The key difference between oil and natural gas is that oil is a fossil fuel in the liquid state, while natural gas is a fossil fuel in the gaseous state.
Fossil fuels are dead organic matter that decomposes over a long period of time. This decomposed organic matter is further subjected to heat and pressure to form fossil fuels. Fossil fuels can be found in the Earth’s crust. They are a good source of energy as they contain carbon and hydrogen. The time duration to form fossil fuel is around tens of millions of years. But now, fossil fuel is rapidly depleting due to overconsumption, and consumers are considering alternative energy sources for future use.
Key Areas Covered
Oil, Natural Gas
What is Oil
Oil is a fossil fuel that is available in a liquid state. Oil mainly consists of hydrogen and carbon. Sometimes, its composition also includes sulpher, nitrogen, and oxygen. When gas and water are removed from the oil extracted from underground oil fields, crude oil is formed. Crude oil is a liquid, and it is flammable. It can be obtained by drilling deep inside the Earth. This oil is one of the primary fuel sources on Earth. It contains a diverse and wide range of complex hydrocarbons with complex molecular structures.
There are different forms of crude oil. The volatility and viscosity vary in these forms. Crude oil undergoes extensive refining. Due to its commercial value, crude oil is common in different industries and applications, including automobiles. For cooking and heating in cities, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) made from crude oil is used. Crude oil is also used in rubber, plastics, and cosmetics. The demand, as well as the price of crude oil, is high.
What is Natural Gas
Natural gas is a fossil fuel that is available in the gaseous state. Natural gas mainly consists of hydrogen and carbon. Unlike oil, natural gas contains simple chemical compounds. It is a mixture of gases such as methane, ethane, propane, butane, pentane, or other similar hydrocarbons. Around 80% of natural gas consists of simple hydrocarbon methane. Natural gas is a flammable gas. It is one of the primary sources of energy on Earth.
Due to its structural simplicity, refining natural gas is easier than refining oil. Natural gas is very useful for cooking and heating. It is also used in natural gas-powered ovens and natural gas-heated cloth dryers. People in rural areas use compressed natural gas. Natural gas has less demand than crude oil. It also has a lower price in the market.
Difference Between Oil and Natural Gas
Oil is a fossil fuel in the liquid state, whereas natural gas is a fossil fuel in the gaseous state.
Chemical Composition and Structure
While oil has a complex chemical composition and structure, natural gas has a much simpler chemical composition and structure.
Refining natural gas is easier than refining oil.
Generally, oil has a higher demand than natural gas.
Oil has many applications in the modern world; for example, in automobiles, as jet fuel, to manufacture plastics and gasoline, etc. Natural gas, on the other hand, is useful in commercial and residential heating, electricity generation, and manufacturing industries.
Oil is more expensive than natural gas.
Dead organic matter (plants and animals) decompose over millions of years and form fossil fuels. Oil is a liquid fossil fuel, while natural gas is a gaseous fossil fuel. There is a distinct difference between oil and natural gas in terms of their properties, chemical composition, and chemical structure. Their uses and commercial value also vary.
1. “Natural Gas.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation.