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It is a heavy dark [[liquid]], consisting of many different [[hydrocarbon]] [[chemical compound|compound]]s. Wells are drilled deep in to the ground, and the crude oil is extracted and [[distillation|fractionated]] into its components by volatility in an oil refinery. Recent advances in drilling technology have enabled deeper and more difficult wells to be successfully drilled, allowing previously inaccessible reserves to be tapped.
==Petroleum products==Some of the main products distilled from crude oil are: shown in the table below. The following table<ref>Stainforth, J., Nourse, R. & Nosiara, M., 2007, ''Basin Oriented Geology - Petroleum Systems Module Course Manual''.</ref> compares the qualities of various types of petroleum:
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