CG: n

CT: Crude oil is a mixture of hydrocarbons that exists as a liquid in natural underground reservoirs and remains a liquid when brought to the surface. Petroleum products are produced from the processing of crude oil and other liquids at petroleum refineries, from the extraction of liquid hydrocarbons at natural gas processing plants, and from the production of finished petroleum products at blending facilities. Petroleum is a broad category that includes both crude oil and petroleum products. The terms oil and petroleum are sometimes used interchangeably.

S: (last access: 18 December 2014)

N: 1. early 15c. “petroleum, rock oil” (mid-14c. in Anglo-French), from Medieval Latin petroleum, from Latin petra “rock” + oleum “oil”.
2. Petroleum, along with oil and coal, is classified as a fossil fuel. Fossil fuels are formed when sea plants and animals die, and the remains become buried under several thousand feet of silt, sand or mud. Fossil fuels take millions of years to form and therefore petroleum is also considered to be a non-renewable energy source.
3. Petroleum is formed by hydrocarbons (a hydrocarbon is a compound made up of carbon and hydrogen) with the addition of certain other substances, primarily sulphur. Petroleum in its natural form when first collected is usually named crude oil, and can be clear, green or black and may be either thin like gasoline or thick like tar.
4. In modern technical usage the term petroleum includes gaseous and solid as well as liquid hydrocarbons.
A general term meaning “rock-oil”, indicating that it is found in the Earth’s crust and is superficially different from animal or vegetal oil (…). The constituents of petroleum vary from region to region, but in general it has a carbon content of 80-87 per cent, a hydrogen content of 11- 14 per cent, minor amounts of oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur and traces of metals.
It is not only the primary source of automative fuels but of thousands of organic chemicals used in medicines, plastics, dyes, lubricants, etc.
5. Collocations:
– “petroleum”: age of petroleum, consumption of petroleum, petroleum exploration, petroleum drilling industry, petroleum fund, refined petroleum, to sell petroleum.
– “oil” used as fuel/to make machines work smoothly:

  • Adj.: heavy | light | crude | refined | offshore | engine, fuel, heating, lubricating, motor | linseed, paraffin.
  • Quant.: barrel | film | drop.
  • Verb + oil: extract, obtain, produce | drill for | discover, find, hit, strike | pump | export, import | burn, use | change | soak sth in | smell of (in a car, etc.) The place smelled of paint and oil.
  • Oil + noun: company, producer | industry, production | drilling, exploration | field, rig, well | drum | tanker | refinery | prices, revenue | slick, spill, spillage.

6. Cultural Interrelation: We can mention, among others, the novel Oil! (1927) written by Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) and the movies Giant (1956) by George Stevens, There Will Be Blood (2007) by Paul Thomas Anderson, inspired by Upton Sinclair’s novel Oil!, and Day of the Falcon, known also as Black Gold (2011) directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, based on Hans Ruesch’s 1957 novel South of the Heart.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 18 December 2014). 2 & 3. (last access: 18 December 2014). 4. GDT (last access: 31 March 2015). 5. (last access: 20 May 2015); (last access: 20 May 2015). 6. (last access: 31 March 2015); EncBrit – (last access: 31 March 2015); (last access: 31 March 2015); (last access: 31 March 2015);; (last access: 31 March 2015).

SYN: oil, naphta.

S: GDT (last access: 31 March 2015)

CR: artificial asphalt, asphalt, bitumen , bituminous coal, carbon , coal, coke, [concrete], fossil fuel, hydrocarbon, natural gas, pitch, shale gas, shale oil, sulfur dioxide, tar.