Oil Seep

Definition - What does Oil Seep mean?

Oil Seep is a natural spring from where gaseous or liquid hydrocarbons flow to the earth’s surface. The oil that comes out of the Oil seep is a tar-like substance known as asphaltum. In this case, the heavier particles are oxidized whereas lighter particles are lost through evaporation. According to a study, half of the oil in the coastal environment comes from natural seeps. With advancements in the petroleum industry, remote sensing is being used for accurate detection of Oil Seeps.

Petropedia explains Oil Seep

Oil Seeps are generated under low pressure and occur above offshore or terrestrial regions. These regions are generally found in the Southern coast of California and in the Gulf of Mexico. It is believed that Oil Seeps are present at old locations and are often toxic. However, the organisms living in the surrounding areas have adapted the conditions and started using it as a source of metabolic energy. They are an essential part of the petroleum industry as they contribute virtually 5 million gallons of oil to the ocean. Oil Seeps may vary in appearance, depending on flow rates and weather conditions.

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