And Global wARMING

About 33 percent of the global energy supply is from oil. Gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel are refined oil products and, together, these fuels power the majority of transportation in the world. The greenhouse gases from oil are CO2, nitrous oxide, and even minor amounts of methane. CO2 and nitrous oxide are byproducts through combustion. Petroleum fuels are the largest contributor of CO2; coal is second, and natural gas a distant third. Nitrous oxides are also a significant issue from engine combustion. Conversely, the amount of methane released from oil operations is generally small. Minor amounts may be released during production operations, but usually it is flared if a market does not exist to gather for transmission in a pipeline.

Crude oil also can contain impurities such as sulfur. Sulfurous crude oil is known as sour crude, while oil that lacks sulfur is the more desirous sweet oil. In addition, impurities such as nickel, paraffin, and salts can be present in certain crude oils distributed around the world. It depends on the host environment and the type of organic matter. Oil with significant amounts of impurities creates additional concerns for local environments. Sulfur, in particular, can damage vegetation.

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