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Petroleum, or crude oil, is a nonrenewable natural resource that has had a tremendous beneficial influence on human society. With a name derived from Latin petra (rock) and oleum (oil), petroleum represents the world's most important energy resource. Such fuels as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, heating oil, and related oils power the world's transportation system, provide electrical power for industrial production, and produce heat for human populations residing in cold-weather climates. In addition to its many energy uses, petroleum is also an important raw material re source used in the manufacture of a wide array of products that provide significant societal benefits. Petroleum is the raw material input in the production of many fertilizers and pesticides, which are largely responsible for increased agricultural ...

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