anoxic conditions (meaning no oxygen was present), this organic matter combined with mud and became buried by layers of sediment. As the layers began to accumulate, they grew increasingly heavy, generating intense heat and pressure. This heat and pressure caused the zooplankton and algae to change: first forming kerogen (an organic compound that is found in various oil shales around the world), and then, with increased time, temperature and pressure, producing oil and natural gas through a process called catagenesis (a term used to describe the breaking down of complex organic molecules into simpler ones).

To recover this oil and natural gas from deep within the earth (between X and Y miles below the surface), drilling is required. Once brought to the surface, it is refined and separated, and can then be used to make many of the products we use today.

Oil | General Classification

Oil can be broken down into several types based on its chemical composition and viscosity (or thickness):

  • Crude oil: Typically black or dark brown, though it can also be yellowish, reddish, or even greenish.
  • Bitumen: A semi-solid form mixed with sand and water that is sticky, black, and tar-like, e.g. the Athabasca oil sands in Canada.
  • Extra-heavy oil: Similar to bitumen but more fluid, e.g. the Orinoco oil sands in Venezuela.

The majority of the oil recovered in the United States is crude oil, accounting for X percent of the total volume produced.

Oil | Uses

Since the 1950s, oil has been the world’s more important source of energy. This is due to a number of factors, including its high energy density, the ease with which it is transported, and its relative abundance. Oil also serves as a raw material for the production of many chemical products. The major uses of oil are listed below. For more in-depth information, click on the link.


  • Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
  • Ethane and other short-chain alkanes
  • Gasoline (Petrol)
  • Diesel fuel (petrodiesel)
  • Kerosene
  • Jet fuel
  • Fuel oils


  • Alkenes (olefins): Can be manufactured into plastics or other compounds.
  • Lubricants: Examples include light machine oils, motor oils, and greases, adding viscosity stabilizers as required.
  • Wax: Can be used in the packaging of frozen foods, among other applications.
  • Sulfur/sulfuric acid: Typically used in industrial manufacturing.
  • Bulk tar
  • Asphalt
  • Petroleum coke: Used in speciality carbon products or as solid fuel.
  • Paraffin wax
  • Aromatic petrochemicals: Can be used as precursors in other chemical production.


  • Fertilizers
  • Pesticides

Natural Gas | Energy Basics

Natural gas, commonly referred to simply as gas, consists chiefly of methane. It is frequently found with other hydrocarbon fuels such as oil, in coal beds, and as methane clathrates (an ice-like solid in which a large amount of methane is trapped within a crystal structure of water). There are two main mechanisms by which the majority of natural gas forms: biogenic and thermogenic. Biogenic gas is released as a metabolic byproduct of microorganisms that live in anoxic (lacking oxygen) conditions, such as in bogs, landfills, marshes, and shallow sediments. Thermogenic gas is created by the decomposition of buried organic material deep within the earth at high temperatures and pressures.

Natural gas requires processing before it can be used as a fuel. The processing strips away nearly all other materials associated with the gas, leaving behind primarily methane. Byproducts removed include ethane, propane, butanes, pentanes, and higher molecular weight hydrocarbons, as well as elemental sulfur, carbon dioxide, and water. Helium and nitrogen are also sometimes present and must be removed.

Natural Gas | General Classification




Natural Gas | Uses


Power Generation

Domestic Use




Creation of Hydrogen

Additional Uses

State Oil and Gas Boards, Commissions, etc.

List of states that make oil and gas data available, mapped on the category page

State Oil and Gas Boards

Federal Statutes, Laws, Regulations related to Oil and Gas

Federal statutes, laws and regulations that are directly and indirectly triggered by oil and gas activity

Federal Oil and Gas Statutes

Federal Environmental Statutes

Federal Oil and Gas Regulations

International Oil and Gas Boards, Commissions, etc.

Source URL Notes Status
Algeria Ministry of Energy and Mining Country oil and gas page with EIA information Page Completed: Graham
Bahrain National Gas and Oil Authority Country oil and gas page with EIA information Page Completed: Graham
Egypt Ministry of Petroleum Country oil and gas page with EIA information Page Completed: Graham
Iran Iran Oil and Gas Country oil and gas page with EIA information Page Completed: Graham
Iraq Ministry of Oil Country oil and gas page with EIA information Page Completed: Graham
Kuwait Ministry of Oil Country oil and gas page with EIA information Page Completed: Graham
Libya Oil and Gas Libya Still searching for an adequate Libyan page to do or complete
Morocco Ministry of energy and mines (using google translate) probably not a priority compared to other countries not worth adding, KCh
Oman Ministry of Oil and Gas in OpenEI: Oman_Ministry_of_Oil_and_Gas first entry complete; KCH
Qatar Qatar Petroleum in OpenEI: Qatar_Petroleum first entry complete; KCH
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia Ministry of Petroleum Resources in OpenEI Kingdom_of_Saudi_Arabia_Ministry_of_Petroleum_and_Mineral_Resources first entry complete; KCH
Syria Syrian Petroleum Company in OpenEI: Syrian_Petroleum_Company first entry complete; KCH
UAE, Abu Dhabi Supreme Petroleum Council in OpenEI: Abu_Dhabi_Supreme_Petroleum_Council first entry complete; KCH
Yemen Yemen Ministry of Oil & Minerals in OpenEI: Yemen_Ministry_of_Oil_and_Minerals first entry complete; KCH
Colombia page status person
Venezuela page status person
Russia page status person

Private Datasets

  1. Gulf Oil & Gas Website [1] is a subscriber-only service
  2. has data for sale; this is an example of Oil and Gas data for Yemen [2]
  3. PUBLIC datasets (potentially)... see info on below in section called, Definitely Helpful

Oil and Gas Companies

Other Notes

Additional sites/info we should follow up on:

Definitely Helpful

  1. EIA has Country Analysis Briefs that include background info, and info on : oil, oil exports, natural gas, LINKS to other sources of information, sources, and quick facts.

Possibly Helpful

  1. Dubai Mercantile Exchange provides prices and volumes for oil
  2. Gulf Oil & Gas Website [3] is a subscriber-only service, but may have general info regarding this region
  3. Global Shale Gas Initiative (GSGI) [4] launched by US Dept. of State in April 2010
  4. Eastern Africa Oil Gas & Energy Week 16 May 2011 [5]
  5. Taxing in Yemen oil/gas:[6]
  6. Syrian Oil and Gas News [7]

Project Participants

Note: to become part of this project, put # ~~~~ at the bottom of this section.

  1. Kch 16:28, 8 March 2011 (MST)
  2. Graham7781 10:13, 9 March 2011 (MST)Graham7781
  3. Jackie Lyndon 14:56, 11 March 2011 (MST)