Fossil Fuels - Noadswood Science

Fossil Fuels
L/O ;- To know what fossil fuels are
and how they are formed
Why do you
the scientist
the expected,
World oil supplies
company may be different?
By Daniel Howden
Thursday, 14 June 2007
Scientists have criticised a major review of the world's remaining oil reserves, warning that
the end of oil is coming sooner than governments and oil companies are prepared to admit.
BP's Statistical Review of World Energy, appears to show that the world still has enough
"proven" reserves to provide 40 years of consumption at current rates. The assessment,
based on officially reported figures, has once again pushed back the estimate of when the
world will run dry.
However, scientists led by the London-based Oil Depletion Analysis Centre, say that global
production of oil is set to peak in the next four years before entering a steepening decline
which will have massive consequences for the world economy and the way that we live our
According to "peak oil" theory our consumption of oil will catch, then outstrip our discovery of
new reserves and we will begin to deplete known reserves.
Colin Campbell, the head of the depletion centre, said: "It's quite a simple theory and one
that any beer drinker understands. The glass starts full and ends empty and the faster you
drink it the quicker it's gone."
Dr Campbell, is a former chief geologist and vice-president at a string of oil majors including
BP, Shell, and Exxon. He explains that the peak of regular oil - the cheap and easy to
extract stuff - has already come and gone in 2005. Even when you factor in the more difficult
to extract heavy oil, deep sea reserves, polar regions and liquid taken from gas, the peak
will come as soon as 2011, he says. From there we are in decline!
Fossil Fuels
Natural Gas
They formed millions of years ago from the remains of living things
Coal was formed from plants, and oil and natural gas from sea creatures. When
the living things died, they were gradually buried by layers of rock
The buried remains were put under pressure and chemical reactions heated
them up, gradually changing into fossil fuels
How are fossil fuels made?
Coal Formation
Oil & Gas Formation
Why are fossil fuels
What do we use fossil fuels for?
• Using the fossil fuel
worksheet cut out the
boxes at the bottom, and
stick them next to the
appropriate picture
Coal was formed from
dead plants that lived
long ago
Oil and gas were
formed from tiny
plants and animals that
lived in the sea
millions of years ago.
When the plants died
they were buried in
mud. The mud stopped
them rotting away
The plants and
animals fell to the
seabed when they died
and got buried in mud
and sand. The mud
stopped them rotting
More layers of the
mud squashed the
fossils. Heat from
inside the Earth turned
the mud into rock and
turned the plant fossils
to coal
More mud buried the
dead animals, turning
them into oil and gas,
which get stuck under
a layer of cap rock, not
letting them through
Your task is to explain how fossil fuels are formed
a) Drawing a cartoon (with captions)
b) Creating a role play
c) Writing a radio play
d) Making a short video
Why do you think so much oil is found
under the sea?
This map shows the countries with the largest amounts of
oil. What does this tell us about what these countries may
have looked like millions of years ago?