How Are Oil/Natural Gas Formed?
Stage 1 - All of the oil and gas we use today began as microscopic plants and animals living in the ocean millions of years ago. As these microscopic plants and animals lived, they absorbed energy from the sun, which was stored as carbon molecules in their bodies. When they died, they sank to the bottom of the sea. Over millions of years, layer after layer of sediment and other plants and bacteria were formed.
Stage 2 - As they became buried ever deeper, heat and pressure began to rise. The amount of pressure and the degree of heat, along with the type of biomass, determined if the material became oil or natural gas. More heat produced lighter oil. Even higher heat or biomass made predominantly of plant material produced natural gas.
Stage 3 - After oil and natural gas were formed, they tended to migrate through tiny pores in the surrounding rock. Some oil and natural gas migrated all the way to the surface and escaped. Other oil and natural gas deposits migrated until they were caught under impermeable layers of rock or clay where they were trapped. These trapped deposits are where we find oil and natural gas today.»next