• Fahad Ezzi

Why is crude oil so abundant in the Middle East?

Petroleum, often known as crude oil or oil, is required for everything from the automobile you drive to the bubblegum you chew. Petroleum, in addition to being a key component in many import and export commodities, provides more than one-third of our worldwide energy. In addition, we can extract nearly everything between metals and chemicals. However, crude oil, like any other valuable resource, is not equally abundant in all countries. According to ES Energy, the Middle East has six of the top ten nations in terms of oil reserves. The area accounts for 48.5 percent of world petroleum reserves. According to OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), “79.4 percent of the world's proven oil reserves are situated in OPEC Member Countries, with the majority of OPEC oil reserves in the Middle East accounting for 64.5 percent of the OPEC total.” But why is this the case?

Crude oil is a very valuable resource that aids nations in their production and exports. However, each sample of oil is unique; the oil's composition, density, and the number of usable components are all variables that might fluctuate owing to the location of the oil reservoir. Oil is formed when plants and animals in the ocean die in a specific body of water. Over time, decay matter and water nutrients combined with water moisture build. Due to the high levels of pressure and temperature, the mixture gradually transforms into hydrocarbons and ultimately crude oil. Given the high temperature of the crude oil, it tends to ascend closer to the surface owing to convection currents; as a result, oil is drawn to places with lower pressure from the top. Petroleum, for example, will rise higher in soil-covered regions than in rock-covered ones. They build soil reservoirs when the oil sites are settled. After thoroughly comprehending the process of crude oil creation, we can now seamlessly transition into why it is more abundant in the Middle East than in other regions.

The true explanation is inextricably linked to the well-known Pangea phase. The first idea proposed by scientists is that the Middle East was not always a desert. The Arabian Peninsula was once close to a body of water known as the Tethys Ocean (on the eastern side of the land). The Tethys Ocean is extremely nourishing due to the many fertile rivers that feed into it. Bacteria and other unicellular creatures began to build shelter due to the presence of numerous essential nutrients. Following the death of such fluids, the most condensed and rich combination is created with the assistance of organisms and nutrients. Following that, the process of oil creation will continue and accumulate under the newly divided area, the Middle East. We shall have oil reservoirs under random lucky nations after the plates shifted and produced today's map.

Another factor that distinguishes the Middle East's geography is its placement during the mid-cretaceous period of global warming. Similarly, to now, the world suffered global warming throughout this period, which resulted in sea level rise. As a result, the Tethys Ocean covered more of the area that would eventually become the Middle East, enriching the land even more with live marine animals such as planktons. Another factor for the Middle East's abundance of oil is its geology.

The Middle East's porous rocks function as a permeable surface. As a result of the above-mentioned reduced pressure, petroleum will be drawn to the reservoir. According to ScienceDirect, permeable rocks are crucial in the development of oil reservoirs. All of these and other factors contributed to the Middle East's wealth in oil, natural gas, and other commodities. Although oil is a highly wealthy substance, we must all shift our reliance away from oil and toward alternative sustainable resources such as solar power because it contributes to global warming and many other global issues.


- https://www.tigergeneral.com/the-importance-of-oil-and-gas-in-today-s-economy/

- https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/petroleum/

- https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/economics/crude-oil-overview/

- https://www.nsenergybusiness.com/features/newstop-ten-countries-with-worlds-largest-oil-reserves-5793487/

- https://www.opec.org/opec_web/en/data_graphs/330.htm

- https://www.thirdcoastautos.com/blog/why-is-there-a-lot-of-oil-in-the-middle-east/

- https://www.geoexpro.com/articles/2010/07/why-so-much-oil-in-the-middle-east

- https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/porous-rock